4 out of 4 stars
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"I started to lose my sense of self in the wake of this heartache, loss, and pain. It was incredibly isolating and lonely. I wish I could say I had the perfect answer for what to do about the way I was feeling--the way so many of us feel when we experience multiple miscarriages--but I didn't."
With heartfelt transparency, Bethanee R. Syversen shares her story in her debut, Mustard Seed Faith: A Journey through Infertility, Miscarriages, Adoption, and Faith. Her journey spans seven miscarriages, three failed adoptions, and fourteen years, but despite the loss and disappointment, Bethanee and her husband believed God had a plan for their family. Now, as the mother of six children, she offers hope, insight, and encouragement that will resonate with those going through similar circumstances. Syversen views the hardships as experiences that redefined her faith and encourages readers to trust God to write their stories.
Syversen's writing style is conversational and encouraging, and her strong faith in God is evident, as she poignantly conveys the range of emotions she experienced from the heartbreak of each miscarriage and the "mental anguish of adoption" to feeling isolated and misunderstood at times by others. The book is divided into two parts; in the first, Syversen gives detailed accounts of the medical steps they took and the emotional roller coaster involved regarding infertility. The second part is compiled from a series of blog posts she wrote during her family's journey through different types of adoption, including private, international, domestic, and through the foster care system.
I particularly liked Syversen's inclusion of hints and medical explanations throughout the book. These helpful sections provided information from explaining procedures such as the HSG Test to advising family and friends how to best support couples dealing with infertility and miscarriages. Having experienced a single miscarriage, I received some of the insensitive comments Syversen mentioned, and I agreed with her advice. "Offer your hand so she can hold it, offer your shoulder for her to cry on, and offer your help with daily chores like laundry and meals. However, please keep your advice and your opinions to yourself." I also enjoyed reading the Bible verses that gave her comfort, hope, and strength during her journey.
The book is beautifully written, and the editing is professional. It offers encouraging words for readers who have experienced infertility and/or miscarriages and provides a wealth of information for those exploring adoption. In fact, I honestly can't name a thing I dislike or a suggestion for improvement, and I am pleased to rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. It would be a wonderful resource for family members desiring to be supportive of loved ones going through this journey. Syversen writes from a Christian perspective, but because many of the emotional and medical aspects of her experiences are universal, I recommend it to readers of various faiths. On the other hand, if you dislike reading scriptures and references to God, this book is probably not for you.
Mustard Seed Faith
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