Our adoption agency has a Facebook group for those of us adopting from China with them. It’s been a wonderful resource, a forum to ask questions and share stories, and a great place for us to connect with folks also going through this process. It’s really been a blessing.
One woman in the group brought her daughter home from China last year, and had an incredible road. All of us can share stories about our adoption journeys- some full of drama and suspense, others painfully slow and full of hiccups… When Jennifer Phillips talked about finishing up her book, I was kind of new to the group and knew nothing of their story. An adoption story. Cool. I read those all the time for free on people’s blogs. That’s how I stay “informed”. I had little interest in reading her book, except that it might give me some clues about what was in store for us. So when she asked us to read her book (for free) and review it, I volunteered to, fully expecting to be unimpressed with the story, but maybe come away with a little more knowledge about the China adoption process.
Work has been busy, we were finishing up our online auction (another post on that soon!), and I had another book I was reading for my women’s small group. I wondered when I would find time to read this one. Luckily, I had the option of reading the book on my LifeWay Reader, so I could access it anywhere I had internet access. So without eagerness, anticipation, or excitement, I started to read Bringing Lucy Home. I started reading one morning with my coffee…. and three days later it was done. Man, I could not put the book down!
There was so much that was great about this book. First of all, it was an easy read, and wasn’t overly detailed. Part of me wanted the details so that I knew every single step of her adoption, but this book was so much more than just a story about a process. Jennifer has an easy, conversational writing style, and it didn’t take me long to feel like I knew her. She could have been sitting across from me with a cup of hot coffee in her hands, telling me this story face to face. And the story was perfect. Well… actually very far from the “perfect” I think any of us would choose, but man, it was awesome to see how when we let God really author our stories, they are amazing. But her life was exciting, living in Australia. And her friends were wonderful- throwing the most amazingly awesome, outrageous, and fun shower for her before she left to get her daughter. I learned a few things, too- like how there’s no Pillsbury in Australia. Crazy! I’m eating a fresh out of the oven biscuit right now!
There were definitely moments when I laughed out loud, but also plenty of edge-of-my-seat, biting my nails suspense. Ans…. I cried. I admit it. If I could have posted one of those reaction videos showing my response as I read this, you would see that I felt All. The. Feels.
And I still came away with knowledge, though not in the forms I was expecting. I’m hoping I learned a little something about patience from this book (so that God doesn’t have to give me crazy hardships to teach me!). I’m hoping I learned that a picture perfect, boring, and calm life is probably not what I really want. As Jennifer so perfectly expressed, “If happy and glossy and perfect are all that we are striving towards to call this a life well lived, we’ve missed out on life’s greatest riches.” I don’t want to miss out. I know that adoption can be messy. I know that life can be messy. And I’m willing to wade through the muck to come out of it with a more fully lived life. And when things get a little crazy, or even when things are calm, “we would be wise to snuggle up.”
Thanks for sharing your story Jennifer. It is truly incredible, and only just begun!