I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Author Julie Gianelloni Connor takes parents and children alike through an emotional journey to understand the process of adopting a child from another country in the children’s book “The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise: An International Adoption Story”.
The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise is a children’s book designed to be read by parents to a child adopted from a foreign country. The story is first recounted from the perspective of the parents in the USA, who are very sad not to be able to have a child. The perspective then switches to that of the biological mother, who realizes that she does not have the wherewithal to raise a child. She makes the difficult decision to give up her baby. Next readers learn about a foreign adoption agency, to which the biological mother surrenders her child. The adoption agency identifies foster parents to take care of the baby temporarily. The foster parents give the baby a temporary name. The parents in the USA begin researching international adoption possibilities and connect with the foreign adoption agency. The parents begin the adoption process and have to go to a school to learn how to be adoptive parents. When the foreign adoption agency matches the USA parents with the baby, the USA parents fly to the foreign country, where they meet the baby and the foster parents at the adoption agency. They find out that the temporary name given to the baby by his foster parents is one of the names they have selected for the baby. Their last requirement in the foreign country is to secure a visa for the baby from the U.S. Embassy. With the baby’s visa in hand, the parents and baby return to the United States, where they are joyously greeted by their dog, their friends, and the baby’s new grandparents. When the parents tuck their baby in at night, they tell him his story–that he has three families, two countries, and a promise for the future to visit the country of his birth when he is older.
This was such a heartwarming, emotional, and educational read. The author did a wonderful job of showcasing the adoption process from all aspects and perspectives of those involved. The warmth of the imagery was well balanced by the emotional core of the main character’s journeys together as they seek to complete their family and find a home for this child.
The themes and experiences the author captured were the heart of this children’s book. The strength and unity that comes from parenthood, the true definition of family, and the impact that childhood can have on a child were perfectly captured in this short yet powerful story. The way the author showcased the adoptive parents and their journey, as well as the decision that the birth parents had to make and the almost ambiguous setting and character traits allowed the reader to insert themselves and their own journey into this narrative seamlessly, making this a beautiful narrative.
Emotional, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Julie Gianelloni Connor’s “The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise” is a must-read children’s book and story on adoption. The story allows adopted children and parents of adoptive children alike to feel seen, as well as those who make the painful decision to give up their children to give them a chance at a better life. The book brings children and parents together beautifully, and the rich imagery and heartfelt story choices allow for a brilliant narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Julie Gianelloni Connor started out thinking she would be a writer, detoured into the U.S. Foreign Service, and after retirement returned to a writing career. She is the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, TX, which focuses on writing about travel, Houston, history, and international affairs.
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Julie finished prep school at The Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, before heading to Houston for Rice University. Her undergraduate B.A. in English and history was followed by an M.A. in creative writing from the University of Houston. She also studied journalism at Louisiana State University, during which time she interned at the “Baton Rouge Morning Advocate.”
Among her jobs in her 20s, Julie taught English as a Foreign Language in Lisbon (Portugal), Barcelona (Spain), and Wimberly (England); was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Houston; and worked in the private sector for a law firm and an audio company.
In 1981 Julie began her diplomatic career with the U.S. Information Agency, principally working overseas at embassies on press, cultural, and exchange issues. In 1999 USIA was absorbed into the U.S. Department of State, and Julie continued her diplomatic career there until her retirement. During a 33-year career, Julie rose to the senior Foreign Service while serving overseas nine different times in seven different countries: Israel (twice), Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. She worked in fields as diverse as anti-narcotics, nuclear nonproliferation, and women’s issues.
Julie received an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, DC., in 1995, and served as the Diplomat-in-Residence at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin from 2012-2014.
She was the recipient of numerous awards from USIA and the Department of State, including four Superior Honor Awards and USIA’s Equal Employment Opportunity Award. She was a co-founder and the first president of Executive Women at State (EW@S), an organization begun to promote the advancement of career women at the Department of State.
Julie writes travel columns for the Bayou City Press website and has published two books so far: “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” and “The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise: An International Adoption Story.” Both of her books have won multiple awards.
Julie has one son and two cats. She is active in the Houston writing and publishing community.