Let me introduce you to MY BOOK!

Hello, I’m nervous. How are you?

This book has been on my heart for a year. I’ve been working on it for months already and only a few people have read any of it. And now? I want to share it with ALL OF YOU.

Here’s the thing you need to know: This is a book about adoption, but I don’t claim to know everything on the topic. That’s why this book isn’t really about my story. It’s about the stories we’re telling each other. It’s about not being afraid anymore, it’s about being honest about our reality without fearing what it might look like to others. It’s my attempt to be an honest voice, standing next to my sisters and brothers who are also speaking honestly, and asking others to join us. I just want to tell the truth. In the light of truth, Christ will be glorified.

So. This is absolutely my heart and soul, and I hope that comes across. Kyrie Eleison.

 

Introducing – My Book! from Kim Van Brunt on Vimeo.

 

I would LOVE to hear what you think in the comments, especially if you’re an adoptive parent and you have a story to share (I’m incorporating as many stories as I can in the book). And yes, I know that I pronounce ‘treatise’ wrong. I also know new things about my mannerisms that I can’t un-know after watching my face move at such close range while I was editing this. (I’ve been re-reading my Love letter to my body and remembering that my face is part of it.)

xo

  • http://www.sarahbessey.com Sarah Bessey

    This is FANTASTIC. Kim, your heart comes through big and gorgeous here, and your book is so needed. I am not even an adoptive or prospective adoptive parent (as far as I know yet anyway), but I can’t wait to read it as part of the support network. Love it and hope someone picks up your proposal fast.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Oh thank you so much, Sarah! Your support means a lot. I really do hope the book can give a window into the adoptive parent experience, so family/friends can better understand and support. xo

  • http://www.lovewellblog.com Kelly @ Love Well

    This is so needed and so important, Kim. I’M SO GLAD YOU ARE DOING THIS. You are the perfect voice with the God-given talent at the right time.

    We haven’t adopted, but my husband is an adult adoptee. I shared a little of his wisdom in my post on what he said at Orphan Summit on transracial adoption. If there is anything he/we could add, let me know. (P.S. I’m in St. Paul. I’m thinking we might need to talk over coffee, if you’re interested.)

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Kelly, how haven’t we had coffee yet? I would absolutely love to connect with you, not only because I’ve thought you’re awesome for a while, but also to possibly interview you/your husband for the later chapters in the book, when I talk about the shadow of adoption that’s there throughout adoptees’ (and adoptive parents’) lives. Thank you so much for your encouragement and love! I’m tearing up a little over here. Just a little.

  • Vanessa

    Such a GREAT concept. Sounds different from the bazillion other secular adoption books and a big departure from the “orphan crisis” books. Kudos!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you Vanessa! I really see a need for it, too. I know I could have used it!

  • Svea

    This is great, Kim! Would it be helpful to you to hear my story of having a son with very severe RAD? Adoption has colored every facet of our family’s life. Our two internationally adopted kids represent each end of the adoption experience spectrum: our daughter’s story is every bit the adoption fantasy, and our son’s story, the nightmare. I’d be happy to discuss it with you or anyone else if it would be a blessing. 2 Cor 1:3-4.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you Svea! I’d love to chat sometime. I remember you reaching out to me in truth and love, even in your pain, before we adopted — and I remember misunderstanding you. You have an important story to tell, and I’d be honored to use it in the book. I’ll be in touch when I get to that chapter! :)

    • http://annbracken.weebly.com Ann Bracken

      I have also adopted RAD children, so I know the nightmare you are talking about. I also know the joy. I think there needs to be a support group for adoptive parents of RAD children.

  • http://bensternke.com Ben Sternke

    Good job, sis! Proud of you for stepping out in writing it and posting a scary video blog!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thanks! Vlogging is HARD.

  • http://www.somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah | the smitten word

    kim, this is powerful, and i know it will be redemptive. blessings as you write!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you, sweet Suzannah! Your support means so much to me.

  • http://www.4and4makes8.blogspot.com Deborah West

    We’re 4 months into adopting a sibling set of 4 from foster care (finalizing in October). Hardest thing we’ve ever done. Thank you for writing a REAL book of experiences & not another HOW TO book on navigating the process.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Wow, Deborah! and thank you for understanding my heart. Blessings to you and yours!

  • http://www.leighkramer.com HopefulLeigh

    Kim, this sounds like a wonderful, much-needed book. I’ll be happy to support you in any way that I can! Happy writing. (I know. Sometimes that phrase is an oxymoron but let’s go with the power of positive thinking!)

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you, Leigh! Yes, some days are better than others with the writing, that’s for sure. Thanks for your support!

  • http://canigetanotherbottleofwhine.blogspot.com/ Kate

    This book is needed, needed, needed! I felt so alone when we adopted our first child. Alone for six long months. The shining light that came out of it, aside from my beautiful son, was how I got to the end of myself and had to let God take control rather than fight him. God spoke to my heart and my fears when we were presented with our son, who was born with cleft lip/palate. He said – do not fear, I will carry you through. And he has. Through two years of sleepless nights and being a first time mom of an adopted toddler. But, also through two more adoptions of our second and third children, also born with cleft lip/palate. I started out terrified and God carried me (and is still carrying me) through.

