When Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer offered up the opportunity to take part in a blog tour for this book, I initially resisted. But then I decided to read it, if only because I am curious.
You see, I am adopted. My adoption happened so long ago, Jesus and I were in school together with stone tablets. I was adopted back in the era of everything being closed, and to this day, I know nothing. I wish I did, but not enough to ardently pursue it. Some things are best left unknown.
In the case of Russell Elkins, he and his wife adopted a young son (and later a daughter) through an open adoption. They not only got to know their son's birth mother, they also housed her, fed her, nurtured her, and provided her with unconditional support. They knew throughout that the birth mother could change her mind, but Russell and Jammie remained committed. Their faith helped guide them, and today they have two healthy, happy children.
Russell details the agonizing process of open adoption, providing unvarnished commentary on the challenges he and Jammie faced. You find yourself, even as you know that Russell and Jammie eventually were blessed with baby Ira, rooting for them, hoping that they get their baby. They face heartache, uncertainty and anguish. Yet they never give up. Their ongoing relationship with the birth mother appears strong and stable. It's as positive a situation as you will find.
If you are curious about the open adoption process, this is the book for you. Russell takes you through every step that he and Jammie endured, and along the way you come to care deeply for them and their family. I admit that I occasionally had a "this is too good to be true" sense about it all, but I'm glad for a positive representation of adoption to be presented.
Before we get to the giveaway, let's get to know Russell a little better. I asked Russell to discuss a few Top Tens, so here are some of his:
Top Ten All-Time Favorite Books
I won't pick more than one from any one author, not really in order:
10 Arson series- by Estevan Vega
9 Hunger Games series- Suzanne Collins
8 Moneyball- by Michael Lewis
7 The Firm- by John Grisham
6 Odd Thomas series- by Dean Koontz
5 Duma Key- Stephen King
4 Harry Potter series- by JK Rowling
3 A Walk to Remember (the book, not the movie)- by Nicholas Sparks
2 Angela's Ashes- by Frank McCourt
1 The Hairy Woman- by my brother when he was 7 years old
Top Ten Things that Make Me Unique
10 I was a pitcher for my HS varsity team
9 When I turned 30, I had lived in more than 30 apartments and houses
8 I've lived in 7 different states and 2 countries
7 I would rather it be 110 degrees outside than 10 degrees
6 I can throw a frisbee 500 feet
5 I have more than 50 cousins
4 I'm proud to be bald
3 I play in a band with 2 of my brothers
2 As well as being a writer, I'm also a small business owner
1 I speak 3 languages
Top Ten Things on Your Bucket List
10 Start my own publishing company
9 Become debt free
8 Visit every state in the union (I've been to 35)
7 Perform with my band in front of 5,000 plus people (most I've done is about 2,000)
6 Coach little league
5 Go on a service mission for my church (doesn't matter where)
4 See a ballgame in every major league baseball park (I'm halfway there)
3 Become fluent in ASL (I'm halfway there)
2 Go to Europe (Spain especially)
1 Go with the NFP group Brite Blue Foundation to Guatemala for service
Open Adoption, Open Heart
The world of adoption has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. No longer do biological parents have to say goodbye to their child forever. They now have more options when deciding the type of adoption to pursue, such as open adoption. Open adoption creates the opportunity for a special relationship between biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.
Open Adoption, Open Heart is an inspiring and true story, which takes the reader deeper into the feelings and emotions experienced by adoptive parents. As you read this incredible story, you will experience the joys, difficulties, and amazing victories facing adoptive couples. Russell and his wife, Jammie, invite you to share in their inspiring and heartwarming journey.
From the Author: While my book's primary audience was thought to be those hoping to adopt, close to half of the books I've sold are simply people who want to read about our story and how adoption is different now than it used to be- and they have not adopted nor do they plan to adopt.
About the Author:
Russell Elkins was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family movedaway from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.
Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when they decided to adopt.
Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption. Russell also writes a weekly post for Adoption.com and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash from Author Russell Elkins
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Blog Tour Schedule: http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/10/open-heart-open-adoption-blog-tour.html