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Book Review

‘Wish You Happy Forever’ is a global gem

5/21/2014

BOOK 5.22Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

“Wish You Happy Forever”

By Jenny Bowen

Harper One

March 11, 2014

HIV

$25.99

320 pp.

Hollywood screenwriter, Jenny Bowen, read a 1996 newspaper article about orphaned girls in China. She and her husband immediately began adoption proceedings to save at least one of these neglected baby girls. Two years later, she sat marveling at the changed child her daughter had become. A little love and care had made all the difference. Jenny was overwhelmed with the desire to change the lives of as many of these Chinese orphans as she could. She decided to go to the source of the problem and bring a concerned adult into the life of every orphaned or institutionalized Chinese child. With this thought, Half The Sky Foundation was founded in 1998.

Within 10 years, Half The Sky Foundation had changed the lives of 100,000 at-risk children in Chinese institutions. This was done by providing family-like nurturing care within these previously harsh and impersonal environments. This book is the story of Bowen’s passionate and persistent journey toward her goal. She is the only Westerner working with the Chinese government to change the child welfare system from the inside. As you read about the heart-breaking circumstances she observed in Chinese orphanages at the beginning of her journey, you are thankful this forceful and dedicated woman walks upon our earth.

Bowen humbly describes how dealing with the Chinese cultural mores and communication process, as it differs from America’s, was educational. She highlights her errors as she plunged ahead — with the children’s welfare always foremost in her mind. As Bowen writes, “No child should have to wait to be loved.” CV

Cathryn Lang, a former literacy leader, has been interested and involved in organizations promoting the adoption of children from overseas.

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