    I felt like a babysitter at the beginning of all my adoptions. I cared about them, but didn’t feel like their mom right away. Thankfully, someone had mentioned, before we adopted, how they had felt like a babysitter when they adopted. I’m so thankful they said that because they were the only person to say it. The other hundred or so said they fell in love with the referral picture of their child. How do you fall in love with a picture? I was too scared to fall in love.

    Let me know if you need any input.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      So beautiful, Kate. I love your story already! You’re so right about being too scared to fall in love — a wise adoptive mom said once that the stakes are too high, the pressure is too great, for anyone to fall in love in the beginning. Though I believe others have that experience, I’m seeing that the other — the love growing over time, the struggle for control with God (yes! oh yes) — is much more common.

      It is so affirming to hear from adoptive mamas and know that your heart is in this project, too. I’ll keep you on my list for sure! I may be contacting you in the next few months. :)

  • http://www.gillianmarchenko.com Gillian Marchenko

    What a beautiful explanation of a much anticipated project friend.! Great job! Can’t wait to see this book IN PRINT!!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      I want to see your vlog next, my friend. Thanks for your consistent, awesome support. I love you! xo

  • http://www.sdanddoublee.blogspot.com stacey

    Well your heart and soul most definitely does come across, Kim. I appreciate you because you are real. I just know your book is going to bless a lot of parents. Can’t wait to see the finished product. :)

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you Stacey. You bless me in much the same way — I see life differently when I look through your lens (literally). It’s so vital that we all put our hearts on display, don’t you think?

      • http://www.sdanddoublee.blogspot.com stacey

        Absolutely. Been learning so much about vulnerability and putting myself out there the past year. Love how God provides each of us unique ways of doing just that. :)

  • http://fromtheheart-anna.blogspot.com Anna

    Oh there is definitely room for that book on my bookshelf! I am so thankful that there are families talking about the good, bad, and ugly. I was so afraid in the beginning to share my reality. I did fall in love with the thoughts I had of her. I knew that I didn’t know her as a person and would need time. But the reality of it, so hard. For someone like me,, tender hearted and gushy, to feel numb. I remember lying in bed at night with tears streaming hot – ffinally admitting to my husband how scared I was. What if I never loved her like my first three? Ifelt like She didn’t deserve a mother like me. But it happened. Once we learned each others language. It was good. Very very good. Keep up the good hard “God work”.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Oh Anna, I’m so heartened to read about your experience. I know that every adoptive parent goes through something different, so I hesitated to include such specific aspects of my story in the video, but you understood the heart of it — that regardless of the details, every adoptive parent is going to experience unexpected emotions and most will feel some pretty significant fear. The common thread is that by saying those things out loud, they lose some of their power.

      Adoption is so beautiful — but when we talk about the ugly aspects, don’t you think the end result looks even more glorious? Thanks so much for your comment and your enthusiasm for the book!

  • http://amandapeterson.blogspot.com Amanda Peterson

    So excited about your book Kim. I’m grateful I’ve found your blog and shared it with many other adoptive and future adoptive parents I know. Honesty is something that absolutely needs to be in our conversation, and I’m thankful God is using you to bring that honesty to the conversation.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you so much, Amanda. I’m so glad you’re here. And thank you for sharing! Let’s be a tribe of truth-tellers, yes?

  • http://www.calltoobedience.blogspot.com Kelly Jo

    We have had our son home for almost 7 years now. And for many, many years I denied anything was wrong-he was just trying to get back at us, this was just “adoption” behavior, this was all his fault, there was nothing I could do…
    Almost 6 years into it and I just wanted to disrupt because somehow that would seem easier…
    Nothing. That is what I had for him, I was just waiting until he turned 18 and could be out of the house…

    It wasn’t until a year ago that we started getting the help WE needed. Occupational therapy, speech therapy, play therapy, counseling for me…it has been a REALLY, REALLY tough year on me and the rest of the family. But the improvements are absolutely remarkable. And to be honest, we haven’t even had the hard behaviors so many have-a lot of the issues to be dealt with were MINE.

    I have to confess I still don’t love him like the other kids, some days I still really don’t even like him…but I am learning more about myself, becoming a better mom and wife, and processing so much of my own trauma (before and after him).
    Our whole journey and process is too much for a comment section. :) But yes, yes, YES-a book sharing these truths is DEFINITELY NEEDED. We are not alone in our struggles! And sometimes validation and an understanding ear is enough to get you through the day!

    (PS-I am now a SIL to one of your old high school classmates from Fairmont-Kate J)

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Kelly Jo, I so appreciate you sharing some of your story here. I would love to talk with you more — though it’s so hard for the support network to understand, there are so many parents just like you, and they need your story, too. xo

      • http://www.calltoobedience.blogspot.com Kelly Jo

        Anytime! Just let me know.

