{KR’s Book Club} Red Notice by Bill Browder {Review}

Book Club

To the normal person who sees this book and picks it up to read it, it is a book about high finance in both the United States and Russia with a story line to keep you on your toes. Its good. Really good.

I am not normally one to read a true thriller like this, but I had one particular mission to accomplish.
This book is the story about the circumstances that led to Russia banning Americans from adopting Russian children. This book is about what really happened to our little Alina. This is why she couldn’t come home to us.

Red Notice

If you want to read about finance and taking big risks, this is an awesome story about that. {I actually learned a ton of things that I never knew about high finance} However, if you are an adoptive parent and you have adopted internationally, you NEED to read this. Even if you never had a thing to do with Russian adoptions, you NEED to read this.

Why?

When you lose an international adoption due to government policies, problems, and red tape you often have no idea why. It is so difficult to understand what back door meeting happened that caused you to lose an adoption of a specific child. Just reading one example can lessen the burden of the unknown. {And even if you haven’t lost an adoption internationally, this is a good book to give you insight into how foreign governments work together on issues pertaining to your foreign-born child}

Browder’s book did just this for me. Being a part of a Congressional family has always given me a little better perspective on what actually happened to us all those years ago in Russia, but nothing could give me clarity like Browder’s depiction of the moments.

While reading this book I found myself cheering Browder on in his quest to seek justice for those Russia treats poorly; not only poorly… for those Russia kills. I applaud Mr. Browder.
I am sure there are a lot of families who lost their children in the Russia ban that would hate for me to say this; but this is what I have learned through attempting to adopt from three different countries : Sometimes, our passion to bring a child home is one of the fuels to the instability in their country’s current political and economic environment. Sometimes we are harming our children and ourselves more when we walk into a situation like this. When you go into another country to bring a child home to our country, there are so many moving parts that are defining how the process will go for you. Most of these moving parts you know nothing about and will never see, but they are vital to the health of your adoption process.

I have always been a firm believer that we can tell our relationship (As the United States) with another country not only by our trade agreements with them, but by how they handle adoptions with us. There were signs for many years that Russia was not working with us well. Mr. Browder’s book was able to shine so much light on the situation our family went through a couple of years ago.

As a girl who now spends time in DC helping families navigate our Congressional system to be advocates for the orphans they seek to help, I am so proud of Mr. Browder’s work to bring justice to his corner of this vast world. Isn’t that what we all want to do when we face injustice? 

Mr. Browder, if you ever read this, I hope we get to meet one day. I want to shake your hand as a mom who had a broken heart from losing a little one in Russia and instead of being upset with you, I want to thank you for standing up for what is right. Thank you for advocating for Mr. Magnitsky and his family. We all need to be a voice for the voiceless, no matter HOW they lost their voice.

-KR

**You guys and gals need to read this book. Like pronto. It’s so good.**

Buy it here : 

{KR’s Book Club} For The Love by Jen Hatmaker {Review}

Since this is my first Book Club post, let me preface this by saying that in the Ribble family, we are avid readers. So much so that we forfeited a dining room to make it into a library. Even our little boy is obsessed with books. It’s wonderful.

KR's Book Club

When I was a little girl, I walked around with my nose in a book to every single event. I couldn’t get enough of the Babysitter’s Club and any teen Christian novel my parents would allow me to devour. I was this way up until grad school. Grad school killed me. I was required to read so much that my brain literally said to me, “I refuse to consume any more words for your sheer degree enjoyment. I am shutting down. Goodbye.”

It has taken me a few years to get back to the veracity of reading I loved most of my life. As much as I would love to promise you a book review every single time I finish a book, I have a five-year old who doesn’t necessarily allow the completion of such tasks when I prefer them. That little munchkin time sucker doesn’t care as much about my blog as I do. That being said, I will do my best to keep pumping these out when I can because if there is ever a gift I want my readers to have besides my inspiring words (ha ha) it is the gift of more amazing people and their inspiring words.

You will quickly see that I have a vast preference in books. There will not be a theme to the posts so read them each for their stand-alone content and then go buy the book! You can thank me later.

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Anytime I read anything by Jen Hatmaker I feel like she is whispering words straight from the crevasses of my heart. It’s incredible how much her brain thinks like mine. It’s scary almost.

When her For The Love book came out this past Fall, I received it very quickly through my Noonday Collection network, but didn’t have the immediate time to devour it.

For The Love Book

Today I spent time rereading the last three chapters for the third time because my toddler thinks its funny to interrupt me as soon as my head bows to read every single blasted time. “Mommy this puzzle has a scooter, a bicycle, a tricycle, a wagon, and a skateboard. I only have a scooter. You can buy me a bicycle, tricycle, wagon, and a skateboard ok?” Ok. I’m on that right now.

Every single page of this book made me think of some woman in my life who I want to just ship this book to. Literally every page revealed conversations I have had with certain people in my life at certain times. When I read something familiar I wanted to rip the pages out and send them to the person they make me think of.

