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The Waiting: The True Story of a Lost Child, a Lifetime of Longing, and a Miracle for a Mother Who Never Gave Up Hardcover – May 6, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


When author LaGrow heard her grandmother Minka’s story of her first daughter―conceived as a result of rape nearly 80 years earlier, when her grandmother was 16; born in secret; and then placed for adoption―she could hardly imagine that it was all true. Yet the adoption file contained indisputable evidence: decades worth of Minka’s letters asking for news of this baby she had named Betty Jane. Unbelievably, that same baby, now also a grandmother and named Ruth, was seeking her biological mother and had obtained the previously sealed adoption record. Through many cross-country meeting between the women and their families, LaGrow came to know the stories of both women’s lives through the decades during which they had been separated and their ultimate and utter joy when reunited. While the presence of some historical details distracts from the rhythm of the story, LaGrow tells Minka’s story with candor that makes the characters come alive. It is a stunning story of forgiveness, faithfulness, and persistent hope. (Publishers Weekly)

The Waiting offers up the poignant and true story of a lost child and a mother who never gave up searching for her, and gathers decades of secret letters from a mother reflecting her perpetual agony wondering how her daughter is doing in life. As her reflection turns to an all-out search, readers follow her progress, begun when she was raped by a stranger in the woods and following her search for God’s insights along the way. The result is a title that blends biography with spiritual reflection and a vivid, true search that readers will find engrossing. (Midwest Book Review)


The Waiting is a story of a life conceived from one horrible act and a mother’s love. Minka chose the best for her daughter, only to discover a family that was greater than she ever imagined. The beauty of this story is that it’s about an ordinary life, yet an extraordinary love. As someone who met my own birth father at age twenty-eight―and who has adopted three children―I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Families are created in different ways, but The Waiting reminds us that love conquers heartache and that the smallest flame of hope can lead to answered prayers. I highly recommend this book! (Karen Spears Zacharias, Author of Mother of Rain)|The Waiting will engross you. It is a powerful story of love and fulfillment, told with amazing detail and sparkling prose. Rarely has a book moved me so completely. (Billy Coffey, Author of When Mockingbirds Sing and The Devil Walks in Mattingly)|A poignant story, masterfully told with heart. Minka’s journey comes to light in this beautiful work. And it is a story to be treasured. (Lisa Wiehl, Bestselling author and FOX News legal analyst)|I found The Waiting to be one of the most eloquent, moving, irresistible true stories I have ever read. It begins with a sudden and terrible crime against a completely innocent schoolgirl that could have sentenced her to a life of tragedy. But Minka was no ordinary girl. After giving up the child the crime caused her to have, she began to search and wait for decades for the moment she knew somehow had to come―the moment when she would at last be reunited with her daughter. Authors Cathy LaGrow and Cindy Coloma, with the help of the families involved, have eloquently captured this magnificent story of tragedy overcome by love, hope, and perseverance. Most readers will discover, as I did, that as the pages turn, they will shed more than a few tears but they will also find their faith in humanity restored and their hearts more than a little bit lighter. (Homer Hickam, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rocket Boys/October Sky)|An amazing story that proves God hears our prayers and does sometimes give us the desires of our hearts. Written with heartfelt, poetic prose, The Waiting will move you as you read about this unlikeliest of reunions. (Travis Thrasher, Bestselling author of Home Run and Never Let Go)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414391900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414391908
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (493 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Bartelt on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1928, a 16-year-old girl was assaulted in the woods by a stranger while attending a picnic. Months later she learned she was pregnant. Sent away to live, first, with relatives and then at a Lutheran home for unwed mothers, the girl became a mother faced with a choice: give her daughter up for adoption to a family or keep her and live with the stigma of being a single mother.

She'd carry the decision to give up her daughter, whom she named Betty Jane, mostly in secret for almost 80 years. And then a miracle answer to prayer: a phone call would reunite the two women and renew a relationship that even eight decades couldn't destroy.

This is the story of The Waiting, a debut book by Cathy LaGrow, whose grandmother is the woman, Minka, who gave up the child and on her daughter's 77th birthday prayed for a chance to see her baby girl one more time. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my review.)

