A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

More Than A Memory: The Candace Kate Story GIVEAWAY

It's always fascinating to read about another family that has adopted a special needs child from China.  This was a really touching book that I could relate to in a lot of ways.  Author Nancy Fileccia does a good job of bringing their story to life.

Little Candace came from the same province that my Katie comes from.  Candace's special need in her paperwork was blindness, but when the Fileccia family met her, they soon realized her needs were greater than that.  Sound familiar?  In fact, not one, or even two families had met her and chosen not to proceed with her adoption, but five families had traveled to China to adopt Candace, and then left her behind when they realized there was more than blindness going on with that little girl.  Personally, I wish that someone in China would have realized after one or two families that they needed to be a little more forthcoming with Candace's true condition, and updated her paperwork so that interested families would know what they were getting into.  I guess that comes from my own experience of there being "more to the story" with Luke than what was in his referral paperwork.

Nancy speaks candidly about attachment being a struggle--both Candace to Nancy, and Nancy to Candace!  Another thing I can relate to.

Nancy set out to homeschool Candace, and worked with her to learn Braille using ping pong balls and a muffin tin.

The family enjoyed some good times as they watched Candace experience things for the first time and as she learned new things, but after a couple of years, their world came crashing down.

In a dizzying whirl they went from, "She's skinny" to "Feeding tube in hospital for 2 weeks" to "Terminal brain disorder."  Although the initial diagnosis turned out to be incorrect, what Candace was ultimately diagnosed with, Batten's disease, was also terminal.

Thus began the agonizing 3 years of living out Candace's dying.

During this time, Nancy and her friend Paula continued their homeschool lapbooking business, A Journey Through Learning, often working together from Candace's bedside at the hospital.

While I really enjoyed this book, I wish it would have gone into more of how the rest of the family handled this difficult chapter.  We rarely hear anything about Nancy's doctor husband, their two bio daughters, or their young adopted son.  Again, I'm sure this comes from my own worries about how adopting a child with profound special needs will affect my other children, but I would have loved to hear how Candace's adoption, the loss of mom as primary caretaker, and Candace's subsequent death affected Lindsey, Lauren, and Cameron.  Or even a mention of what they're doing now.

There's a moving slideshow of family photos from Candace's life at their website.

You may think, "The main character dies.  It's a sad book."  Well, yes and no.  It's a beautiful story of the reality of special needs adoption.  You don't always get what you expect.  It was very encouraging to me to see the author survive such a difficult chapter in her life.

You can purchase the book in a variety of ways:  Nancy's website, the Kindle version, or for Kobo readers.  I am giving away 2 copies of the ebook version for 2 of my readers!

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  1. I'm the mother of a child with severe special needs. Actually, much of what you write about your Luke looks very familiar; Phineas, who came to us at 14 months, is extremely delayed and functions at age 7 somewhere in the 2-3 yo range. All that to say ... I don't have the heart to read this book. I've seen it in posts on several blogs but I can't bring myself to go there. Parenting my boy is hard enough, iykwim. ((Hugs))

    1. I do understand. Did you know the extent of his needs when you adopted him?

    2. No, we didn't. We had a hint, but we weren't aware of the bigger picture. He was delayed, but he was also in an environment that didn't nurture development. We honestly thought we could "love him to neurotypical." That hasn't been God's plan so far.

    3. Oh, can I relate. I took a peek at your blog, and at least he's a cute little guy. Do you have a diagnosis for him?

  2. Dozens. And none at all. Depends on which specialist you're talking to. LOL