I never want to have kids. I don’t for several reasons that deserve another entry in itself. It’s not that I hate kids – I don’t. I actually like them very much and am very comfortable with them as I’ve helped take care of my siblings when we were all younger. I just feel uncomfortable having kids of my own when there are so many unloved children out there. It might be the developmental advocate in me, but I never really put much thought into why I didn’t desire to have biological children when left and right, women my age are worrying about their aging eggs.
Then, last December, in a visit to CRIBS, I was enlightened. While holding a baby boy in the orphanage, I felt a tug on my heartstrings and I knew that it was God’s plan for me to foster children. And, as with God’s will, everything just kind of started to get pieced together. No, I am not a proud foster mother of a precious child – yet. But I did come across Book Sneeze (http://booksneeze.com/), which is a site that will “give bloggers books for free in exchange for an honest review”. One of the books that piqued my interest was “Love You More” by Jennifer Grant. In all honestly, I chose this book because I thought it would talk about the plight of poor children in Guatemala (I’m a sucker for historical-cultural books that touch on political issues). So when I first started to read “Love You More”, I kind of felt like I was reading one of those self-help books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. It did actually did sort of start out that way. I also found it a bit too preachy and something an older or more mature audience would appreciate. Right off the bat though, it jumped out at me how adept Grant was at this kind of writing. She had an excellent knack for choosing words and it was clear that the author was an intelligent writer (she is, in fact, a journalist).
As the book started off to be a little too detail-oriented, I was only too eager to fast-forward to the scene where Grant and her husband get to take home their adopted daughter, Mia. This said, the presence of the minutest detail makes this a great guide for aspiring adoptive parents. It is peppered with tips on how to cope with the long and bureaucratic (whew! Had a hard time spelling that without spell check. Sometimes, technology can be hazardous to one’s intelligence) process. It illustrates the frustrations that come with the child’s adjustment period and quells the adoptive parents’ apprehensions and fears that arise once the child finally arrives home. It’s also quite an eye opener, addressing a lot of common misconceptions about the adoption experience starting from the initial interest in adopting to the years that follow the child’s homecoming.
Once I got past the technicalities, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the way that Grant so vividly illustrated her first few days, weeks, months and year with Mia. “Love You More” breaks down the old-fashioned way of living life as an adoptive family, and how to live in a more progressive way of healthily raising a child that isn’t biologically yours. It is heartwarming, enlightening and is a sweet reminder of how God’s love manifests in the most surprising ways.