Wonderful You: An Adoption Story [Random House Books for Young Readers] is a magical story with a happy ending. The fairy-tale-cuddle-factor of this book is evoked by the lyrical story telling of author Lauren McLaughlin and the dreamy, bright watercolor illustrations of artist Meilo So.
Lauren says in a note at the beginning of the book "I'll never forget the first time I saw my adoptive daughter. She was perfectly formed and full of life. When I extended my little finger toward her, she gripped it. That was it. I was hers forever. Since then our life together has been a wonderful adventure. I wanted to celebrate this adventure, and the birth mother who made it all possible..."
The fairytale begins,
In a faraway land lived a lady in blue
with a babe in her tummy named Wonderful You.
The Lady in Blue finds parents for her baby after searching high and low. They have waited so long and promise to love the child...
We will hug her and kiss her and tickle her too.
Forever and always, our Wonderful You.
In the rest of the story we read about the magic of childhood that the new family of three experiences together: adventures like birthdays, schools day, the zoo, snow days, and the seashore.
Although the experiences of adoption are as varied as families, this book would make a lovely gift for anyone who has been part of an adoption journey - a birth mother, an adoptive mother and father, or an adopted child.
My second book recommendation is from Ancient Faith Publishing. It gives us a different perspective of the adoption journey: one of international adoption. The honesty which Ashley Lackovich-Van Gorp shares with us in her inspiring personal story, Children of My Heart: Finding Christ through Adoption, will be appreciated by anyone who has considered adoption.
Her purposeful story recounts not only the ultimate joy of seeing her children-to-be for the first time, but the doubts, fears, and challenges that parents face during an international adoption process. Ashley also reveals insight into the real pain and adjustment that her adopted children experienced in going home with a Mommy and Daddy after spending years in the orphanage that was their haven and home.
From the first chapter, I was completely drawn into Ashley's story. As a young professional working in Jerusalem with her husband and experiencing a bit of a faith crisis, she struggled to embrace and live out her Serbian Orthodox faith with all her heart.
She never dreamed her search for an intimate relationship with Christ would lead her to a nuns' Monastery school for orphaned girls and then ultimately to Ethiopia and into the hearts and lives of two precious little orphan girls.
Adoption is definitely at the center of Ashley's story, but this is also a book about faith. It's about those we may not think about often: Palestinian Orthodox Christians living in the Holy Land, and about the many Ethiopians who live everyday in poverty. A inspiring read for all! You can listen to Ashley talk about her book here.
Ashley Lackovich-Van Gorp is an international consultant for Girl Child Protection and Adaptive Behavior Change. She works for international humanitarian and development organizations on issues pertaining to adolescent girls and women. She specializes in prevention of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, and trafficking. She currently resides in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with her husband, daughters, and cat. She attends St. Frumentius Greek Orthodox Church.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
- 1John 3:1-2
[Disclosure note: Both books above were sent to me as review copies by the publishers.]