The journey to parenthood and even into parenting can be a difficult road. You may be left feeling defeated, unworthy, unfit or just plain stressed. In this uplifting book by adoptive mothers Rachel Garlinghouse and Madeleine Melcher, a weekly devotional and short story provide you with an encouraging example of how to think on the bright side.
The book is designed to be a quick and easy read, but with thought-provoking samples and questions in each short chapter. You can chose to read straight through or select topics that you may feel drawn to based on your situation that day or week. With topics like Acceptance, Contentment, Courage, Doubt, Forgiveness, Heartache, Joy, Loss, Reassurance, Struggle, Uncertainty, and Worry, there are many emotions we all feel that are covered in the book.
In this Christian faith-driven book, each chapter begins with a scripture that correlates with the given topic. Either Rachel or Madeleine share a personal story and offer tips of encouragement before finishing the chapter with several questions designed to get you thinking about how you can improve the situation you find yourself faced with. The book provides plenty of blank pages for journaling your answers, or the questions can be great conversation starters for you and your partner. The questions opened me up to reflection and were my favorite part of the book.
As an example, in the chapter titled Cheerfulness, the questions listed are:
What challenges are you facing today that are leading you to accept a crushed spirit rather than cheerfulness?
What practical steps can you take to help you choose cheerfulness?
What things and people bring you joy?
It is easy for most of us to dwell in the bad and forget to see the good. By forcing ourselves to think about positives in our life and what brings us happiness, we can move in the right direction and find joy in the midst of our pain. Every chapter took me back to the time we were waiting to become parents. It reminded me of a situation I had experienced, and I found myself reflecting on pain I didn’t even know still existed. I wish this book had been around during my path to adoption, but it can help me today in parenting and other life endeavors. With eleven years between my first son and my second son, the roller coaster of emotions took its toll. If you find yourself having a hard time with your wait, this book could be the answer to bringing you peace of mind, clarity to the situation, and the ability to refocus your energy.
The authors of graciously provide their own personal connection to adoption with introductions, tips on how to use the book, and well-written accounts of relatable stories in each devotional. You may find yourself eager to move to the next chapter—or find that you want to take time to reflect on specific topics. Either way, this book is sure to open your eyes and your heart to experience a more positive outlook to your adoption journey.
Rachel Garlinghouse and Madeleine Melcher (adoptee) are the authors of Encouragement for the Adoption & Parenting Journey. They are both book authors, mothers through adoption, freelance writers, and women of faith. The authors’ education and experiences have been shared on MSNBC, NPR, Portrait of Adoption, Huffington Post Live, Adoption Talk Linkup and many, many more. Together, Garlinghouse and Melcher help their audience find encouragement on their adoption and parenting journey in a very real and relatable way. Find Rachel at www.whitesugarbrownsugar.com and Madeleine atwww.ourjourneytoyouadoption.