Saturday, December 22, 2007

Smarty Sunday Book Recommendation: Forever Lily, by Beth Nonte Russell


Here is a book about adoption that might bring mixed feelings from its readers. Forever Lily tells the autobiographical story of Beth, a woman who is in a place in life where she is not expecting to have any more children. She's a married professional who has helped raise her husband's children from his first marriage, and has always known that her husband wasn't eager to start raising children all over again.
Then a friend, Alex, tells Beth that she and her husband are planning to adopt a baby girl from China. Alex asks Beth to travel to China with her to retrieve the baby, as her own husband is going to stay home with their son. Of course Beth is surprised by this request, but how could she turn down the chance?
However, in China, things start to go awry. While the other adoptive parents are basking in the reality that they finally have their babies in their arms, Alex realizes that she doesn't really want the baby she's adopting. She begins to withdraw, leaving Beth to do most of the caring for the baby for the remainder of their time in China. When Alex announces that she definitely does not want to bring the baby home, Beth is determined to find a way to save the child she has already grown to love.
Recently I have been reading blog entries about people's feelings about parents, both birth or adoptive, who give up their children after already having raised the children for a while. Whether it is a birth parent who decides she can no longer raise her three-year-old, or an adoptive parent who wants to "return" his eight-year-old, these situations never fail to bring a lot of strong feelings to everyone involved and everyone who hears about them. But this situation... a parent going through the process of trying to adopt, and traveling across seas to pick up a child, only to change their mind about adoption... is probably very rare!
Think about this... many birth mothers hold their babies in their arms and spend at least a little time with them, before making the painful decision to let someone else be the child's parents. Is that situation different from this one, where the adoptive parent held the baby in her arms and then decided not to take her after all? Could you imagine a situation in which you would change your mind about adopting an infant you'd already met? How would you feel if a friend or relative traveled to China to adopt a baby, and then chose to come home alone instead?
This extremely unique story is one you must read! Rush directly to your library, get it, and then tell me what you think!

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