Book Review: Successful Adoption

Successful Adoption

Almost everyone I spoke with had one of two replies: “I have thought about adopting, but I wouldn’t know where to start,” or “We would love to do that, but we’d never be able to afford it.” Those statements kept haunting me…I couldn’t help thinking about all the children who might never have a loving home and family just because the adoption process seemed too difficult and too costly.

Successful Adoption: A Guide for Christian Families is one of the best books out there for getting a foundation understanding of adoption. It covers private domestic adoption, foster adoption, and international adoption. It also talks about adopting older children versus younger children, transracial adoption, special-needs, changing family dynamics, how to handle the waiting periods, and how to handle post-adoption “stuff”. A whole chapter is devoted to the cost of adoption, where the money goes, and how to raise the funds.

One of my personal favorite parts of the book is the extensive appendix. Many of the links of the resource page on Teens Interceding for Orphans were located using Successful Adoption appendix.

Some people might wonder why I read and enjoyed this book. I’m not even nineteen yet. Much too young to adopt. (They’d find it even more confusing to know I purchased and read this book several years ago.) However, no one is too young to get educated. Having that knowledge could enable you to help someone who is adopting.

Book Review: Red Thread Sisters

Red Thread SistersWen and her best friend, Shu Ling, have a deal. Whoever gets adopted first will find a family for the one left behind. When Wen finds her forever family and travels to America, she discovers her promise will be difficult to keep. She is overwhelmed by the intensity of learning a new language, fearing her family might send her back, and feeling disloyal to Shu Ling as she begins to form new friendships. How can she get an American family to want Shu Ling before it’s too late. Time is running out. Soon Shu Ling will be too old to adopt. Can Wen keep her promise and find a family for her friend? Can she find security in her own American family?

When Goodreads recommended this book to me, I pounced. While it’s not difficult to find books about orphans in historical settings (Orphan Trains anyone?), contemporary orphan stories seem far and few between. This one was a gem. I devoured it in every spare moment and put it down wishing more authors would tackle similar stories. There’s no high action, life-threatening quests and adventures in this book. Instead it’s the slow blossoming of a heart and a devoted, desperate search for family. If you’re a girl who cares about orphans and adoption, you’ll enjoy this book.

Do you know of any other fictional contemporary orphan/adoption stories? Please tell me! I’d love to find more of them.

Book Review: Orphan Justice

Orphan Justice

There are no easy answers except to walk away. But we dare not, because Jesus Himself said, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven (Matt 19:14).”

Lots of people know about adoption and are at least aware of the fact that our world is home to tens of millions of orphans. The number of people acquainted with the social, moral, and political problems creating orphans is much smaller. This book seeks to solve that. However, it’s much more than a methodical fact book about these issues. It delves to the heart of problems like sex slavery, HIV/AIDS, abortion, poverty, foster care, and more. It’s heart wrenching, challenging, and thought provoking.

I grabbed this book for my kindle because I needed to read some more orphan care related books to fill up the slots for this months book review theme. I have to admit, I’m one of those people who often judges a book by its cover, and I didn’t find this cover too impressive. However, it was either free or 99 cents so why not. (It was on sale, it’s $9.99 for kindle now.) I’m so glad I read it. The second chapter dealt with human trafficking and had me sliding out of my bed at midnight to kneel and pray for these girls. If you’re a young teen I would recommend running it by your parents before you read this. If you’re an adult or older teen, though, just go get it. It’s a book that will shake you and challenge you in a good way.

Did your church do anything for Orphan Sunday on the third? Do you have plans to do anything for National Adoption Awareness Month?

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my new blog over at Teens Interceding for Orphans.

Movie Review: Stuck

StuckI know, I know. Fridays are for book reviews, not movie reviews. I didn’t have enough time to read a new orphan/adoption book this week, though, so a movie review it is. If you want a book review check out Saving Levi, A Horse to Love, or Bridge Called Hope. But for now…

All of these kids have families. All of these kids have homes in the US, and they have for years. And ye here they’re sitting, waiting, suffering.

International adoption is known for it’s hefty price tag and frequently long duration. Why does it take so long when so many children around the world wait for forever families? This documentary follows three families through their international adoptions, and provides a very personal look at the joys and heartaches of the process. It also provides a glimpse at international laws and treaties that cause adoptions to be held up for years with very little reason.

Yes, it’s true, I cried my way through this film not once, but twice. It’s heartbreaking to watch parents struggle against a convoluted system while loving children they can’t be with or take care of. And it’s wonderful (in a tearful sort of way ;)) to see these parents finally united with the children they have fought for. You can rent it for a week on Amazon or buy the DVD off the Both Ends Burning website. Want to know more? Read my friend Marli Renee’s blog post or watch the Stuck trailer over on the Teens Interceding for Orphans.

