Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book review: Love You More, a story about the divine surprise of adoption

I know I haven't been updating the blogs. I thought I would be blogging like crazy actually since I'm on bed rest. But I have turned away from the computer (I have to sit on a chair for computery stuff!) and taken a couple of books to bed and read and read and read.

The iPad's been great, too, for blog hopping and games, but not so great at blogging. The auto-correct feature annoys me plus I like typing with crunchy keyboards. You know, when I type, I want each letter to go clackety-clackety-clack.

So anyway, I finally read Love You More. It's a book I got for free from BookSneeze. Yep, they give away books to bloggers in exchange for reviews. How cool is that?!

The first book I asked from BookSneeze is Love You More by Jennifer Grant. It's Jennifer and her husband David's journey into adoption. Having three kids, they certainly didn't "need" to adopt a child but as it turns out, a child--whether adopted or born--is a story of true love, and Jennifer talks about how they felt the deep need to search for their daughter Mia, how they found her in Guatemala, and how she is just the perfect addition to her already beautiful family.

Jennifer also talks about the difficulties faced with adopting a child--from disapproving family and friends, the horrors of finding out about the terrible state orphans are in around the world, the expense, the qualification process, the long wait, the awkward but thrilling first interaction, the adjustment, and the judgmental opinions of other people when they see that your child looks different from you and the rest of your family.
My free book from BookSneeze!

It's a great story! I wish Jennifer had included more situations and conversations instead of just writing it like an essay. It was okay actually until she included an epilogue, which detailed a girls' day out to the salon, just mommy and two daughters--one very white, the other very brown. The interaction with the manicurist was very interesting. So I felt that Jennifer could've sprinkled the entire book with vignettes like that because then she's not just talking about it, she'd be weaving a story. Technically, that would have been better but, hey, it's still a good read. It made me cry thrice!

As a mommy, my heart was broken by the stories of abandoned and unloved children. I was also crying because most of these mothers gave up their babies because they were forced by their families, their poverty, their culture. It's horrible. No child should be punished for that! And yet Jennifer says adoption is not for everyone. She firmly emphasizes that you should adopt because of love, not out of pity or charity or guilt or a desire to save the world. So, funnily enough, I chose Love You More so that I can learn more about adoption and came away from the book knowing I'm not the adopting kind.

I've been interested to adopt a child or two since 1998, when I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It's a disease of the uterus lining, the endometrium, which instead of the lining shedding just once a month (we all know that as the menstrual period), the lining sheds constantly. I won't die from this, it's just painful and inconvenient, and if left untreated, likely results to infertility. No biggie! Especially since I've been a good patient, the endometriosis is managed very well--there is no pain, no bleeding and no cysts. But since that 1998 diagnosis, I figured that should I become infertile and want kids, well, adoption was obviously my choice.

After reading Jennifer's lovely story, I realized adoption isn't for me (or maybe not yet). The book made me seriously think about my own motivations for adopting a child and, to be very honest, I wanted to adopt so that I could help a poor kid out. I thought it would be wonderful to take in a child that nobody wanted. I also actually liked the idea of "choosing" a child and discovered, to my shame, that I thought it very similar to shopping. You see, with a biological child, you never really know what you'll get--a boy or a girl, cute or not, healthy or not--but with adoption, well, you can see what you'll get.

It's horrible, I know. That's why I'm glad I read Love You More because this book really made me confront some certain not-so-nice things about myself. It showed me that adoption isn't charity. Adoption is love. It's parenting. It's commitment. It's family. And until my heart is big enough for that, then I should just help by donating to charities and orphanages, pushing for the RH Bill, and raising awareness about the plight of orphans and the poor.

To know more about Jennifer Grant and her book, go to her website
To get your copy of Love You More, buy from Amazon.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. I wanted to adopt. After losing my 2nd child, I felt that adoption is for me. Ayoko na kasi magbuntis. I still fear though that the child might have problems since I have a biological daughter and I am still capable of getting pregnant. Baka mahirap. Pag-isipan ko muna. - Lou M.

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  2. Love free books! But did you pay for customs, too?

    I also don't think I'm suitable to adopt, because the knowledge that the kids are not from me doesn't sit well with me.

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  3. hello! nice book you have. i love to read books as well but due to budget constraint, instead of buying books sa needs muna ng mga bata napupunta but once i have a few money left i usually buy...kasi hirap din maging "stagnant" ang utak lalo na kung stay at home mother ka. hehehe! sana lang available locally yung binabasa mo. thanks for sharing...

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  4. Thank you for sharing this Ms. Frances!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this. I also signed up for BookSneeze and they say I'll receive my first book in 4-6 weeks. Excited much! :)

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!