by P. R. Newton
ISBN: 9780992023294 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780992023270 (ebook)
ASIN: B00IP2A6B8 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: March 5, 2014
Publisher: PRN Publishing
Bethlehem took her first breath as her mother took her last.
Left to survive in overcrowded orphanages, she developed survival skills rivaling a warrior, a fierce, independent fighter before she could walk or talk. Bethlehem lived by two rules: everyone leaves and trust no one.
A world away in Canada, Tory Witcraft and her husband are trying to adopt from Ethiopia. When the adoption agency goes bankrupt, Tory's dreams of becoming a mother are threatened. Against the advice of many, including officials threatening to revoke the adoption, she goes to Ethiopia, and her new daughter, Bethlehem.
When they finally meet, mother and daughter struggle to connect, both tormented by their own fears and demons. Emotions and tempers run hot. Hearts and dreams collide, shattering the new family.
The adoption journey was difficult, but no one expected the hardest part of the journey would start after they met.
An emotional and heart-wrenching glimpse into adoption and the devastating impact of childhood trauma.
Bethlehem has been a fighter since her birth. She fought to be born. She fought for survival and to overcome the demons of hunger and apathy. She has learned that everyone she comes to care for and rely upon leaves. Tory has also had to struggle in her life. Granted she hasn't had to deal with the issues facing little Bethlehem, but she's had to deal with a highly dysfunctional family life. Her father was an abusive alcoholic and her mother was an enabler that put more emphasis on the appearance of a normal family life than she did providing a normal family life for her children. As an adult Tory has been welcomed into her husband's family and sees what a loving, caring family is and can be. Now that she and Matt have decided on adoption to fulfill their dreams of children, she is looking forward to providing a loving home to a child in need. Tory and Matt have to learn to wait, and then wait a little longer. The application process is tedious and time-consuming. Just when Tory and Matt think they've dealt with the last hurdle to receiving their child, they are informed that the agency brokering their adoption has gone bankrupt. Fearful that their daughter may be left in limbo, they rush to Ethiopia to bring their daughter home. But this journey to bring their daughter home doesn't have the happy-ever-after ending they had dreamed about.
Tory is anxious about being a good mother and she feels she isn't bonding properly with Bethlehem. It doesn't help that she didn't really have a good example of how to parent from her parents. Bringing their adopted daughter home seems to be the start of more problems than either Matt or Tory could have imagined. Is Tory a horrible mother? Is Bethlehem a problem child that her mother had warned her about?
Ms. Newton provides a powerful, gut-wrenching and heart-warming story of the problems fraught with foreign adoption. Is it possible to really now the troubles these children have endured in their young lives? Is it possible for adoptive families to mitigate against the stress and trauma experienced in young children? At first I thought that Tory was more in love with the dream of adopting than the reality, but I quickly realized that she simply didn't know about aftereffects of the trauma and stress that she would have to deal with in a child so young. We often hear such warming stories about adoption and one is lead to believe that there are never any problems. It is only in the past few years that we've heard more stories about the horrors these children have had to deal with, and not only children in so-called third-world countries. Adoption, foreign or domestic, can be beautiful and provide much needed, loving homes for children. However, even the most loving of parents needs to be aware of the trauma they may need to deal with in their adoptive child. Shattered Embrace sheds a spotlight on this powerful need in a manner that is just as emotional as the trauma endured by both Tory and Bethlehem. If you enjoy reading stories to warm your heart and tug at your emotions while remaining realistic and hopeful, then Shattered Embrace is one story you'll want to read.
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