Review of Surrendered Hearts by Lori Schumaker, the story of an adoption journey

Adoption and the Journey Toward a Surrendered Heart

The collision of lives is mysterious and unpredictable. Friends meet at a gathering and are bonded for life. A man and a woman from random backgrounds are introduced to each other and eventually share grandchildren. Adoption is a choice that puts this miracle of connection on display in unique ways that seem to defy race, culture, and even geography.

When Lori Schumaker adopted her beautiful daughter from Bulgaria, she entered into an unfolding story that was being orchestrated offstage by a Conductor who makes no mistakes, but whose music is frequently strange to our ears as we struggle to find the melodic line. Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust is her triumphal and grateful anthem of praise for God’s infinite wisdom in bringing her family together. It is also a story of her family’s yielding to this process even when it involved the dissonance of unmet expectations and grinding disappointment.

Peace is a By-Product of Surrender and Trust

The Schumaker family was carried through their journey by an overriding awareness that adoption is an image of a far greater reality than simply adding a child to their family. Adoption is a mere shadow of God’s choosing love that grafts us to his own heart in a way that gives us a new name, a new identity, a forever home, and (most astonishing of all) a heart like His, forged in the furnace of New Covenant grace. For Lori, the outcome was a surrendered heart and an embrace of God’s will in the wake of miracles she could never have anticipated at the outset of her adoption journey.

Over the course of a rigorous two-year process, Lori discovered that “God grows a child in our hearts as unmistakably as He does in our wombs.” She first saw her daughter Selah’s face in an emailed picture. There were a few medical red flags in her file, but nothing could deter Lori from the idea that this toddler with brown sparkling eyes and black ringlets was meant to be her own child. The “knowing came through the peace,” and, although the process was gritty, continual prayer carried Lori through the uncertainty of a story that swerved between hope and despair. She found that the peace she longed for was a “by-product of surrender and trust.”

Living with a Surrendered Heart

Lori’s account of two trips to Bulgaria, the heartbreaking goodbyes, the grueling wait, and the eventual joy provide a very personal glimpse of the adoption process from inside. Those who are considering adoption will benefit from the realism, and those who are walking alongside adoptive parents will find excellent insights that will make them better able to pray their loved ones through the adoption process.

It takes courage to live with a surrendered heart. The vulnerable position of welcoming a child into your home is just one example of the many ways in which believers can live a poured out life characterized by availability and a willingness to respond to God’s resounding “YES” to us with an answering yes that opens the door to miracles.

Many thanks to Redemption Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

Rejoicing in Hope,

michele signature[1]

I  am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you should decide to purchase Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust, simply click on the title (or the image) within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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65 thoughts on “Adoption and the Journey Toward a Surrendered Heart”

  1. This sounds like a good read. My pile of books is getting so high.

    This is another area I’ve been praying about having a series on my blog, how we can leave a legacy through adoption. I want to have guest writers who have adopted and people who were adopted to share their stories. My family has many adopted and (steps that have been taken fully in as family) Plus I know so many others.


  2. This sounds like a wonderful book, Michele. I’m always interested to hear others’ adoption stories … no two are ever exactly alike. The Father of the fatherless knows exactly what He’s doing when He knits our families together, but it’s true … the process–both before and after the children come home–requires trust and ongoing surrender. I’m glad Lori has shared her story with others who can be encouraged and helped by it.


  3. As an adopted person, I am fascinated by stories of the wonderful gift people give by allowing someone else’s child into their homes and hearts. My adoptive Mum was in church when she heard God tell her there was a little girl waiting for her. It was Easter Sunday but she went and banged on the children’s home door and by the November of that year they were fostering me and then adopting me the following February #TwinklyTuesday


  4. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into Lori’s book and heart for adoption. I imagine her emotions were all over the place during this process. What a blessing that she now has added this little girl to her family.


    1. I can certainly see how that would happen, Tom. Particularly a generation or two ago when families were more reluctant to share the details with their children.
      Thanks for reading.


  5. Your neighbor at Tune in Thursday! This sounds like another great book. Thank you for sharing such an indepth review! I always learn so much about the books when I read your reviews! Blessings!


  6. This causes me to smile. What a beautiful story. God does indeed birth children in the heart just as the womb. Glad you have opportunity to share Lori’s story with others, Michele. Also, the writer in me absolutely LOVED your opening sentence in this post. Blessings! #heartencouragementthursday


  7. I think adoption stories are among my favorite . . . perhaps because I am an adoptive mom. The way God shows up in the process, in the midst of disappointment, and in the middle of obstacles can be downright amazing. I will have to find time to read this book this year. Thanks for sharing, Michele!


  8. I know some couples that have gone through the adoption process: it is so hard and rightly so as the child has to be carefully homed with the right family. The happiness at a successful ending makes the process worthwhile. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging


  9. Our oldest granddaughter was four when she became a legal part of our family, but was ours in our hearts since her birth mom and she first came into our lives when she was about six weeks old. Nothing opened my eyes to how God feels about us like her adoption and her younger brother’s adoption by our second born and her husband.


  10. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #OverTheMoon this week. Each Hostess displays their own features so be sure to visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!


  11. Great review 🙂 makes me want to discover Lori’s story. Take a look at my blog if you’re interested in adoption stories. I just started it! Thomas


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