Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: To Sing Frogs by John M. Simmons

Title: To Sing Frogs
Author: John M. Simmons
Format: ARC
Publisher: Brigham Distributing
Publish Date: June 15, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a memoir fan.
  • You don't mind tough subjects.
  • You like happy endings.
What's the Story?:

Synopsis: "Some children in Russian orphanages will be forever changed by an adoption—and some will be left behind. To Sing Frogs, a memoir authored by John M. Simmons, tells the deeply personal tale of the Simmons family and their quest to adopt five children from rural Russia. Readers venture deep into Russia to explore the world of international adoption and catch a glimpse of the Simmons family’s journey towards trust and acceptance, despite unexplainable circumstances.

To Sing Frogs tells the story of transformation in a father’s heart, inspired by his wife Amy and daughter Sarah, a child who suffers great guilt from being one of few rescued from the Russian orphanage. Simmons takes readers on a heart-warming journey, chronicling Sarah’s transformation from a Russian orphanage to American living and an unexpected reunion of her two best friends Simmons thought she would never see again.

As a realist, the memoir showcases Simmons as he traverses from a position of science and engineering, where all things seem explainable, to a realization that some things might never be completely understood—and maybe aren’t supposed to be."

My Two Cents:

Foreign adoption has always been something that really intrigues me. While we are still not quite ready for children, adoption is definitely something that I have thought about in the past. I really think that it would be wonderful to be able to adopt and if I were to adopt, I would probably go overseas. John Simmons and his wife are really amazing. Although they already have several biological children and one adopted child already (all boys by the way), they find it in their hearts to open their home to more children and decide to go overseas, specifically to Russia, to adopt girls.

Their journey to bring their new children home is what really pulls you into the story. As humans, families (those that we choose and the ones that we do not choose) are so important to our well being. In a place like Russia, the children that end up in orphanages often have no idea what it means to have that support system or that love that builds them up throughout life. It's a very sad existence. My heart broke reading about some of the children that John and his wife, Amy, meet while they are in Russia to adopt their children.

I love books that highlight important subjects and adoption and family are definitely important subjects. Adoption may not be for everyone but I think their are a lot of people who are very curious about it. Mr. Simmons gives a very open picture of what adoption was like for him and his family. I appreciated that he didn't seem to hold anything back: the good, the bad, the ugly.  He talks about his hopes and dreams and fears for his family and the children that they are bringing to the United States. I definitely appreciated his candor!

I also really liked the writing style of the book. Mr. Simmons has a way with telling a story! You feel like he's having a conversation with you and telling you a story about how complicated yet amazing and fulfilling it was to bring the children to the United States. You laugh with him and you cry with him (there is a scene with his new daughter and Santa Claus that definitely made me shed a tear). This is a story of a lot of ups and downs but it ends very happily!

While this book will not be released until this summer, I urge you to add it to your TBR list if you like memoirs and are interested in foreign adoption.


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