Monday, August 03, 2009
Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
I just finished THREE LITTLE WORDS by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. What a great read! This book was written by Ashley--who must now be in her early 20s. Ashley spent the first 12 years of her life in foster care and residential homes. When Ashley was 12, she was adopted and shares this part of her story as well. Toward the end of the book, Ashley says:
"I journeyed for almost ten years before I found home. Adoptions are like very delicate gardening with transplants and grafts. Some are rejected immediately. Mine took hold, rooted, and bloomed, even though there were inevitable adjustments to the new soil and climate. Yet I have not forgotten where my roots started."
Ashley shares her life experiences in a way that is honest and sincere. Her resiliency and brilliance about people comes through on every page. I kept having to remind myself that this was a true story--it was often hard to believe how much this child went through. For a while, things never seemed like they would work out.
Since I have a huge interest in adoptions and children's rights, I probably read this book differently from readers who might just pick it up for a good story. It is listed as a YA novel which makes sense. I think it would be a great read for high school students. But I hope that it doesn't get missed by adults--it is a great story of family and love and home. A true story of a girl who is has already made a huge difference in the world. Ashley tells us about so many of the people who made a difference in her life. Although there were lots of horror stories--awful foster homes, incompetent social workers, etc. there were also many people who cared deeply for Ashley and worked to support her.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a national speaker and is committed to changing the systems that take care of children in foster care. She seems ready to dedicate her life to this cause--to make sure that children have the love and safety that they deserve.
I will definitely be recommending this book to all of my friends who are adoptive parents. I will hold it for my own daughter to read when she is a bit older. This will most likely be the book that I will talk about to anyone who will listen for the next few months. One of those books that I want to put in as many hands as possible. And you can be sure that if Ashley is in the area speaking anytime soon, I'll want to thank her personally for sharing her story.