Jennifer Rose Asher isn’t religious, but she knows a higher power planned and orchestrated her adoption of a Vietnamese baby more than two decades ago. She just had to get out of the way and learn to trust in something larger than herself.
Jennifer is a Chicago-area native now living outside Dallas, Texas. In her recently published memoir, Journey to My Daughter, she describes her passage from never wanting children to obsessing over becoming a mother before and after two devastating miscarriages.
If you’re thinking of adoption, or in the middle of the process, consider buying her memoir. You’ll likely benefit from her experiences. That goes, as well, for those who’ve miscarried. She can relate to the emotions you might be feeling, including those often not admitted.
An Ordained Meeting
Though I certainly enjoyed reading her story, appreciating her friendly, often humorous writing style and bold honesty, Journey to My Daughter, isn’t a book I’d normally pick up, let alone buy. I’m too old to get pregnant and adoption isn’t in the cards.
But for reasons beyond my understanding, I’d become interested in the topic of adoption, especially in stories about adoptees discovering previously unknown kin.
Before I’d written the first word in a recent blog post, Jennifer contacted me via LinkedIn. Within an hour or so, I was on Amazon buying her book. I finished reading it in four hours, not sure what to make of this woman, but intrigued by her personal evolution and discovery.
Hmm…This Person Seems Familiar
Jennifer’s “damn-the-torpedoes-all-speed-ahead” style of getting stuff done resonated. I could relate to how she left no stone unturned in her relentless quest to adopt a baby. She wanted what she wanted when she wanted it.
From her memoir:
“I had no interest in soul-searching…. I wasn’t going to lose any time arguing about whether to move forward (with an adoption after her second miscarriage). I had wasted more than six months since Marc (her husband) and I agreed to have a baby, and I wasn’t going to waste another minute!”
“I would cross every t and dot every i. I was going to have a baby, and no detail would be overlooked. I may not have complete control over my body, but paperwork was something I could manage. I had timelines, spreadsheets, lists and printouts. I could do this, and there would be no stopping me.”
Jennifer had my attention. I kept reading.
“The woman who didn’t want kids now has three,” Jennifer told me during a phone conversation a few months ago. After adopting Hilary from a Vietnamese couple living in the U.S., she adopted a Caucasian boy, Jamie, and then gave birth to a healthy son, Reese, a few years later—this after multiple miscarriages.
From her journey, Jennifer discovered she needed to be patient, and trust in something larger. “I believe there is a higher power, the universe, God, or whatever you want to call it, guiding us, giving us signs, pulling us toward a certain path.”
The signs were always there during her extraordinary adoption journey but at the time, she wasn’t wise enough to follow them. Instead, she relied on her own power and get-it-done persona.
“I grew a lot emotionally during this time,” Jennifer wrote in one of her blog posts. “I think I calmed down some and allowed things to happen more naturally…I hope readers will use my book as a guide, or see it as a sign itself, to help them recognize these signs in their own lives.”
What I Learned from Jennifer
Yes, Jennifer, nothing happens by chance, and I believe we were supposed to meet.
She, a stranger, reached out to me, and I bought her book. They were signs. As a Christian, I needed a non-Christian to remind me of God’s omnipotence and plan for my life. Be patient. Slow down. Remember everything happens for a reason. Trust in something larger than yourself.
Thanks, Jennifer, for the reminder.
And thanks, too, to all mothers everywhere.