Our adoption agency has a private Facebook page for Lifeline families that are adopting from China. I had heard of an adoptive mom and her story through that Facebook page, but did not know the whole story. However, she wrote a book based on their adoption journey that was released a couple of weeks ago and she asked if any Lifeline mamas would want to read her book and review it on our blogs. I LOVE autobiographical books and knew I would love to read her adoption story, so I immediately replied that I would love to read the book. However, I also made it clear that I have a small blog for friends and family, not a popular, fancy blog! She sent me a code anyway so that I could download the book and I started reading as soon as I could.
The book follows the adoption journey of Jennifer Phillips to bring her daughter, Lucy, home. However, home for Jennifer is Australia! Jennifer and her husband left the comfort of a life that they knew in Alabama to become missionaries in Australia a few years ago. When they moved across the world, she thought her desire to adopt might not be possible because Australia does not encourage or allow many adoptions each year. But, after prayer and research, she found out that since they are U.S. citizens living abroad for a period of time, they could in fact adopt a child from China!
Jennifer and her husband, as well as Lifeline Children's Services, did everything they could to make sure that the process to adopt Lucy would be as seamless as possible. Many expatriate families have made this journey before, so they dotted every i and crossed every t to be sure that they were following the same procedures that other families living abroad had followed. They knew that Lucy would have to enter the U.S. after China in order to become a U.S. citizen and receive a U.S. passport. So, they planned accordingly.
The plan was for Jennifer and Lucy to fly to the U.S. after leaving China, spend a few days in the U.S. with family, get Lucy's U.S. passport, and then head home to Australia to meet back up with her husband, Brian, and their three biological children. Seems simple enough, right?! Hundreds of families have done this exact same thing. Unfortunately, Jennifer received the one passport agent who decided to research further and deny citizenship to Jennifer's new daughter!
The book is a wonderfully written story of a mother's fight for her child and to be reunited with the rest of her family. At one point she talks about when Jesus tells the story of the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to find the one missing sheep. She says, "This choice would seem foolish to most, but Jesus is no ordinary shepherd. He knew that one was worth it. I was worth it. You are worth it." She goes on to say that even though it was a struggle to be away from her husband and children, Lucy was worth it. She was worth the costs, the pain, the tears, the heartache. She was worth it!
As a mom who is adopting, this book was an encouragement, but I don't think it is just for the adoption community. It was such an encouragement to my faith and it reminds me to trust God through the hard times because it is through these hard times that God teaches us the most! Also, as a Christian, this book is an encouragement because it reminds me of God's pursuit of me to bring me "home" one day, just as Jennifer pursued every means necessary to bring Lucy home.
"It might be a mess, but that doesn’t matter because the most beautiful things in life are created through struggle and hardship. The greatest joys are birthed through tears. A tiny fifteen-month-old life in Lianjiang is a life worth saving, regardless of the tornado of distress and discomfort she might possibly bring with her. It might be a mess. That doesn’t matter."
This story shows the gospel lived out by a mom who would do everything she could to bring her daughter home...just as Jesus did everything He could to bring us to Him!
I hope that you will take the time to order this book, read it, and be encouraged by it!
You can order it HERE through Amazon and HERE through Barnes and Noble. It is also available HERE through Lifeway.
I would loan it to you, but Jennifer was kind enough to provide me with an e-book through Lifeway Reader, so I do not have a physical copy to loan.