What do you know about the cost and time involved in international adoption? What are your opinions on the subject?

Care about orphans? Check out my new website, Teens Interceding for Orphans.

Book Review & Giveaway: Mad Dog

Mad DogIt’s time for another giveaway! Leave a comment below telling me why you’re interested in foster care and/or why you want to read Mad Dog. You can leave your comment anytime between now and next Thursday (May 23rd) morning. Due to the cost of shipping, this giveaway is only available to residents of the United States. Enjoy the review!

If the world had any idea how mad I, Wesley “Mad Dog” Williams, am at it, the sun would be would be too scared to show it’s ugly face around here.

Wesley Williams is counting down the days until his mom gets out of her drug rehab program and he can go live with her again. It’s not that he hates his foster family. In fact, he likes the fact that living at Starlight Animal Rescue allows him to rescue dogs, train them and find them new homes. But that doesn’t change the fact that he can’t wait to go back to his mother. Besides, at the moment, even his dog rescue program isn’t going so well. Is it even possible to train four misfit dogs for an assisted living facility on the schedule he’s been given?

Mad Dog is another great book from Dandi Daley Mackall, author of the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. Mad Dog is book two in the Starlight Animal Rescue series, preceded by Runaway. It’s also my favorite book in the series. After re-reading it recently for this review, I found myself cracking up over the assisted living residents. Since my family does a lot of elder care, I could relate to the situation…though I’ve yet to meet someone quite like the Buddy in this book. 😉 Definitely a great book to get your hands on.

Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Audience: Tweens and up
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 210

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Mad Dog.

Book Review: A Horse to Love

A Horse to Love

“Young lady, and I use the term loosely, I’m tired of your despicable behavior. You have exhausted this court’s patience. I’m sending you to the Chesterfield Detention Center and throwing away the key!”

Skye Nicholson is trouble with a capitol T. At thirteen years of age she’s been in countless foster homes and has a record with drugs and theft. She’s on her way to juvie when the Chambers step in. Skye resents her new foster family’s faith and strict rules. The only thing keeping her at Keystone Stables is Champ, the horse she is learning to ride. What will it take for Skye to accept the second chance being offered her?

I first read this book in the summer of 2008. I’d read stories about adoption before, but this was my first foster care story, and it captivated me. I remember being slightly scandalized by the references to drugs. When I re-read it a few weeks ago, I had to laugh at that memory because the mentions are so mild. But, they are there, so keep that in mind. 😉 The author does a great job of showing Skye’s defiance as something unacceptable, yet tempering it by showing her internal turmoil. This book is a win for both horse lovers and those who enjoy adoption/foster care stories.

Fun Fact: I recently found the first few pages of a foster care/horse farm story that I started writing after reading this book.

Author: Marsha Hubler
Audience: 10 and up
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 144

P.S. The older edition I read was titled The Trouble With Skye. I used the updated title and cover for this review because I think that’s what is mostly available now.

Book Review: Saving Levi

Hopefully by the end of the month, I’ll be able to pull together a list of my favorite orphan/foster care/adoption books in honor of National Adoption Awareness Month. In the meantime, I figured I’d do an extra book review. This will be the first non-fiction book review for the blog. Enjoy!

It would be 24 hours from the time Levi was left to die in the field until I first saw him.

Lisa Bentley and her family were serving in a small, Chinese orphanage when they met the little boy that would become their son, Levi. He had been found in a field, left to die. Seventy percent of the baby’s body was covered in third to fourth degree burns. His survival seemed doubtful. As he fought for his life, Levi drew people from around the world together.

I’d been eyeing this book in CBD catalogs for some time and I finally purchased a copy at a homeschool conference several months ago. It’s a riveting story. Of course, when adoption and orphan care is involved, it doesn’t take much to make me like it! 😉 There are so many stories out there that showcase the very real truth that God cares about orphans. This book is one of those stories.

Beautiful Pearl

She’s lying in her cradle,
Waiting for someone to care,
Needing someone to notice,
That she has a life to share.

Few know she’s born and waiting.
Few stop to open their eyes.
Who now will stop and listen?
Who now will care that she cries?

The God who sees the sparrows,
He calls His children to war,
Gives us His love and power
To fight for the weak and poor.

Who will take up the war cry?
To rescue a precious girl.
To live out pure religion,
And love a beautiful pearl.
Please consider helping the Garner family as they adopt a beautiful little girl from Eastern Europe. Paisley has Spina Bifida and needs surgery in the U.S. as soon as possible.
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