So much more than a family history, The Waiting is a stunning narrative that reads like a novel. (It could be a movie and we'd all be ugly crying. It's that good.) LaGrow, and contributor Cindy Coloma, have pieced together a story that spans almost a century, thousands of miles and two families connected by blood but with no idea either existed.
I was impressed with the details and meticulous research, the emotions that practically jumped off the page. I could see the story unfold, and I'm so grateful for this family sharing their lives and the incredible way God brought together all things for good.

I was moved to tears and had to set the book down a few times for fear that if I engaged fully, I'd be unable to go on with my day.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Steve Glavan on May 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beginning in the days before the Great Depression, "The Waiting" shares the story of young Minka, a shy, innocent girl whose life is forever altered when she is tragically assaulted by a stranger on a remote road. Her unexpected pregnancy is handled with tenderness and love by her family and those who care for her, but she cannot forget Betty Jane, the infant girl she must give up for adoption. As readers, we are taken on a journey through Minka's life, and concurrently the life given to Betty Jane - now Ruth - as she grows to adulthood with her adopted family. Over the years, Minka continues to think about and pray for her daughter, and Ruth wonders about the mother she never knew. Then one day, across the years and the miles, their lives come together.

Author Cathy La Grow brings Minka and Ruth's story to life. "The Waiting" reads like a fiction novel, and the wonder lies in realizing that it is a true story - a story of family, faith, and the redemptive power of love. It is a story that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face. I guarantee that, once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down.

This is Cathy La Grow's debut book. We can only hope that it is the first of many.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By adayriddle on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was attracted to this book because of the cover art I was sure at first glance that this would be about a Jewish survivor, but it is a far cry from that. This is a story about a choice to keep a life and how that life changed the course of another life. It is the story of God's healing, love, forgiveness and His unsurpassed grace in the midst of our lives. It is about the crimson thread of love that binds people together and brings them through things.

In 1928 a young innocent girl went to a picnic; expecting a normal day with her friends 16 year old Minka never imagined the tragedy that would rip through her life that very day. At that picnic in the scenic woods this young girl was assaulted by a man in the woods. This shame left her wrecked, wounded and aching - but months later the hurt and shock were compounded when she found out she was pregnant. Pregnant and unwed in a time that the three letter word that begins with "s" was not even mentioned in the company of close girl friends and certainly not discussed, Pregnant and unwed in time when such things were highly unfavored. She was sent to live off with others. Then when the child came it was put up for adoption - a heart breaking sacrifice for a young mother so her child can have a life she deserves. And this is just the beginning of the journey.

For years she hung onto the memories of that sweet baby. For years she begged God to give her the opportunity to meet the precious child that she had given up. She begged Him for the chance to see that child just once. This is the story of ultimate waiting - who of us would have the patience to continue to pray and wait on God for 80 years?!?
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mjkt on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
"The Waiting: The true story of a lost child, a lifetime of longing, and a miracle for a mother who never gave up" by Cathy LaGrow with Cindy Coloma. This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. It is a true story about this wonderful (who I would love to meet) woman name Minka finding her daughter after 77 years. She was raped when she was just 16 years old in 1928 and she gave up her daughter, Betty Jane, to adoption praying that her little girl would have a good life. Well when she gave her up, she did not give her up in her heart. She constantly wrote letters to her until the birth of her 2nd with her husband Roy in 1947. Most of the book is about Minka and her life from a little bit from childhood, the rape all the way to today. Yes, I said today as of today she is still alive, yes she was born in 1911. An amazing and strong woman! We find her meeting her husband Roy, with him coming home from World War 2 with PTSD. Her close friendship with her younger sister Jane. Her having their two children with Roy but also his alcoholism affecting their family in bad ways. Even through all this she stays strong in her faith and keeps in her heart the love and memory of her daughter Betty Jane whom she still loves very much. The last section of the book we learn about Betty Jane's, renamed by her adoptive family Ruth. Minka did know that Ruth was adopted by Pastor and his wife which turned out to be a big blessing for that family and Ruth. Ruth was blessed with a very loving family. In high school she met and fell in love with her future husband Charles. Ruth and Charles ended up having six children. Minka one day decided when she did her praying for
Betty Jane/Ruth she decided to ask God to help her find her.
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