Daddy, Come & Get Me: a dad's adventure through a Guatemalan adoption is a spiritual memoir of Gil Michelini's journey of bringing his daughter home. Moving alongside the story, Gil reveals a plausible story, based on the official Guatemalan adoption documents, of how a birthmother made the decision for adoption.There is absolutely no other way to start this review except with a brief word about the cover. I can't decide if this is brilliant marketing or totally unfair marketing: who could look at that cover and not be driven to pick up the book? Look at those eyes. I just want to reach in and cuddle. Sadly, there are no pictures inside the book. I really wish there were.
This book is written for a very specific audience and, if you fit into that audience, you will love this book. So, how do you know if you fit the audience profile? Are you a deeply religious person who recognizes the influence of a higher power in your life? Are you seriously considering adopting, or have you already adopted, internationally? Are you interested in the experiences of others' and open minded about belief systems that might differ from yours? A 'yes' to any of these puts you in the perfect audience. I did fit the audience profile and totally enjoyed the book.
Gil and Fran's journey through their adoption process alternated between frustration, confusion, hope and faith. In the telling of his story, Gil doesn't pull punches. He willingly shows the good and the bad and leaves himself open and vulnerable in the process. It is a very honest exploration of a very personal experience.
Interspersed in Gil's story is the possible story of the birth mother, Dolores. Giving voice to her struggle and love for her baby added a lovely tribute to her and the trials she must have gone through. It also introduced us to a bit of the culture of Guatemala which added dimension to what could otherwise have been another 'first world' saving 'third world' story. I was pleased that Mr Michelini avoided this.
As the back cover states, this is a spiritual memoir. The spirituality of this family is front and centre. In every aspect of their lives, in every situation, this family finds omens and signs from God. This can either add or distract from the story depending on your own personal belief system. In fact the title of the book comes from a dream/vision that Gil had wherein he heard his daughter calling from a mountaintop, 'Daddy, come and get me.'
A Taste from page 67:
It's the Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend and I', back from New York working on the home study. With my autobiography complete, I'm reading the instructions for the Me, As A Person questions. "The purpose of these questions is to help you become consciously aware of what you believe and how you want to be as a parent." It sounds like a way for the case worker to judge if I'm good enough to be an adoptive parent.My gut fills with the scrunchy feeling. I want to wad up the paper and throw it away. I just don't want to go that far inside my head to answer these questions because I'm as in touch with my feelings as I wnat to be.
Character Development 5