Friday, November 30, 2012

From the Desk of Russell Elkins, Author of Open Adoption, Open Heart

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First of all, I realize that a lot of people don’t know what an “open” adoption is. I didn’t know either until my wife and I first entered the adoption agency. Basically, the days of biological parents placing a child for adoption and never hearing from them again are almost completely gone- washed away over the last few decades along with the mullet and Bugle Boy/suspenders combination. 95% of adoptions are now open. Open adoption simply means that there is contact between the child and his/her biological parents after placement. Sometimes that contact is through a mediator, like passing pictures or letters through a caseworker. And sometimes adoptions are really really open- like ours. We have some sort of contact regularly, at least once or twice a week, via phone, Facebook, pictures, emails, etc. We knew pretty early on that we were going to want to have our adoptions be open. It just seemed like a good idea to us- more for our children’s benefit than for anything else. We very quickly grew to love Brianna (our son’s birth mother) and we wanted that feeling passed on to our kids. All too often adopted children spend their childhood, especially teenage years, wondering about their history- wondering about their past. Were they abandoned? Why weren’t they loved enough to be raised by their biological parents. No matter what their adoptive parents told and taught them, those uneasy feelings of abandonment festered in their mind. That’s one of the main things we’re hoping to squash. We love love love their biological parents- not just because they gave us the most amazing gift one human can give another, parenthood, but because we know them as people and love them for who they are. They’re friends. They’re family. They’re special. Our hope is, when our children see the love we have toward their biological families, they will be open to having a relationship with them. Having a relationship with them, especially when we already have that love between us, will help them know their history. They’ll see that they weren’t abandoned. They’ll see they weren’t given away because they weren’t wanted. In fact, they’ll see that they were very much wanted and they’ll know of the pain their birth parents felt when those decisions were made. They’ll know their biological parents weren’t unfit or incapable of love, but the timing and situation just wasn’t right for them to be given the gifts in life they deserve. The love we have between all of us is amazing, but it wasn’t simple. The journey to where we are now had ups and downs, twists and turns. Our story was so crazy you would think it was fiction. We had to jump through legal hurdles as well as emotional ones. Most of all, since none of us had ever been through an adoption before, we didn’t know what to expect. It took time to figure out our places and our roles in the whole scheme of things. It’s not naturally instilled in us to want to share the concept of parenthood with anyone else, but that’s exactly what we’ve had to do. There are things the birth parents are that I will never be, and there are things we are that they’ll never be either. Together we’re parenthood. It’s not something where we had to learn to just be okay with being something subpar because someone else is part of the whole. No no no. Our situation is just unique, that’s all. We all have our place, and although jealousies were a very big part of the hurdles every person needs to figure out in adoption, we’ve run the iron over those wrinkles and we’ve come out smooth on the other end. That’s what Open Adoption, Open Heart is about. Starting with our troubles with infertility, the story goes through the discouragement of being one out of 950 couples on a waiting list- getting that magical letter from a young expecting mother- working through the legal hurdles- and above all, learning a whole new way to love! Open adoption truly is a journey, not just an event. Hooray for adoption! - Russell Elkins

Open Adoption, Open Heart

The world of adoption has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. No longer do biological parents have to say goodbye to their child forever. They now have more options when deciding the type of adoption to pursue, such as open adoption. Open adoption creates the opportunity for a special relationship between biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.

 Open Adoption, Open Heart is an inspiring and true story, which takes the reader deeper into the feelings and emotions experienced by adoptive parents. As you read this incredible story, you will experience the joys, difficulties, and amazing victories facing adoptive couples. Russell and his wife, Jammie, invite you to share in their inspiring and heartwarming journey.


Book Trailer:

From the Author: While my book's primary audience was thought to be those hoping to adopt, close to half of the books I've sold are simply people who want to read about our story and how adoption is different now than it used to be- and they have not adopted nor do they plan to adopt.

About the Author:

Russell Elkins was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family movedaway from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.

Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when they decided to adopt.

Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption. Russell also writes a weekly post for and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.


Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash from Author Russell Elkins
Ends 12/23/12
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

When We Collide by A.L. Jackson #WhenCollideBookTour


When We Collide
by: A.L. Jackson
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William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.

When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.
In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.

Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.

But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.
About A.L. Jackson
Author A.L. Jackson

A.L. Jackson first found a lovefor writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried withshort stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties andjoys she found in day-to-day life.                                                                                                                                            Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.
A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of family bound by an unseen connection in this romantic thriller with a supernatural twist. 

Find A.L. Jackson

Find When We Collide

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