Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adoption from a Grandmother's Perspective by Guest, MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

My guest today is MaryAnn Diorio, and she is doing a giveaway of her book The Madonna of Pisano. Leave a blog comment below to enter the giveaway. I will choose the winner on the
Sunday following this post. 

When my daughter announced that she and her husband were planning to adopt a child, I was both delighted and concerned. Delighted because I had been looking forward to being a grandmother. Concerned because I knew nothing about adoption and had many questions. TWEET THIS

Upon doing a Google search on grandparents and adoption, I found, to my surprise, very little information. It seemed as though grandparents were not considered an integral part of the adoption process. Yet, I have since learned they are a very important part. For this reason, we need to be aware of some issues we will face as the grandparents of children who have been adopted. Here are some of those issues:

1) The New Look of Adoption. We adoptive grandparents need to understand that adoption today is much different from what it was in our day. Chief among these differences is the openness and transparency with which adoption is conducted today. TWEET THIS    

Back when I was growing up, a girl who got pregnant out of wedlock was sent away to avoid shame for herself and her family. If she chose to have her baby adopted, the adoption was conducted  privately and sometimes kept hidden from the child for his entire life.

Today, adoptive mothers often keep in close touch with the birth mothers of their children. The adopted children are told at an early age that they are adopted and are encouraged to keep open the lines of communication with their birth mothers and/or birth fathers.

2) Unexpected Questions. When my daughter shared with me some of the questions people would ask her--questions like, Where is he from?; What nationality is she?; Does she know she is adopted?--I was relieved that my daughter would be the one answering those questions. Imagine how surprised I was when people started asking me the same questions.

Because I wasn't prepared, I kept the conversation short and sweet. I then got some coaching from my daughter as to how to answer such personal questions, if at all. Sometimes people are genuinely interested; most of the time, they are just plain nosey.

3) Practical Help. Look for practical ways to help your children as they go through the challenging adoption process. For example, instead of a traditional baby shower, donate a gift of plane tickets for travel related to the adoption. Offer to babysit when you can. Cook a meal or two for your child and her family. What you can do is limited only by your creative ingenuity. TWEET THIS

Bottom line, remember this: Adoption is a gift of life. Just as God the Father has adopted us into His family and made us equal heirs to His salvation, so must we look on our adopted grandchildren as equal heirs of our love, our support, and our devotion.

Resources for Adoptive Grandparents: (My Daughter's Blog on Adoption)

Copyright 2016 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio writes compelling fiction about the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, The Madonna of Pisano, is the first book in her trilogy titled The Italian Chronicles. She and her husband are the proud grandparents of five adopted grandchildren. You may reach her at

Purchase Links to My Books:

Surrender to Love (A Novella)

Candle Love (Picture Book)

Toby Too Small (Picture Book)
Who Is Jesus? (Picture Book)

Don't forget to leave a blog comment to enter your name for a chance to win
The Madonna of Pisano. 

MaryAnn's Social Media Links:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

To Mourn The Living-- by Guest Author Patricia Ann Barbe

My Guest Author today, Patricia Ann Barbe, is doing a Giveaway of one paperback version and one Ebook version of her book Mourning the Living. Leave a blog comment below, and spell out your email address, so I can contact you if you win one of these two books. 

TO MOURN THE LIVING by Patricia Ann Barbe 

I walked out the door of the business where she had worked. It was the first time I had tried to see her. She was over eighteen now, so it was okay.  All I wanted to do was to touch her hand and look into her face and say “Honey, you have a sister. Today is her birthday. She has two children. Kaylee, you have a beautiful little niece and nephew.” Then I would show her a picture of them.

But she wasn't there.

“No,” they had said. ”She no longer works here”.

Tears covered my face.  I had no clue where she was and no way to find her.

I had not seen my Granddaughter Kaylee since she was four-years old, the end of October - fourteen years ago. She had clung to me, arms and legs wrapped tightly around me, screaming, “No, Grammie, I don’t want to go” I had carried her to the car, kissing her beautiful face, promising her I would see her soon. She was ripped from my arms. I never saw her again.

Kaylee’s mother and family were heavily involved in witchcraft. Her family wanted me out of Kaylee’s life. Their influence made Kaylee’s mother believe we were evil and trying to take Kaylee from her.  The result was a betrayal of such magnitude that it totally devastated our entire family.

Mid-November police knocked on our door, handcuffed me and charged me with sexually abusing my four-year-old granddaughter, Kaylee.  I was put into the back of the patrol car, whisked off to jail where I was photo’d, finger printed and put into a cell.  The pain of what was happening as this nightmare unfolded was unbearable. Surely a mistake had been made; how could something like this happen to someone like me?

