Book Review: Adoption Edition Part 2

My friend, Sarah, asked what adoption books I had been reading lately. The truth is, I had been avoiding reading adoption books. I was already battling discouragement and the thought of reading more about how difficult this process can be made me weak in the knees.

Adoption, in it’s very essence, is born out of tragedy (death of parents, sickness, abuse, financial woes, etc). Part of me didn’t want to face the ugliness. I wanted to keep it at an arm’s distance. But, with Sarah’s encouragement, I requested a stack of adoption books from the library and determined to read them (pretty or not).

Between Light and Shadow: A Guatemalan Girl’s Journey Through Adoption

This was a quick read. It was written by a journalist (Wheeler) who set out to investigate the Guatemalan Adoption Industry (just before it was shut down). I, too, wanted to know what went wrong there, especially considering Honduras is it’s neighbor.

I think Wheeler had some serious biases about International adoption but that changed when he was confronted with the complexity of extreme poverty.

He found an adopted girl’s biological mother in Guatemala and discovered that this woman had given up (for adoption) four of her ten children. She used income from giving up those children and through prostitution to provide for her remaining children.

This book gave some insights into extreme poverty and the complicated nature of adoption. Guatemala, in particular, is somewhat racist and there are few domestic adoptions completed. When international adoption was shut down, surrendered children where not being placed in families but in orphanages. Overall, though, the book was inconclusive… hence the title.


I Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison

This book sat on our counter for almost two weeks before I even dared to open it.

Harrison and her husband were foster parents and she vividly depicts the shattered lives of children that entered their home. I worked in Community Services long enough to see the severity of damage caused in the lives of children by neglectful and abusive parents and I wasn’t sure I could stomach this book.

I felt like Harrison did a good job stating the facts of what some of the children endured, without excruciating details. She painted an accurate picture and explained how she tried her best to offer these children love, care, and hope in a crazy, messed up world.

It broke my heart.

I looked up foster parent qualifications for my state.

Then I prayed for the hurting children of this world.

Matthew 25:40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I felt like a rock-star mom for the love, support and safety I am able to provide for my children.

And then I thanked God for the gift of family.

This gift I did nothing to earn and this gift that has allowed me to become who I am.

This gift of family that taught me about love and care and God and right vs wrong and giving to others.

This is a gift I want to give.

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