We've had our first little heat wave here in Central Washington state, and I've spent every minute possible outside in a lawn chair with this splendid book propped up in my hands.
The author has such a tender heart. I'm thankful for the opportunity she gave me to read and review an advanced copy. I most often review books for publishers but this came straight from the home of the beautiful inside and out Kelly McCorkle Parkison herself, with a hand written note. That made it so much more special.
What a story! For those of us who can relate to an international adoption journey this book is witness to the trials, tribulations, joys, and triumph of the entire messy thing. Those of you interested in adoption and orphan care and just starting out or not yet begun, you will be riveted! I promise.
Anyone helping to bring up the plight of children around the world without hope of ever belonging to a family deserves to be heard. Kelly McCorkle Parkison has highlighted these children and God's heart for them in this most excellent story of her family's own adoption of an Indian "untouchable".
Kelly graciously and honestly opens up and shares her struggles and feelings, prayers, and God's answers to her in her telling of the adoption that really began for her, on a reality TV show. Really! A mission trip sealed the deal. A former Miss South Carolina and a true southern Belle, and now a pastor's wife. Mrs. Parkison bares her true self and you'll be glad she did.
Adoption is a hard, and terrible and wonderful thing. I particularly enjoyed the honestly in the telling of her readiness to adopt before her husband. This is often the case, and I myself could have learned a thing or two from reading this book when we were going through our first adoptions. Oh the angst! Adoption is SO beautiful and painful. It brings to the surface all of the ugliness and the beauty in our hearts. God uses the process in so many ways to refine so many things in us. I love that about Him! Kelly and her husband Scott certainly had a wild ride, and it makes for a great story- but that's not the end at all. You see the book is a way to raise funds for an orphanage in India where their gorgeous little girl is from. Their ministry LOFT 218 is certainly worth checking out folks. Think Gospel, Generosity, and Going on behalf of orphans, widows, the sex-trafficked and not only in India but also here in the USA. When you buy this book you are partnering with them to shelter the least of these that our Father loves so much.
He Knows Her Name is sprinkled with photos which I love, being a visual type. It's full of faith, and real struggles with heart issues, obedience to the Lord, financial struggles and fundraising; in short, the nuts and bolts of a complicated adoption from a foreign country. Kelly addresses the honest questions people have about adoption, especially internationally versus domestic. We have done both and believe all children left orphans are deserving of being rescued regardless of where they reside. We can't pigeon hole God, He calls us each by name to individual missions. It's always so amazing to see in hindsight how He orchestrates things in advance in ways that could only be Him. He gets glory and we get guts! The story Kelly tells us certainly gives God the glory and proves she has guts. Bravery results in some seemingly impossible feats when it's mixed with faith and obedience...because as the title of this book implies- God already knows. If He calls us to something or someone, He will perform it. Over and over again in this book I was reminded of that..
I love how Kelly writes, and I love how she gives us the highlights of every important bit of this love story. And it is a love story, reflective of God's and ours, make no mistake. But it's real life, not a fairytale, and instead of "happily ever after", in Kelly's words, they lived, "radically ever after". (pg. 239)
From the back of the book:
There are an estimated 20 million orphans in the country of India. Thanks to Kelly and Scott Parkison, that number has decreased by one. Having promised to never return to India after her experience on the reality show The Amazing Race, Kelly never dreamed she would one day be a mother to a beautiful Indian girl named Lyla. This is the amazing and true story of how God uses the most unlikely circumstances for His greater purpose.
Calling the Parkison's adoption story a rollercoaster ride of emotion would be an understatement. After almost every major decision in the Parkison's adoption process, God put a twist in their carefully laid plans only to lead them to greater opportunities. Faced with an overwhelming amount of fundraising, mountains of adoption paperwork, an unexpected pregnancy, a medical issue to patch with their new daughter, and the adjustment of bringing their child into a new culture, the Parkisons clung to God through their whirlwind adoption of Lyla. Their heartwarming story is a beautiful testament to the gift of adoption on this earth and the love of God for all of us as His children.
I had a hard time putting this book down. Anyone interested in adoption and orphan care will feel the same I'm sure. It's Well-written, thought-provoking, faith building and engagingly told, I ate it up. For those walking beside others on an adoption journey, reading this book will give you more insight on how to help support the adoptive parents and how to pray for everyone involved.
Well done Kelly.
Now, I need to pray about some things and get busy checking out LOFT 218!
from LOFT218 website:
OUR MISSION: To rise up and build the lives of the least of these (LOFT) to include orphans, victims of sex trafficking, widows and the oppressed of India.
At LOFT 218, we aim to rebuild hope where it’s been damaged or lost. Although it is our plan to build physical structures like an orphanage, a women's shelter, and a place of refuge and refreshment for the widow... Our desire is more than buildings. We aspire to RISE UP AND BUILD the individual. Our focus lies in a holistic approach through meeting the physical, emotional, educational, vocational and spiritual needs of our residents. Through the application of God’s unconditional love, our methods allow the people we serve to meet their full potential, and it prepares them to take hope out into their communities. In turn, our residents will become valuable and productive members of their community and have the tools to impact their world.
...And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.
**Please after you read this book yourself, take the time to review it on your blogs, facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. but especially Amazon. An author needs reviews, and every copy of this book purchased is another brick in the wall so-to-speak of an orphanage waiting for the funds to be built. Your small gift of time will in reality help shelter those who need rescuing.
Buy the Book (coming soon, pre-order as of 4/10/16)
About the Author
Kelly McCorkle Parkison is a native of South Carolina and currently resides in Tennessee. A Mass Communications cum laude graduate from North Greenville University, she held the title of Miss South Carolina 2002, earned Top 15 at Miss America, and placed third on the CBS Reality Show, The Amazing Race Season 7. Now she proudly wears the titles of "Babe" to her awesome husband, "Mom" to her five children, and "Pastor's Wife" to her church. She is an inspirational speaker and the founder of the LOFT 218 Organization, a ministry to orphans, widows, and sex trafficking victims in India. She loves Jesus and coffee!