adoption

The Itty Bitty Soul: A Guest Post from Jim Fellows #mondayblogs #adoption

Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s hear from today’s guest, Jim Fellows, author of the author of the children’s book The Itty Bitty Soul.  It is a children’s story that explains adoption from a unique perspective.


The Itty Bitty Soul by Jim Fellows, a book about adoption

Tell us about your story

The Itty Bitty Soul is, at its core, a story about adoption.   The main character, Jimmy, is having a conversation with God prior to being born.  God tells him that there is something special that Jimmy can do for him on Earth. And while we’re not privy to what that task is, he whispers it to Jimmy.  He then shows Jimmy the two people  who will teach him what he needs to know.  This is when he’s first introduced to his mom and dad.  God shows Jimmy what both his parents do and all the people that they love and care for.  When Jimmy asks, if God is sure they would have room for him, God tells him that he is so loved already that his mom and dad would go to the ends of the Earth to find him.  And they do.

Is this a different interpretation of the adoption story?

I haven’t found a children’s story that approaches adoption in this way.  At one time I studying to be a therapist I learned about a therapeutic technique called reframing.  The purpose of reframing is to take an event in your life and look at it from a different perspective.  You don’t change the facts, you cast a new light on them.  Storytelling can be a powerful tool in reframing events in our lives.  “I never looked at it like this” is a comment I get often after someone reads the story.

What has been the reaction to the story?

Many people who have read my story were touched by it. Most people have had wonderful things to say about the story.  There are some who wished I had touched on other aspects of adoption in the story. But no one story can touch on everything.  I’ve gained a great deal of respect for the fact that adoption is a deeply personal event for people. I’m thrilled that so many people who read my story connect with it.  It’s a blessing that it’s being shared with their children.

What inspired you to write The Itty Bitty Soul?

When my two best friends in the world decided to create their family through adoption, I got to be one of their sources for support.  For a couple of years, we would regularly sit in their kitchen and I would listen to all the stories about the journey.  They would talk about how vulnerable they felt at times, how frustrating the process can be, and how heartbreaking it can be.  People who were trying to console them would say things like “I knew a couple who adopted! But then they were able to have one of their own!”  Statements like that made me realize that there were still some social stigmas to adoption that shouldn’t exist.  Adoption is viewed by so many like it was a consolation prize.  The purpose of The Itty Bitty Soul is to show that children are not “given up” for adoption, they are sought after!

Why the blog tour now?

I am partnering with a wonderful organization called Gift of Adoption.  During the month of November, I’m donating $1 from every book sold to them. Their purpose is to help families close the financial gap that usually incurs with adoption.  It’s heartbreaking that some families are prevented from becoming a family because the cost of adoption can be too great.  Gift of Adoption has been a big supporter of the book and I love partnering with them!  

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Itty Bitty Soul visit www.ittybittysoul.com.  If you order during the month of November, $1 will go towards Gift of Adoption Network and go to help a couple to realize their dream and build their family!

Jim Fellows, author of The Itty Bitty SoulJim Fellows is a storyteller and a public speaker. He lives in Woodbury MN with his wife and stepdaughter. Jim has spent much of his life working with teensand young adults. In his spare time, Jim is a avid Minnesota Twins fan and an amateur sheepherder with his Australian Shepherd Baxter. He is a strong advocate for pro-life issues.

Interview with Working Mother Allison Gingras

Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother.” Today is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of both writers and of the deaf.  Thus, we’ve gotta do a two-fer on this special feast, and you’ll see why shortly.   Let’s meet Allison Gingras!

What’s your name?Picture

Allison Gingras

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

Married to Kevin for 25 years,  he was actually my Junior AND Senior Prom Date!!  3 kids – 2 boys Ian 19 & Adam 15, and our little girl Faith, 8, who is profoundly deaf and adopted from China.

 

Imagine you’re at a dinner party.  Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?”  What’s your answer?

I am a Catholic inspiration speaker, radio host, blogger and retreat leader.

[Erin here.  Allison also writes the “Words With” apps, so check those out, too!]

 

How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be? 

He is constantly teaching me.  As I prepare presentations or radio show content, I inevitably learn something new about God and myself as His daughter.   In my ministry work, I encourage people to grow in faith by participating in Sacraments, Prayer and in reading Scripture.  Striving to be an authentic witness, means practicing what I preach – which in the end makes me into the woman God has created me to be (or at least on my way!)

What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home? 

My ministry takes me away many weekends, I see that my being away forces everyone to step it up responsibilities at home.  My children were homeschooled, and for the older ones especially, they become so dependent on me sometimes they’d take my doing things for them for granted.    The boys have taken on doing their own laundry (yeah – one of my least favorite jobs), they spend more time with their little sister, and lastly, I find we enjoy the time we have together more.

How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace? 

This is probably one of my biggest challenges, since  my ‘work’ is also my faith.  It is hard for me to stop working – there is a very thin line between spending time contemplating God and different aspects of the faith as work and reflecting on faith for the sake of faith.   Having said that,  I try to work at my desk – and when I get up from that desk, I leave behind work and focus on family.

What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more? 

Honestly, more housework – they do great with their laundry and the dishes but It would be great if someone else would dust, vacuum, wash the windows or clean the bathroom now or then.    They will if I ask but not as well as I might like (I know I should be grateful for the help not looking for perfection) and sometimes it would be just nice to have them see if needs to be done and do it.  Often I am just too busy to remember to ask for help.

 

I can so relate to that last bit.  Thank you, Allison!  

Are you a working mother?  So was (and is) the Blessed Mother!  If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”