Forever Lily: An Unexpected Mother's Journey to Adoption in China
Forever Lily An Unexpected Mother's Journey to Adoption in China Author:Beth Nonte Russell
"Will you take her?" she asks.
When Beth Nonte Russell travels to China to help her friend Alex adopt a baby girl from an orphanage there, she thinks it will be an adventure, a chance to see the world. But her friend, who had prepared for the adoption for many months, panics soon after being presented with the frail baby, and the... more » situation develops into one of the greatest challenges of Russell's life.Russell, watching in disbelief as Alex distances herself from the child, cares for the baby -- clothing, bathing, and feeding her -- and makes her feel secure in the unfamiliar surroundings. Russell is overwhelmed and disoriented by the unfolding drama and all that she sees in China, and yet amid the emotional turmoil finds herself deeply bonding with the child. She begins to have dreams of an ancient past -- dreams of a young woman who is plucked from the countryside and chosen to be empress, and of the child who is ultimately taken from her. As it becomes clear that her friend -- whose indecisiveness about the adoption has become a torment -- won't be bringing the baby home, Russell is amazed to realize that she cannot leave the baby behind and that her dreams have been telling her something significant, giving her the courage to open her heart and bring the child home against all odds.Steeped in Chinese culture, Forever Lily is an extraordinary account of a life-changing, wholly unexpected love.« less
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Forever Lily...well this was a different one. A woman accompanied a friend, and "friend" is worded loosely, so right there begins the strangeness of this whole experience, to China to pick up a baby. Now, think about this: a couple is adopting a child from China and the "mother" brings along a friend? Where is her husband?? And these two women were more acquaintances than friends.
Of course, the author ends up with this baby, and therein lies the story. From the plane ride over, the adopting woman has doubts that actually seem to turn into repugnance when she sees the little girl. She's small, younger than promised, and is not pretty. Of course, as she rejects the baby, the author and the infant are bonding. So there is the story...
But, interspersed with the tale of the adoption, are dreams of a past life in Imperial China. So, if you are open to the reincarnation theme, you will see and enjoy how the workings of the Universe came together to fit all the scattered pieces together to bring this child and woman together again after so many eons. If you don't like this stuff, you probably won't like the book.
It reminded me a tad of Expecting Adam, with that past life connection and odd dreams. And in the beginning, I almost quit the book because of the dreams. NO ONE dreams in such pat, linear storylines. I felt they were no more than made up passages to move the book along. But she explains, they were fragments that she wrote down, pieced together, to make a sensible story. She realized that fragmented snippets would have turned off a reader far more than the completed scenes she wrote. Once I realized the truth in that myself early on, I really enjoyed the book.
Besides the adoption story, there is plenty of China, itself, to flavor the story. The visit to the orphanage is an sad eye-opener. I recommend this little book, for sure.
Lisa M. reviewed Forever Lily: An Unexpected Mother's Journey to Adoption in China on
Helpful Score: 10
I have adopted from China, and this book was recommended to me. It left me really wanting for more information & wishing I hadn't wasted my money or time. Let me spare you 2 days: The author accompanies an acquaintance to China to adopt a child, the acquaintance (who has emotional problems, obviously) decides she doesn't want the baby. The author ends up adopting her. Alot of the book is spent on the authors own emotional issues, and a weird reincarnation dream theme. Big yuck in my opinion. If you want to read some really good adoption stories, try The Lost Daughters of China and some of the others. I kept thinking this was going to get better, but it didn't. If you're into reincarnation, however, you might like it.
I absolutely loved this book! My cousin and his wife are preparing to adopt their second daughter from China so the story of Lily hit very close to home. From their accounts, the author painted a clear and very real picture of the current adoption situation in China. I had a hard time believing that the author had such vivid, elaborate dreams and would have enjoyed more details about the trip. Overall a very touching story.
This book wasn't what I expected. I enjoyed reading about the process of an adoption in China. However, I found the author's friend to be so incredibly annoying, that it frustrated me. The book is laced with the author's dreams throughout her experience. Halfway through the book, I started skipping the dreams parts. I just wanted to hear about a "Journey to Adoption in China", like the title says, rather than read about dreams, seemingly from another life. It was ok, but not one of my favorite books.
I enjoyed this book and the story of Lily's adoption, but quite frankly I thought both the women were a little weird. How could you go through all the hoops to adopt a child in China and then get there only to change your mind? The author included dream sequences in the book and while these were interesting, I found it a little different that she believed these were memories from a past life. But hey, who am I to say right? I was also very touched by the conditions the author wrote about in the orphanages which will haunt my thoughts.
I was drawn to this book because I am interested in China, having been there many times, and also because we have many adopted children in my family.
The author did an beautiful job describing each of her daily experiences during her journey in China. Her experiences create some suspense that leads up to the adoption. Her observations about what she sees in China were detailed and interesting, almost like being there with her.
The author's description of the orphanage was heartbreaking. I was impressed with her point of view and tender emotions. She felt so strongly about the children she met, "for those left behind." She maintained a fair amount of cool and patience with her friend, who was really there for an adoption.
Since writing this book, the author has done amazing work through the Golden Phoenix Foundation.