I was a sixty-year-old Grandmother whose main goal in life was family. Everything I had ever believed in and stood for was pulled as quickly as a rug from under me.  I had been betrayed not only by someone I had loved deeply and trusted, but-by the entire world as I knew it and . . . . by God. I didn’t understand how He could let such a thing happen. We were good people. We went to church when we could, brought our kids up in church, took them to Sunday school. I prayed when I needed to.

If someone had asked me if I were a Christian, I would have said of course. Did I have a relationship with Jesus Christ? I didn't even know what that was. Read the Bible? I didn’t own one. But, even so, how could God allow such injustice to occur, to good people?

After being released on bail, a friend came to my home and put a Bible into my hands, I had no clue where to even start reading it, but I knew it was what I needed.

The next years were the most devastating years of my life. I pulled away from everything and everyone. Family, friends… even my husband. I pulled tightly into myself.  My grief was so deep there was no room for anything else; nothing but intense hatred and revenge for what had happened to me and a fear like I had never known. In spite of these feelings, I knew I needed God. I felt that if I found him, he would make right what had happened; he would validate my hate and my anger, restore what I had lost

It would take eight years of brokenness, tears and further devastation before I learned to allow Jesus to work in me. The Bible talked about love and forgiveness. How could I forgive? Anger, hatred, revenge, unforgiveness; these were what was keeping me alive.

Little did I know how powerful this “Word” was or how it would drastically change my life.  It took a long time, but, this precious book has become the most prized possession I have. I cannot even begin to imagine a life without it, nor would I even want to. He does not promise to give us a life without trial, quite the opposite.  But he does promise to give us the love, strength, endurance and patience to get through those trials.  All we have to do is ask and then trust he will do as he says.  

Nothing has ever been settled or changed from the incidents that occurred back then. When asked if I would change things if I could bring back all that I had lost, I did not even have to think about my answer.

“NO, not if it meant giving up my faith, not having Jesus Christ in my life.“ I would give my life to change it, but not the faith that has risen out of it.

Patricia Ann Barbe, lives in the Upper Midwest with her husband of 53 years. Their home overlooks a large wetland and is surrounded by nature and God’s beauty. She loves the seasons, especially gardening in the summer digging in the dirt to make it ready for planting, moving and transplanting.

Denielle and Gramma reunited after four and a half months

From To Mourn the Living reference page 106

Top picture reference page 30 To Mourn the Living – Kaylee and Denielle the last time they were together.

 Connect with Patricia Ann Barbe

Monday, June 06, 2016

The Difference between Life and Death by Guest Author Loree Perry

My guest author today, Loree Perry is doing a Giveaway of her Ebook Touches of Time. To enter this draw, leave a blog comment below and spell out your email address. 

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

In a recent morning devotion, I read, “…tell the difference Jesus has made in your life.” The first thing that came to mind was how I dealt with the deaths of my parents.

My father was murdered when I was twenty-six, seventeen days before my son was born. Three years later, my mother died of acute alcoholism.

Jesus called me to Himself In between those two events. The difference in how I went through those times comes down to a matter of the soul.

Readers can imagine the shock of a father hit in the head and left in a ditch. (Dad’s case remains unsolved.) The family was aware of Mom’s drinking afterward, and empathized. At the time, intervention wasn’t popular. Drinking was something still held behind closed doors and not talked about outside the family unit, though the whole community was aware.

I grew up attending church and understood I was a sinner. My mistaken view of end-of-life eternity at the time can be wrapped up in the misperception that at the point of death I’d ask to be forgiven, and then I’d go to heaven.

The grief I experienced following Dad’s death has no adequate adjectives. Most of what happened passed in a numbing cloud of my conscience being somewhere else. However, God made Himself known. It rained the day of Dad’s funeral. Afterward, a rainbow appeared in the sky, arced over his grave in the distance.

My energy the rest of the year focused on infant care. When the baby was six months old, my husband fell off the roof and crushed both heels. The only comfort I received came from a paperback New Testament I found in the hospital waiting room.

Once he recuperated, an obvious lack of joy pressed in on me.

A week shy of the first anniversary of my father’s death, I was invited to a luncheon. The speaker that day made me aware of my blessings. She also presented Jesus as an ever-present Friend, Someone I had access to, and Who was missing from my life. I acknowledged His existence, admitted I needed forgiveness. I believed in what He accomplished on the cross. I prayed, gave myself to Him, and knew instantaneously that the Holy Spirit lived within my heart and soul.

My sister also came to saving grace through our Lord before Mom died. We went through the experience of her death as different people. Although Mom had an addiction, she’d told us that as a young teen, she’d come to believe in Jesus Christ as her Savior.

The difference in knowing Christ comes down to a matter of life or death.

I was lost when Dad died, then I was found.

I was damned…then I was saved.

I was no longer hell-bound…but gained the assurance of heaven.

Purchase links for Touches of Time:
Barnes & Noble:

Connect with Author Loree Perry