Even though last month was crazy-busy, I told myself that I had to do one thing just for me. Somehow breezing through the webs, I came across the newly released "Love You More - The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter" by Jennifer Grant. It was actually released on August 9th, I am sure I came across it shortly after that. It was a book that spoke to my heart from the very beginning. I mean really, any of us who have kids understand the title of the first chapter alone: Mowing the Lawn in the Dark. My heart ached when she wrote (prior to having children with her husband David), "I miss our children," I said aloud. "I'm homesick for them. I wish they were here with us, out here today." Only a few pages in & I knew that this would be the perfect read for me. I, too, understand this statement. I, also have yearned & ached for my children that weren't yet here. A few of the professional reviews said it best,
“Anyone who has ever welcomed a child, whether through birth or adoption, will see themselves in this sweet family memoir. Jennifer Grant writes beautifully, evoking laughter and tears, often on the same page, as she shares her family’s journey. Her story is not just about adoption, but about how motherhood transforms us.” -Keri Wyatt Kent, author, Breathe, Rest, andDeeper into the Word
In Chapter Four, The Red Thread, Jennifer writes,
"Chinese folklore uses the image of the red thread to describe destiny. A Chinese proverb says, "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." Those invisible red threads connect newborn babies to all the people who will be important in their lives and shorten as these people come together. ...
So many parents who have adopted a child are surprised to discover a curious similarity between themselves and their new son or daughter. That similarity can feel like another gift, or like icing on the cake. Maybe you and your daughter share a freak allergic reaction to watermelon. And inexplicable love for opera. An aversion to cats. A passion for thunderstorms. After seeing the first pictures of Mia and me, several friends were astonished: "She has your eyes," they said. Or, "How is it that she has the Grant nose?"
I got emotional reading this for the first time & still do typing it out for you to read here. This red thread, divine connection, a nudge by God - whatever you believe - it's there. I myself have commented, "you have blue eyes, just like your daddy" and "that dimple, it's just like Auntie B's! you & Auntie B have the same dimple!" And some of you might giggle, but I still find it incredibly endearing & smile-worthy when passersby ask me if I think the twins will have the same red hair as their big brother & big sister. I love that.
I hesitate to offer advice to adoptive parents. I usually just tell stories about my own experience because I know I am no expert and I know people like reading stories about family. I know I do. But there is one bit of wisdom I've earned after tripping over it too many times.
I recommend that when a child comes home, the parents make an effort simply to be present with her as much as possible. Not just in the room, but truly present. Try not to fret over your adopted child's past, much of which will always be a mystery to you.. Don't fear the future. Spend time with people who celebrate your child.
Finally, have you ever seen About Schmidt. I love Jennifer's connection & reference to the movie. Make sure you read up right around page 144. Pretty funny. I loved that they used humor to get through the difficult times. Who doesn't? 'Sending greetings from paradise!'
Needless to say, I loved the book & found it a very quick read (& I'm a slow reader!). Definitely worth the read you guys. Definitely. xo.