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Waiting The HB Hardcover – 1 May 2014
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When author LaGrow heard her grandmother Minka's story of her first daughter--conceived as a result of rape nearly 80 years earlier, when her grandmother was 16; born in secret; and then placed for adoption--she could hardly imagine that it was all true. Yet the adoption file contained indisputable evidence: decades worth of Minka's letters asking for news of this baby she had named Betty Jane. Unbelievably, that same baby, now also a grandmother and named Ruth, was seeking her biological mother and had obtained the previously sealed adoption record. Through many cross-country meeting between the women and their families, LaGrow came to know the stories of both women's lives through the decades during which they had been separated and their ultimate and utter joy when reunited. While the presence of some historical details distracts from the rhythm of the story, LaGrow tells Minka's story with candor that makes the characters come alive. It is a stunning story of forgiveness, faithfulness, and persistent hope.--Publishers Weekly
"The Waiting" offers up the poignant and true story of a lost child and a mother who never gave up searching for her, and gathers decades of secret letters from a mother reflecting her perpetual agony wondering how her daughter is doing in life. As her reflection turns to an all-out search, readers follow her progress, begun when she was raped by a stranger in the woods and following her search for God's insights along the way. The result is a title that blends biography with spiritual reflection and a vivid, true search that readers will find engrossing.--Midwest Book Review
From the Inside Flap
Decades of secret letters from a mother longing for her daughter . . .1929: I sure hated to give her up. But I know it was for the best. I miss her so every night . . .1933: I would like to know how my big baby girl is getting along. . . . Sometimes the hills are hard to climb, and if I could only hear of her once in awhile it means so much.1939: Bless her little heart, I hope she shall be happy always. . . . I would so appreciate just a line or two about her.1944: I'm wondering how my little Betty is. I know I should be very proud of her now. She must be a young lady, nearly sixteen. I think of her so often. . . .1945: Betty Jane will be seventeen yrs old . . . it hardly seems possible . . . please write me if you've any news . . . she is at such a tender age now.1947: Please write me if you have word . . . will make my Xmas happier just to know she is fine and happy. . . .See all Product description
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The story is extremely well written and the detail contained seems almost unbelievable for a biography about events that began 100 years ago. However, there is a section at the end of the book where I expected to read that poetic licence had been taken in places, instead the section explains how the details have been researched and checked for accuracy! The author is one of the grandchildren of the mother and everything has been checked....Knowing this and the commitment and dedication that were involved in writing and publishing this story makes it even more interesting.
Although the story has a relatively happy ending I couldn't help feeling a burden of sadness for the decades of lost years especially as the mother mourned for so long and said that she thought of her daughter every day. Those at the adoption agency were surprised to be persistently contacted for years after the adoption had already taken place as most mothers simply moved on. I don't know whether anyone involved would have chosen to do things differently if they had a chance to do it all over again.
From a Christian perspective the book is clean and free of bad language or violent content. The rape is described but not in graphic detail. The Christian faith of those involved is alluded to and many of the people are involved in Christian ministry/leadership. However, the Gospel isn't clearly presented within the book. God and prayer are referenced at times and it is my hope that this family had a personal saving faith in Jesus.
I would recommend this book to adult readers.
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