The Secret Keeper

I recently finished another of my free-for-review reads from Bethany House publishers, Beverly Lewis's newest release called The Secret Keeper.  If you are familiar with Lewis, you know she write novels about the Amish that, for me, are quite addicting.  While I do not agree with all the Amish's beliefs, I do think they are on to something with their simpler lifestyles.  Anyway, this newest book has a bit of a twist in that the main character, Jenny, is English (not Amish) but desperately wants to be Amish.  She has to go through a Proving time, proving that she is willing to leave behind all the trappings of her former life and embrace the Old Ways.  In the meantime, she learns a secret that she should not know.  Telling this secret would destroy a family, but keeping the secret will mean risking her own acceptance into the community.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have all of Lewis's other books.  It started me thinking about secrets, how we all keep secrets, and how very few of them are actually good.  I'm not even all that thrilled with surprises, which are a good kind of secret, so I tend to think that secrets generally serve no good purpose.  Secrets, when kept, can hide painful and shameful memories and prevent the wounded person from finding healing.  When such secrets are revealed, often many years later, even more people suffer hurt and shame that might not otherwise have happened had truth been told from the beginning.
At the same time though, I know that I am very guilty of keeping secrets - my honest thoughts and feelings, opinions, dreams, fears, and so on.  I do not like to expose to myself very often or to very many.  And more often than not  sometimes, it backfires on me when I do. But I am learning that this is not a good reason not to share myself with other people that have proven trustworthy.  You never know who will benefit from what you have to say, or even you yourself might be blessed and find healing in the end.
I also think about my James, and so many other children like him, who keep the secrets of their years prior to adoption.  I hope that someday he will have the language to reveal those secrets - what life was really like in the foster home, how he felt when we came and took him halfway around the world, and how he feels about his new life now.  I know he holds so many memories that can't be expressed yet, and I know he will have just as many questions!
Speaking of James, he is doing pretty well.  I think we might be getting past the most recent period of grief, but I fully expect another one to happen at the end of next month, which will be the anniversary of Tom's (foster dad) death.  Even though James doesn't know he died, James knows Tom was there one day and then gone the next, never to be seen again.  And some day I will have to explain what actually happened to daddy Tom.  But we will cross that bridge when we come to it!  In the meantime, we look forward to getting cochlear implant number one, along with some more much needed dental work.  Therapy through the AIU continues, and he is doing well, and making a lot of progress in language.  Although more often than not, I still have no idea what he's trying to tell me!  But he is trying, and that's what matters most at this point.  He enjoys going to Sunday school, and last week I let him try the Wednesday night class for his age.  He seemed to have fun, and he even paid a little bit of attention to the story!  And he wasn't a complete wreck on Thursday, like he usually is after a new experience.  We are still waiting on consent to finalize from the ICAB, and it really needs to come soon if we are going to get the paperwork in on time to get things settled by the end of the year.  This has been such a long process!  The short stay in-country was nice and very easy as far as the other kids were concerned, but I don't know if it was worth the long wait to have everything final.
I'd leave you with some pictures, but I don't have any loaded onto our new computer yet, so you'll just have to wait!!


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