        • http://www.calltoobedience.blogspot.com Kelly Jo

          I should also add I am just 70 miles or so west of the Cities, near WIllmar. :)

  • http://www.cherylricker.com Cheryl Ricker

    Great job, Kim!!!! You’re on your way! Can’t wait to read your book and do a signing here in town with you!!

    I think your book is going to be a beautiful, fresh voice of a friend speaking heart to heart! : )

    Continued book blessings!!!!

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Cheryl, you’ve blessed me in so many ways. Thanks for being one of my most consistent cheerleaders! Love you!

  • http://annbracken.weebly.com Ann Bracken

    I’m so glad to see someone writing a book about the hard part of adoption. For so long I felt there was something wrong with me because I didn’t love the first two right away (we adopted a brother and sister, 12 and 10-years-old). Add in that my older daughter has severe RAD and ODD and I thought I would lose my mind. So many people told us to give them back to DCFS, I felt like I was battling both the children and my ‘support’ group.

    Still, we adopted two more six years later (another brother and sister, again 12 and 10), and I’m glad I knew what I was facing and to give myself time. I wasn’t expecting the jealousy from the first two, however, or the lengths my older daughter would go to in order to disrupt it.

    God is good, though, and sees us through anything. It’s been eight years since we adopted the second set, and I love watching my children sit around and laugh together.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      I’ve heard this before, Ann — it can feel so desperate, like you’re losing your mind, to come face-to-face (literally) with such brokenness. And then we realize it’s in our children, and it’s in us. We are brought to the end of ourselves — and thank God — because we could never do this on our own. The sooner we see it, the sooner the healing can begin.

      I would love to talk with you as someone who has gone through the gauntlet of RAD and older child adoption and now has adult children. Thank you for sharing your story and meeting me here. Feel free to spread the word!

  • http://www.songs-about-adoption.com Chuck Kent

    I must admit I am conflicted about your book, much as I am about the entire subject of blogging about adoption from a very personal perspective (although I have my own adoption blog and have written songs about adoption). I recognize the need for supportive community, but how do you weigh… how should any of us adoptive parents weigh… the balance between the survival-based need for parental and family support and the responsibility to protect the privacy of our children?

    As much as the Internet wonderfully expands our reach it woefully diminishes our children’s privacy; we are not talking about sharing intimate family details in the (hopefully) safe setting of a small group of personally trusted and invested individuals from church… we’re talking about laying our children’s lives (and often their worst moments) out before the whole world, which is as likely to judge them out of context (and judge them forever, as what goes up on the Internet virtually never disappears from public view) as it is to commiserate compassionately, or take instructive comfort.

    I welcome your intent toward honesty in all things about adoption, particularly within the Christian community, which, for all our good intentions, seems too often to embrace adoption as a mission (and no child within a family should ever be made to feel like a “mission project’). But how do you reconcile the tension between sharing with the community and respecting your child’s present and future privacy?

    • http://www.calltoobedience.blogspot.com Kelly Jo

      I personally haven’t shared much of our adoption specifics on our family blog, often because most is written in the midst of a very hard time-no, it shouldn’t be recorded for all time, for all to see.
      When I do write, I generally try to write about me-what I am feeling, what I struggle with, what I have learned. I think that is what *most* adoptive parents need to read/see/hear/feel…that they are NOT the only person to ever feel that way or be annoyed by that or whatever. I think it is quite possible to share about yourself while minimally mentioning what behaviors or actions your child did that got you to wherever you are. I believe validation is one of the main components that adoptive parents are craving, and just not getting. Sure, I have friends that say “I can’t understand what you are going through but I want to be here and support you” and that means a lot. But when someone says “oh-I have been there!” it has a freeing, empowering element. I am not the only one to feel this way. And then I can say “how did you ever get through that??” and we can share. Sometimes we are only a baby step ahead of where the next person is, but that is all we need to be to encourage and support them in their own journey.

    • http://www.kimvanbrunt.com Kim Van Brunt

      Thank you for your comment, Chuck. I think part of the reason I didn’t start writing this book for several months was because of the issues you raised. In no way do I ever want to compromise my son’s privacy or invite strangers’ judgment on him. That’s why this book isn’t really about him — it’s about my story, and the stories of other adoptive parents. (And I’m opening myself up for judgment, for sure.) Our struggles were not brought on by our children, who are doing a beautiful job surviving after life dealt them a difficult hand so early. Our struggles are because of false expectations, because things get glossed over in the preparation phase, because we are prepared to help them but don’t realize we need to help ourselves, too.

      As a writer AND a mother, I think I’m able to walk that line with what I hope is both grace and truth. While some examples may discuss behavior and the reality of our children’s struggles, it’s no more exposing than an adoption parenting book or any other parenting book, really. We talk about our lives and use real-life examples not to denigrate our children or cheapen their history (and I won’t include any examples that even hint at that), but to ask how to love better, how to be more like Christ, how to sacrifice for our children while we also show ourselves compassion.

      And you’re so right about the adoption-as-mission idea, especially when it comes to our children. You’ve got me thinking, too, about how we can treat all our children, adopted or not, as projects instead of people. So thank you. Thanks for your concern about our kids, and for sparking some ideas. Peace to you!