Monday, May 10, 2010

Interview with Kevin Hendricks

Who is Kevin Hendricks? Well, I'm glad you asked!

Up until about a month ago, I didn't even know Kevin either! But then someone on Twitter 're tweeted' (repeated someone else's tweet) an announcement about his new book "Addition by Adoption" being released and I followed a link to his blog. After reading a couple of his posts - some about his new book, others just about life in general - I was already pretty sure I liked him!

I was also pretty sure that I was going to like his book. I mean, a book comprised of tweets? (I love Twitter!) Tweets that tell the story of a family waiting in anticipation to adopt a child from Ethiopia? (We all know about my soft spot for Ethiopia.) While also recognizing the need to do more to work towards less children needing to be adopted?

Yeah, I had a pretty good idea that it was going to be right up my alley.

Which is why, when I noticed a tweet from Kevin that said,

"What's your favorite adoption/parenting/tech site that you think should cover Addition by Adoption?"

I just figured I'd volunteer myself! So, I sent him a tweet and within minutes I was shocked to have gotten an email and a (PDF) copy of the book! I set to work reading it that day and found myself hooked at first Tweet. I'll be posting my own review of the book tomorrow, but wanted to give you a chance to 'meet' the author first.

So, here's my interview with Kevin Hendricks about his new book "Addition by Adoption":

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SW24/7: Okay, just for fun, try to answer these questions in 140 characters or less!

Wow, that’s a tough one. Challenge accepted. I’ll try to stick to actual English (‘and’ instead of ‘&’, proper punctuation, etc.) which might put me slightly over the 140-mark. But we’ll try. After this one, of course.

SW24/7: When did you and your wife first decide that adoption was the way you wanted to expand your family?

After my wife’s first pregnancy she said never again. Seriously though we’ve thought about it for a while and it felt right.

SW24/7: Did your faith play any part in the decision?

How could it not? I think practicality was big--kids need families, we wanted a kid. Perfect match. But the call to act justly comes in too.

SW24/7: How did you first choose between international/domestic/foster adoption?

Initially we were going to dual-list--but we realized it's double the work. Ultimately there was a greater need in int'l adoption at the time.

SW24/7: Why Ethiopia?

The requirements fit well for Ethiopia (relatively inexpensive, shorter wait, etc.), but also the care was incredible. They love those kids.

SW24/7: What was the significant memory you have of the waiting process?

Being in limbo. Our family was waiting for this new addition, but we had to keep going every day not knowing when it would come. It's hard.

SW24/7: What was the most memorable moment of your trip to Ethiopia to meet Milo?

I'll never forget the goodbye ceremony at the care center. They put handprints of all the kids in a book. Milo left his mark in Ethiopia.

SW24/7: How has Lexi adjusted to being a big sister?

I'll ask. Lexi: "I like to be a sister and Milo is a brother." There you have it. She loves it--they play all the time and are learning to share.

SW24/7: What has been the most surprising thing about parenting an adopted child?

I don't think we've encountered anything that different from being a biological parent. Yet. Parenting in general is pretty wild and surprising.

SW24/7: I know you've begun the process of looking into foster adoption - how are you finding that process?

Overwhelming. These are older kids in foster care with parental rights terminated for a reason, so there are a lot of issues. It's intense.

SW24/7: If you had one piece of advice for those considering adoption, what would it be?

It takes more than love. You're in this for life, so make sure you know what you're getting into and make sure you can handle it.

SW24/7: Okay, answer this in as many words as you'd like: Talk about the process of coming to realize that you wanted to do more than just adopt from Ethiopia but that you wanted to make Ethiopia better/stronger/healthier...


Oh good. That’s a hard one to answer in 140 characters because it’s so important.


Adoption is not a best-case scenario solution. In an ideal world, kids wouldn’t need to be adopted. We love them and are so grateful we can adopt them, but ideally kids should be able to stay with their families and their cultures. Unfortunately that can’t happen for whatever reason (death, disease, poverty, social stigma, etc.).


So part of bringing Milo into our family is recognizing the brokenness that made his adoption necessary. It’d be heartless to do nothing to fix that brokenness. It’s easy to ignore these issues in the developing world, but now it’s part of our family. We have a responsibility to do what we can to make Ethiopia better, stronger and healthier. We’d rather see Milo’s brothers and sisters—my sons and daughters—able to stay in Ethiopia and be safe, healthy and happy. So we do what we can to work towards that.


It’s why we’re putting a portion of the proceeds from the book towards building a well in Ethiopia.

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Thanks to Kevin for allowing me to interview him! Check him out today and then come back tomorrow for my review of Addition by Adoption... there may even be another surprise!

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book. I can't wait to read your review!

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  2. Love the interview! Will have to go visit. :)

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  3. Interesting he says nothing about the big bucks made by the adoption industry or about the trauma and loss of adoptees.

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  4. I love what he said here:

    "Adoption is not a best-case scenario solution. In an ideal world, kids wouldn’t need to be adopted. We love them and are so grateful we can adopt them, but ideally kids should be able to stay with their families and their cultures. Unfortunately that can’t happen for whatever reason (death, disease, poverty, social stigma, etc.).


    So part of bringing Milo into our family is recognizing the brokenness that made his adoption necessary. It’d be heartless to do nothing to fix that brokenness. It’s easy to ignore these issues in the developing world, but now it’s part of our family. We have a responsibility to do what we can to make Ethiopia better, stronger and healthier. We’d rather see Milo’s brothers and sisters—my sons and daughters—able to stay in Ethiopia and be safe, healthy and happy. So we do what we can to work towards that."

    So well said.

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  5. Thanks everyone. Appreciate the kind words.

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