Everything You Ever Wanted Review

Everything You Ever Wanted

By Jillian Lauren

I didn’t know anything about Jillian Lauren before, I just love adoption memoirs. This novel should probably be required reading before adoption so you are prepared to handle the challenges. Jillian struggles with infertility and then she and her husband decide to adopt from Ethiopia. This is the story of adopting Tariku. 

She gets to meet his birth mother while overseas before she takes him home. This holds special meaning for her, as she herself was adopted. When she brings T home, she faces unexpected challenges. He pushes her away. He is aggressive toward her and toward other child, biting and hitting them. He gets kicked out of preschool. Jillian searches for answers, but they don’t come easily. Eventually, she learns about trauma and sensory processing disorder. Although T will always have his challenges, Jillian and her husband become powerful advocates for their child. 

This was an inspirational novel about the power of unconditional love and persistence.

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Dad in a Day Review

Dad in a Day: When My Mom’s Kids Became My Own

By Mason Gizard

This book was short, but good. I have heard Mason speak and I think it’s beautiful that he had a good experience in foster care. His life had a lot of challenges in it, but he is an overcomer. When his mother died, he took in his siblings and his niece. He pushed them to graduate and make something of themselves, even when his sister said she wanted to live off of welfare. He did apartment maintenance, even though he had no experience with it. He talks a lot about how the community at his church helped him raise his siblings and niece. He is inspirational as are the people he talks about. He makes me want to foster, knowing I can have a lifelong impact on a child. He makes me want to help others in difficult situations, like his church members did.

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Chasing Kites Review

Chasing Kites: One Woman’s Unexpected Journey

Through Infertility, Adoption, and Foster Care

By Rachel McCracken

After years of struggling with infertility, Rachel and her husband adopt four older children at the same time from another country! They later adopt three additional children from the U.S. foster care system. This book is a mixture of memoir and advice. This was a fabulous memoir. It was everything I wanted it to be with the truth about emotions and struggles on this journey. Rachel is amazing and she shares such important lessons in this book. Here’s a favorite quote from page 17- “God uses those who choose to be used. It’s as simple as that. I have seen this play out time and time again. Exquisite joy can come from deep grief, but we must first choose to be refined, choose to be used, and choose to look up.”

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Love to Give Book Review

Love to Give

By Denise Johnson

After struggling with years of infertility, Denise’s college roommate offers to have her and her husband, Ron, adopt her baby. The couple are thrilled, especially when they find out they are pregnant themselves. Sadly, it isn’t until years later that they become parents and are faced with tragedy after tragedy.

I really loved this book. I ended up staying up very late two nights in a row to finish it. I had to find out how Ron and Denise’s story ended. I cannot believe that tragedies they had to walk through. The emotions were so real. It truly broke my heart. But the ending of the book is full of beautiful blessings. Life often doesn’t make sense. Some people experience such tragedy, while others don’t. God has a plan for each of us. Denise learned to cling to God and to trust Him, not matter how much her heart broke.

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Veronica’s Bird Blog Tour

Monika Cover 2

Veronica’s Bird

Veronica’s Bird: Thirty-five years inside as a female prison officer  Veronica Bird was one of nine children living in a tiny house in Barnsley with a brutal coal miner for a father. Life was a despairing time in the 1950s, as Veronica sought desperately to keep away from his cruelty. Astonishingly, to her and her mother, she won a scholarship to Ackworth Boarding School where she began to shine above her class-mates. A champion in all sports, Veronica at last found some happiness until her brother-in-law came into her life. It was as if she had stepped from the frying pan into the re: he took over control of her life removing her from the school she adored, two terms before she was due to take her GCEs, so he could put her to work as a cheap option on his market stall. Abused for many years by these two men, Veronica eventually ran away and applied to the Prison Service, knowing it was the only safe place she could trust. This is the astonishing, and true story of Veronica Bird who rose to become a Governor of Armley prison. Given a ‘basket case’ in another prison, contrary to all expectations, she turned it around within a year, to become an example for others to match. During her life inside, her ‘bird’, she met many Home Secretaries, was honoured by the Queen and was asked to help improve conditions in Russian Prisons. A deeply poignant story of eventual triumph against a staggeringly high series of setbacks, her story is lled with humour and compassion for those inside. Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Veronicas-Bird-Thirty-five-inside-officer-ebook/dp/B077NXT42X About the authors: After thirty-five years working for the Prison Service, Veronica Bird is now retired and living in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. She is still an active proponent of the justice system and continues to lecture across the country and is a supporter of Butler Trust, which acknowledges excellence within the prison system. A qualified architect and Swiss-trained hotelier, Richard Newman enjoyed a forty-year career designing and managing hotels worldwide before retiring in 2001. Since then he has gone on to publish a number of novels: The Crown of Martyrdom, The Horse that Screamed, The Potato Eaters, The Green Hill, Brief Encounters and most recently The Sunday Times bestseller, A Nun’s Story. He is currently working on a new novel about retirement and an autobiography of his time in the Middle East. He lives happily with his wife in Wetherby, West Yorkshire where he enjoys being close to his family.

Veronicas Bird Cover

My Review

I love memoirs about interesting people and this book was no exception! I was given this book and am voluntarily reviewing it. Veronica lived a horrific childhood, never seeing any way out of her lot in life. But Veronica was born with tenacity and she starts crawling out of the hole at a young age by getting a scholarship to a boarding school. When Veronica’s selfish brother-in-law pulls her out of school so they can get free labor, Veronica still makes a plan to escape. Eventually, she ends up as a prison guard, knowing that her family member will not be able to get to her behind the bars. Veronica works hard and keeps rising up the ranks and ends up improving the prison system. Veronica is a true inspiration. She was given no advantages in life, yet she worked hard and never gave up. She made her own life for herself. I love the matter-of-fact way she writes about her circumstances without a “feel sorry for me” vibe. I found the stories of prison life fascinating, as they are not usually discussed with the public. It was so interesting to be a part of a world, through reading, that is so different from my own. This is a great read for fans of memoir and autobiography. *Pictures and content provided to me as part of the book tour*

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