Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Book Review {Daddy, Come & Get Me}

Several months ago, I connected via the wide, wide world of F@cebook, with another adoptive parent, this time a dad. Since I am not a dad, but I am married to one, I am always intrigued by another dad's point of view on all things parenting. Especially adoption parenting. Mostly cuz it's still kind of new to The Boss and I. In our various interactions on FB, we'd had some good conversations. As a result, I was further intrigued to know that this adoptive dad is also an author. How cool is that? An author.

For those of you counting, and that know my weird tendency toward obsessions and crushes, that makes four real life authors that I have "met" via the big world of adoption.

Ooooooh, I'm giddy thinking that out loud.

You'll remember a long, long while back, this gal stopped by my blog a couple times and commented on my travel posts while we were in China for Li'l Empress.  I was tickled to death.

This gal and I have "bonded" over our desire to see EVERY child find a forever home. If you aren't reading her blog, really, you should be. I am regularly amazed at the selfish and consumer-minded patterns in which I indulge in my own life when I read her thoughts.

And then, more recently, this lovely lady became a "real life" friend and huge supporter of our adoption journey to Brynna Rose.

So having this guy in my circle of adoption-minded friends was an added bonus. I feel so well-rounded in the assortment of authorship represented here. I'm so tickled to say that I know FOUR real, live, published authors. I know, I know. It's a strange little tic I have. Just keep reading and ignore my crazed fan-groupie behavior. Please. I'll be okay in a minute.

So this book. The point of this review. Yeah. I'm on it.

Daddy, Come & Get Me by Gil Michelini is billed as "a dad's adventure through Guatemalan adoption." And it's really worth your time. It's worth purchasing for the adoptive dads in your life. No matter the country, no matter the journey, Mr. Michelini writes his story in a real and vulnerable manner that completely grabbed my attention and held it, in the midst of some of the hardest days I've experienced in a very long time. It often feels like peeking into his personal journal in its conversational tone and heart-felt pleas for God's interventions and answers.

I happened to pick up the book as a diversion that would also be productive, since I'd promised months ago to do a review for Mr. Michelini. I needed the diversion that particular week because we were running full steam ahead with this online yard sale project and I was beat. Weary to the bone.

About three or four chapters in to my reading of this story, The Boss informed me after dinner one night that his employment circumstances would be changing and that our lives were thus also changing in many, many ways. I admit, for the first 48 hours after The Boss's news, I was angry. I felt truthfully angrier than I had felt in a long, long time. I felt defeated. I kind of shut down and said not much of anything during those first two days. But I read. I holed up on the couch with my fleece blanket and read this book. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that this book became very, very personal for me.

The Michelini family feels like every-American-family. They had some cute kids, an active faith, and a fairly typical suburban life-style. They were plugged in to their community, to their church, and were doin' okay. But they weren't typical for long. Mr. Michelini's story of how diving in to the journey to finding their daughter and building their home as God called them to do was just what I needed at the very moments that I was reading it. He is searingly honest (in my opinion) and doesn't spare himself at all in his self-doubt or his steps of faith toward the daughter in his dreams. His vulnerability and soul searching connected with me. Pulled me in to his story and gave me a bird's eye view of the big picture. And not just of what he was recounting in his story. It made me look at our own story. From the big picture view.

There were many similarities between Mr. Michelini's trek to his daughter and my own life. He faced unemployment, failed referrals, agency hiccups, in-country stresses, uncertainty in the process, documentation problems, all of it. All the "stuff" that most adoptions, no matter where they are heading, face at one time or another. The thing that came through loudest and strongest for me was his focus on his mission: he had a daughter in Guatemala. God revealed it to him in a dream. God confirmed it to him and he was pushing on toward that goal, often in spite of great opposition. That resonated with me, given what we have recently been experiencing. I pored over the details that God wove into their story. Mr. Michelini's belief in that dream for his family came through loud and clear and he testifies to each detail as glory to God and His Master plan for them all. My faith was encouraged and built up with each event that pointed him to give glory to God.

I highly recommend this book to any adoptive parent. There are things in the story that ALL adoptive parents can connect with. But if you have an adoptive dad that wants to know that he is not alone, that God is in the details, and that those details MATTER in the big picture of our lives, then this book is a must. From where I'm sitting, several week out now from news that rocked my world for a couple days, I can hold this book up as just one more detail that God is using to weave OUR story for His glory and our good.

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