No Longer an Orphan: Never Abandoned, Never Alone

By Dana Stone

Non-Fiction

Westbow Press, 2010

This is a beautiful story of love that goes beyond human potentials. But there is much more than just a story. It is a beautiful testimony of love. First there is the journey to China to adopt a Chinese baby girl and the long trip home filled with love and joy, it’s really all about God the Father. Each chapter has a title describing God–as Creator, Provider, Joy giver, Healer, and 23 more attributes. Much of the text used to explain these attributes is in the story of journeys: waiting for–and then going to–China, where they meet their baby and deal with the very long journey back to America.

But that is only a part of the message. Each chapter is titled as “The God Who…”

It speaks of God’s plan, God’s provision, and especially how God calls us to learn to see and hear–recognize–how God sends experiences as blessings. It reminds us how we can receive, and then share, the good even in the hard part of life.

 

The Reason I Jump

By Naoki Higashida

Non-fiction

Random House 2013

Through a question/answer format, this book takes the reader into the world of autism. “But how is that possible?” is a valid question. It is through the use of an alphabet grid that the author speaks and answers questions, expressing himself and explaining the “why” and “how” of his world. Or, as he puts it, “Honestly, what a mysterious language us kids with autism speak!”

And so it is! Craving words, or just the letters, writing thoughts in the air, he feels safe with his letters, symbols, and signs. As he says, he is not alone and can “be with them” no matter where he goes. He reveals a beauty, a blessing, in this “company of friends”–the words and images he carries with him. They are “unchanging,” “comforting,” and “safe.”

Then, along with answering questions, he reaches out to the people on the other side of reality with a plea to “understand what we really are, and what we’re going through” because “for people with autism, living itself is a battle,” and “we don’t want you to give up on us, for we badly want to free ourselves from our own chains.”

Can we now “understand” those with autism? Not really. But knowing just a little about what they are wrestling with can change our perception of them as human beings who need the opportunity to find a place in society—and life itself.