Jen’s call to sisterhood and unity in this book is so exquisite. The tag for the book explains it all; Fighting for grace in a world of impossible standards. Every single female reading this knows what that means. Every single thing we encounter as women has us sometimes screaming for a little grace. I find myself longing for this when I look in the mirror wearing a bathing suit, when I respond to my child a little harsher than I wanted, when I ignored a need of my husbands without meaning to, and when a friend needed a response from me that I didn’t give them appropriately. I want grace in all of those situations because I am an overloaded mess these days.

You know what I mean because each of you are the Wonder Woman of your tribe. You want to do and say it all at the right time every single time. For the Love-it isn’t possible. Jen mentions putting things “on your beam” and “off your beam” in reference to the balance beam we all walk in life. Certain things should stay on your beam and others shouldn’t be there at all. You can’t balance it all. Try it and then you will have no hairs left on your head; and honey, let me be the first to rub your head gently and tell you something: you look better with hair. Original, colored, or gray-you look better with it. I already know this.

If no other person or thing will extend you grace, my love, read this book and be encouraged. Be encouraged to give yourself grace when no one else will. Be encouraged in your walk with your Savior and your life with your family. Just be. Read this book and simply be. It’s the most amazing gift.

You will laugh and cry and scream at some of Jen’s insights and I give you permission to do so. Every one of those emotions has their place in this book.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book because I really want you to curl up and read it for yourself, but I want to leave you with these words from Jen:

“Sister, come near and listen: You are smart and capable, strong and wise. You are an overcomer, a prized member of the body of Christ. You have so much to offer. You can gather your girlfriend tribe and raise kids together, providing the happiest childhood they ever complained about. You can crack open your Bible and preach good news for the poor. You can model faithful friendship around your table, and you can stretch your hand across oceans to mamas everywhere. You can do small work. You can do big work. You are so able in Jesus, so beloved, so permitted.”

I can’t scream Hallelujah loud enough. Yes and amen. YES AND AMEN!

My loves, take courage in the exquisite woman you are for all the people God has given your life. You are more than Enough could ever have imagined.

**I am sending this book to two of my readers. Comment below on the blog about something you battle finding grace for in your life as well as some women who encourage you in your life. If you can’t think of either, comment about that. Let this blog be your forum for truth. Two of you will get a message from me asking for your address to send you this amazing book.**

I love you all.

{My love letter to Jen about For the Love: Jen, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your heart in this book. As a girl who is juggling her own set of writing deadlines and trying to birth her first book and working through her first written Bible Study and trying to be a mom to a West Indian little boy and a wife to an amazing rock star drummer…. your words encourage me and uplift me. They challenge me to focus in a little sharper on some things in my life I let be too broad when they need to make up more of my foundation for sanity. I am daily practicing “on my beam” and “off my beam” and it is so freeing. Keep doing what God has placed on your heart. It is needed. Much love from Nashville to Austin.-KR}

Want to buy the book outright? Here you go love:

 

My EPIC Life

I posted at the beginning of the year that I was making an investment in myself by going through the devotional Savor by Shauna Niequist this year. The other day she explored some thoughts on Genesis 50:20 where it says “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”

Savor

This week marks two years since we put our little girl on a plane back to Ukraine with her every breath telling me she didn’t want to go back. The last time she was in my home, two years ago, she was begging to stay. {If you aren’t familiar with this story, you can start reading it here.}

That whole year after of us working to bring her home and being met with the most tragic of ends was hell for me. I can’t candy coat it; it was. I haven’t cried about her in a long time, but as I type this, I want to punch the mess out of my computer screen. {I will control myself. I know all my readers would hate for me to break my computer. HA!}

Shauna’s devotion the other night encouraged us to look at our lives as an EPIC rather than a TRAGEDY. Shauna’s words explain this the best so I wanted to share this encouragement with you today:

“When you invest yourself deeply and unremittingly in the life that surrounds you instead of declaring yourself out of the game, once and for all, because what’s happened to you is too bad, too deep, too ugly for anyone to expect you to move on from, that’s a good, rich place. That’s where the things that looked like curses start to stand up and shimmer and dance, and you realize that they may have been blessings all along. Or maybe not. Maybe they were curses, but the force of your belief and hope and desperate love for life has brought a blessing from a curse, like water from a stone, like life from the tomb, like the story of God over and over.”

I feel like I could be Pentecostal right now and run laps around my desk. I just might as soon as I can stop typing this. Hallelujah!

My pain is like life, like water, like God’s story breathing life into someone else. ‘

Take your pain friends. Take it and let the light shine on it. Don’t hide it. Let the light ignite a fire on it and show the world what God can do with a broken soul.

I love you all. I hope you let someone see your beauty today. You are EPIC and don’t let another soul {or even yourself} tell you differently.

Epic Life