“I have to find my son!”
How many times have I heard that line from Finding Nemo? At first, I was bugged by the idea that, once again, the parents are wrong and the kid is right. That’s what I got out of it the first time I watched it. But after a few more rounds, mostly skipping parts to see the ones we liked, I started seeing a deeper theme–multiple ones.
Let’s look at some of them. Because it always amazes me that I first saw the negative–that one thing I didn’t like instead of all the richness of the rest. Instead of the richness hidden in that one thing I didn’t like.
- Marlin was a fearful fish long before the barracuda stripped him of most of his family.
- Despite that, love gave him the courage to face fear after fear to rescue his wayward and disobedient son.
- His son was encouraged to be wayward and disobedient because of how Marlin exasperated said son.
- He never gave up on the child he loved so much.
- Sometimes, kids are right–even after they’ve been terribly wrong. And acknowledging that rightness doesn’t mean that you’re condoning the wrong. It just means you’re doing the right thing.
What does all this have to do with today’s book review?
Not much. Not really. Still, the whole time I have looked at and read this book, I couldn’t get Marlin’s voice out of my head. “I have to find my son!”
I wondered if that was the theme I’d find in this book, Finding My Son, on adoption. There was only one way to find out, so I read. And I was surprised by what I found.
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The Odd Things Books Make You Think of Sometimes
Joy. Pain. Rejection. Despair. Fulfillment. Peace.
I’ve heard people use those words and hundreds of others to describe their adoption process. It’s a difficult, achingly personal road to walk, and Eric Odell-Hein does a good job showing us all the intersections, bumps, potholes, and smooth stretches. He shows walking by faith and zooming down the highway of doubt. And all in a laid-back, conversational style.
This adoption memoir is a no-holds-barred look into how one man went from holding one position to being passionate about things he never would have dreamed of wanting much less seeking. For those struggling with infertility, this book offers both hope and pain. Hope that God does offer alternatives. Pain in the wait, the uncertainty, the death of dreams, of so many things I can’t hope to understand.
The story engaged me and mostly held my attention. Some parts are oddly specific, but as a whole, it read exactly as one would expect. While it wasn’t necessarily in my top books of 2019, I’m not sorry I requested and received the free review copy I read, and I did enjoy it well enough. I think the story would best recommended for folks dealing with infertility, considering adoption, or who love memoirs on either of those subjects.
Finding My Son
Book: Finding My Son
Author: Eric Odell-Hein
Genre: Christian Memoir, Adoption
Release Date: February 21, 2018
Eric was perfectly happy being one half of a dual-income, no-kids family. Having the freedom to travel the world with his wife Christine, while indulging his hobbies and furthering his education and career, was a pretty sweet life.
Christine wanted to be a mom.
Though he was scared he didn’t have what it took to be a good dad, Eric wanted to fulfill his wife’s dream. After years of trying to conceive, however, the couple received a devastating diagnosis: infertility.
For Christine, adoption was the obvious answer. Eric wasn’t so sure.
In Finding My Son: A Father’s Adoption Journey, author Eric Odell-Hein offers an unfiltered view into the heart and mind of a man who has experienced the sometimes messy and often awkward process of becoming a father through adoption. Encouraging men to acknowledge the fears they don’t want to admit while advocating a thoughtful, deliberate transparency as the best approach to even the most unnatural, uncomfortable aspects of the adoption process. Eric shares his misgivings and mistakes with an honesty that does not deny his insecurities.
A valuable resource for any man considering growing his family through adoption—or anyone seeking to understand the process—this engaging memoir is a testament to the beautiful gift of adoption and a touching account of a father’s love.