Forever Lily - An Unexpected Mother's Journey to Adoption in China
by Beth Nonte Russel
Forever Lily is the story of a woman who travels to China with a friend who is planning to adopt a baby. When they get to China the baby is younger than what the woman expects and she is failing to bond with the baby so she decides she may not want to adopt the baby. Her friend asks the author if she would be willing to adopt the baby. Her friend really distanced herself from the baby. The author, however, finds herself bonding more and more to her and sees herself parenting the child. This feeling is confirmed when she calls home to tell her husband that her friend may not be bringing home the baby and he instanly says that they will adopt her. Although this is a bad situation that finds a happy ending with Russel and her husband adopting Lily, and ultimately a second daughter from China, it's not much of a feel good book. The author recalls long dream sequences where she sees herself as a Chinese woman from centuries ago who was the mother of this baby in another life. The dream sequences are distracting and not believable. We didn't really care for how she portrayed China, its culture and its people in general. Also, we had a hard time sympathizing with the woman who changed her mind. With all that we have gone through to prepare for our adoption we find her cavalier attitude towards the baby, and adoption itself, unsettling. Of course, nobody would want a woman to parent a child she didn't feel she could. However, we feel she took the seriousness of adoption too lightly.