Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Lucky Few by Heather Avis

 When Heather and Josh Avis decided to grow their family, adoption and Down Syndrome were never in their plans. Yet after adopting three children, two of whom have Down Syndrome, they quickly discovered that God's best for their life would be found in the most unlikely places, and how lucky they were to have journeyed there.
(Excerpt from back of book)

So, my husband probably rolled his eyes a little when I said I was reading another book on adoption. Every few months one slips onto the nightstand and usually sparks some wonderfully interesting discussions. This time, though, I was curious to see how Heather and Josh Avis had been taken on their own journey to parenting 3 very special little ones full of life, love, and loss while maintaining  the view  that they are "the lucky few" a view point that may seem sadly unusual for those looking in for the first time. Having finished this read, I count myself lucky for having  stumbled upon this gem of a book.

Heather has the wonderful gift of being able to infuse her personality into each word she writes. You don't just get a sense of her message but her heart and passion as well.
 Reading the book, I felt, was less being presented someone's story and more of being invited to share in it for a time being. Heather's writing is inviting and engaging as she seeks to introduce their own unique form of normal.

Although Heather keeps her tone more upbeat, she does not shy away from sharing both the highs and the lows of their adoption journey. For some, this may make the book an uncomfortable read.

You see, as you read about surgeries, family celebrations, the questions of family and strangers , navigating  life  with medical equipment, , and everything else that the Avis' have encountered and welcomed into their lives over the last decade it becomes apparent that it is no superpower but  rather their strong faith and willingness to say yes in scary situations that have allowed them into being some of "the lucky few." . Although adoption tends to be  a hot topic to begin with, to be truly open and vulnerable while protecting the children involved is a delicate balance that  Heather handles with grace. To see her openly talk about challenges with bonding, the joys of toddlerhood  in both easy and hard time, to see her own journey of understanding the other when it comes to birth families both present and apart are discussions that anyone considering adoption should be  aware of and this book serves as a gentle introduction to these important topics.

For myself, I loved sharing, even if only over a few pages, Heather and her family's journey. Heather's openness on the pages and  the sheer familiarity of family life that she shares with grace and humour allows for a read that is both eye-opening as well as  page turning. I'll confess, after  hearing the doctor's initial prognosis on one of the lovely Avis children I quickly popped over to the picture section to check on their  progress, with such engaging stories it's hard not  to root this family forward.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.