I’ve had fun in November! I was challenged to share honestly, and with openness in a way that still reflects the miraculous blessings of adoption. Oftentimes when I hear people speak of adoption from an outsiders’ perspective, it often presents as a little more romantic than real. Personally, our family has often felt on display, swooned over by well-meaning admirers, glorifying our decision to adopt almost as if WE were our children’s Savior.  I’ve been told over and again what ‘special’ people we are to have adopted – especially since we already had children of our ‘own’. Or, that it takes a ‘special’ kind of person to adopt. Coincidentally, I’ve also had people chide us for adopting – especially because we already had children of our ‘own’. Not many, but more than one. I suppose these people think we’re ‘special’, too.

But the truth is, this thing that can easily become so romanticized, so celebrated, finds its existence out of loss. Adoption is born out of living in a sinful, fallen world, where disease, death, poor judgment and suppressive governments separate children from their birth parents. Loss creates brokenness. Yet somehow, out of the loss – out of the ash – adoption is created and healing comes.

While I was able to share most of what I wanted in November, I couldn’t write fast enough (I still labor over my blog posts, you know!) to include ministries that address the loss side of adoption. Organizations that exist to not only support adoption, but also work to eradicate the conditions causing children to be orphaned in the first place.

I have a neat interview with Karen Bowman (who also shared earlier this month) about a ministry her family began after bringing home their daughter from Ethiopia. I will share it later this month.

And now…. For the book give away! Yeah for shameless bribes to get my readers commenting!! Truly, I loved all your feedback, plugs and mostly, your transparent sharing. If there was one thing I took away from this month of adoption blogging, it was the desperate need for adoptive parents to stay connected, open, available and honest with one another. Be willing to call a spade a spade. Walk the valleys and the mountaintops together; without judgment or silent condemnation (do you remember the woman who put her adopted Russian son back on a plane to Russia? She made the wrong choice. But, I don’t judge her or call her heinous for her actions… not at all).

Wait – back to the drawing! As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, both books are memoirs written by fellow Redbud writers. Both authors, though telling very different stories, ultimately share of God’s sweet intimate love illustrated through an adoption story.

So… without further adieu:

Winner of Love you More by Jennifer Grant: Dana Ball

Winner of The Girl in the Orange Dress by Margot Starbuck: Lelia Rose Foreman

As a funny side note, my mom, Carolyn Monke, was the first name drawn (official drawing done by two eldest Team Dragovich boys) – winning a copy of Love You More. However, since I felt awkward about a family member winning (such a close one, at that!) I had to draw again; but will be sending my mom a copy of Love You More, also : ) Love you Mom!

Congrats, ladies! Look for a direct email from me soon!

Obviously, just because National Adoption Awareness Month is officially over, doesn’t mean I’m done speaking about adoption for the next 11 months! How could I? Adoption has and continues to transform my life. Everything I see or experience, I tend to view through the lens of adoption.

Grace and Peace to you this advent and Christmas season! I look forward to spending it in bloggy-land with you!