Why I Wrote “Until We All Come Home”

The most common question I am asked nowadays is “Why did you adopt?” The second most common question I’m asked, especially if the person asking knows anything about our adoption journey is “Why are you writing a book about your adoption?” Today, I’m tackling the second question…why did I write “Until We All Come Home?”

Our adoption journey has been described by a fellow writer and friend as “a terribly, beautiful story of love for a child.” The beautiful part is understandable. A family gained another member. A child gained a family that adores him. Adoption can be a beautiful thing. The terrible part comes along with our journey to get our son home. Perhaps the one sentence description I used to describe my book to agents and editors says it best: “Our adoption journey was like “Not Without My Daughter” meets “The Hunt for Red October” and “The Hiding Place.””

I was simply trying to get the son we had just adopted, home to America. There are still serious post-Soviet overtones throughout my son’s homeland of Ukraine and nothing there is simple. It was only through my faith in God’s heart for the orphan that we were finally triumphant, almost one year later. During that time, I learned Russian, I tried to keep a low profile and most of the time, I lived in Ukraine without my husband and daughter. For perhaps the first time in my life, God became my everything.

Jake (Sasha) watching life happen outside the orphanage

 

Ukraine is where many dear friends live, it is my second home and the birthplace of my son, so there is no revenge theme here. We were made a solid offer for the rights to publish our story, but profits from the book go to a favorite non-profit of ours, Food for Orphans, so it wasn’t for the money. And since I had posted our adoption journey on Facebook, our story wasn’t a secret. Our journey even attracted a casting director from the Oprah Winfrey Network, so our story was already in the public eye. Later, I was interviewed for a nationwide NPR show. That interview is still online and part of an iTunes podcast — so again, no secrets here. But to re-live it all again? I would have to have help. I could barely function, let alone construct sentences. So not only the ‘why’ but the ‘how’ became a question. So then, why did I choose to tell our story? Wouldn’t it had been better buried deep?

Group #4 Izmail Baby Home 2009

When we finally arrived home on Sunday, April 25, 2010, I was numb. I had lost over 40 pounds. I could no longer cry. I was hearing things that weren’t there. I could hardly talk. Yet through all my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and the relief of being back on American soil, there was one thing I was sure of — I was to tell the story of my Deliverer. At times it was if I could feel God’s hand on my back, gently leading me forward through the publishing maze. When I wanted to give up, and believe me, there were many times during my publishing journey I wanted to do just that, He led me forward. My time in Ukraine had attuned me to His voice. I no longer questioned, I simply followed.

Since being home, I have heard the ‘confessions’ of those touched by our journey. One couple has started attending church again. Other friends, who claim no knowledge of Jesus Christ, have confessed they have started to investigate Him again. God works in mysterious ways. If the often painful re-telling of our story leads someone one step further towards heaven, then it is a journey I’m willing and happy to make.

Make no mistake, I am NOT a saint. Only God knows my imperfections better than I do. Many are revealed in my book. But, if God can use me, in spite of myself, I am His. I have nothing to boast about except Him. And I can talk about Him, all day long.

So there it is — the answer — I wrote a book about our adoption journey to show you my God in action. To bring attention to the orphaned children of the world He loves so dearly is a bonus. To raise funding to feed them, an honor.

Soli deo gloria.

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