"Something amazing happens in your spirit when you see God as your Father."
Noting that the original Greek meaning of “orphan” was a child without a father, author Howe expresses her concerns and considerations in this fact-based, often poignant collection. Statistically, she notes, adoptions are on the wane even as the numbers of unplanned pregnancies would indicate that the situation for unwed mothers has not changed greatly. Since God, the heavenly Father, created humankind from the first father and mother, it is clear to Howe that children are supposed to have a reliable father figure.
The author’s stories are well-told, moving, and inspiring. For example, her opening account tells of a baby girl whose adoptive parents knew that her birth family had an active interest in music. So from her earliest hours, the infant was treated to music around the clock. The girl’s first musical efforts were heard when she was less than a year old, and by the time she reached middle school, she could play several musical instruments. This story illustrates how crucial the empathy of adoptive parents can be. Another couple adopted four children, one every two years. Their eldest son readily states that “adoption is a good thing.”
Far from being limited in scope, Howe’s assemblage includes stories of adoption across racial and ethnic lines and the adoption of a single child or several, including her own family’s experience with adoption. She presents recollections from grateful adopted sons and daughters and from proud adoptive parents. In almost every case, adopted children are told from an early age about the existence of their birth parents, and all questions arising from those revelations are readily answered. Fathers are extolled for teaching toughness and skills such as driving, building a fire, and cutting down a tree. Adoption, Howe believes, is something a prospective parent receives as a God-given opportunity.
Howe’s background in adoption gives her work added legitimacy. She has gained her grasp of this sensitive subject via several significant channels. As a counselor for the Loving Alternative Adoption Agency in Tyler, Texas, she advises women who are pregnant and unmarried, guiding them toward a decision-making process that incorporates Christian values. She has also written other works on this same topic, always looking toward the special family challenges and potential blessings of those she has observed and advised. It is her strong conviction that having a present, practical, and loving father is a necessary component for all children. This means that when an unmarried woman is faced with an unplanned pregnancy in which the father has no interest in sharing, a man and woman should be sought who attest to their determination to raise the child together in the appropriate, differing, but loving roles of each.
Into Howe’s wide range of narratives are woven relevant quotations from the Holy Bible and other source materials. Her work concludes with a segment entitled “The Cry of a Father’s Heart…” in which numerous key statements are set forth for a child, each supported by scriptural references. Howe’s astute insights, garnered from a wealth of personal and professional experience, are clearly set forth to inspire hope in those single mothers who find themselves in the highly difficult straits of seeking the best future for a newborn child and those married couples who would wish to become the dedicated parents to such an infant. Her engaging and well-written work should prove to be an inspiration to many who are contemplating adoption and also serve as affirmation for those currently engaged in the process.
- Barbara Bamberger Scott, US Review of Books