Love You More
|Media Type||Paperback, Kindle|
Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter is a memoir by newspaper columnist and blogger Jennifer Grant, in which she tells her family’s story of adopting her fourth child, Mia, from Guatemala. The book is not an advice or how-to book, but a memoir in which the author chronicles the joys and struggles of her particular adoption process. However, it does include tips for parents considering adoption, and the author’s personal story is used to illustrate various issues connected with international adoption.
The book begins with an introduction titled “A Conspicuous Family” in which the author writes about the sometimes-unthinking questions and comments strangers make seeing her daughter, a child of color, with her white siblings, and how the author handled these encounters. Following this introduction, the body of the book is divided into three sections, each containing five chapters.
Section 1: Starting the Journey
Starting the Journey tells how the author and her husband began their family, giving birth to three children in three and half years. The first chapter, “Mowing the Lawn in the Dark,” is so titled because the author and her husband would sometimes end up doing chores like lawn maintenance after dark—a metaphor for their overly busy suburban life with kids. This section ends with the author’s account of what she identifies as a “whisper from God” telling her she would add a child to her family via adoption.
Section 2: Waiting for Mia
In this section, the author also writes about various issues surrounding adoption: why adopt internationally? The second chapter in this section is titled “Adoption: A Crime, a Necessary Evil, or a Miracle?” The author is obviously in favor of adoption but carefully explores the arguments against it and agrees that it is sometimes tainted by corruption or bureaucratic red tape. She writes about how she and her husband investigated the adoption agency they used to be sure the adoption was ethical. The author interweaves discussion of these issues with her own story, including a description of a trip her husband and she take to visit their daughter in Guatemala prior to the adoption. The section ends with the story of Mia’s homecoming from Guatemala to the suburbs of Chicago.
Section 3: Learning to Know
The final section of the book describes the adjustment (her own, her husband’s, her children’s) of adding Mia to their family. She asserts that just as the wedding is only the beginning of a marriage, adopting a child is just the start of building a family. She shares candid conversation with her daughter about her birthmother, and admits to “post-adoption blues” that many women experience. The author also provides advice on helping adopted children transition, including creating a “lifebook” or scrapbook that tells their story. The book ends with three appendices: Tips for Prospective Parents, Discussion Questions, and Resources.
About the Author
Jennifer Grant is a journalist who writes about parenting, family life, and popular culture. A founding member of Redbud Writers Guild, she also writes for the Chicago Tribune and is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s women’s blog, as well as other websites and blogs.