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Rich in Love: When God Rescues Messy People Kindle Edition
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Both of Mexican heritage, Domingo and Irene grew up in very different homes. By age 11, Domingo was cutting school, getting into fights, stealing alcohol and cigarettes and it looked like this kid didn't stand a chance. The first time Irene saw him she told her friend she was going to marry him. Finding out she was pregnant at 15 but no longer liking Domingo, he was determined to provide for her and their child. Despite his many failings he was a hard worker. Interestingly the judge who gave them permission to marry thought the two of them would stay married and never divorce. Sadly Domingo was a drunk who turned violent. Irene, although not physically violent, used her tongue to hurt and destroy. They came to hate each other and Irene was working hard in order to save enough money to divorce Domingo and raise their now two boys herself. What happened and who came in to Irene's life to begin the change in her? What about Domingo? Although most of this story is written in Irene's words, at one point we read some of Domingo's side. (It is written in italics so there is no confusion.)
After 10 years of marriage would Irene be able to forgive Domingo? It's never too late for a honeymoon! After the first quarter of the book being about their rough beginning we then move on to Part 2 - Compassionate. It is now 1981. Irene is feeling lonely with the boys always with their dad. She longs to adopt a girl. I could really relate to their story here as the beginning of our adoption story was just like theirs! Richard (like Domingo) thought I was totally crazy when I suggested we adopt. We had always said that by 40 we would be free of kids! God had a different plan for our lives just like he did Irene and Domingo's.
Three adoptions followed. Was this not enough? Apparently not in God's eyes as HE knew they could handle more. Domingo's prayer:
"Thank you Lord, for the opportunity to serve you. Spend us until we are totally dependent on you. Bring us the trials that perfect us and draw us nearer to you."
Part 3 - Rich in Love. Loving the unlovely is not easy. When a child would first come to their house they knew it would not be easy taking at least six months to settle in. Why did some of the children reject the love shown them preferring to eventually return to drugs and jail etc? What happened when a death occurred? Who is George?
If you have been living with rose colored glasses on, not really seeing some of the pain and abuse that is going on around you, then this book will likely smash those lenses! Irene shares some of the abuse the children suffered before arriving with them: children covered with lice, meth addiction, rotten teeth, sexual abuse, general neglect and more. It is not pretty and just like the Garcia's you may well ask God "Why?". It could also make your blood boil over with frustrations regarding social services who sometimes make it so hard for these kids to be placed and have stability. (Please note that I am not talking all social workers out there as there are many that are incredible and do their best with not much help or resources.) How do you love the birthparents who have caused/allowed this abuse? Read this story and be inspired and challenged. What can you do to help? You can make a difference in the lives of children. We have adopted three and waiting for more. As Irene says in this book, they thought they were to be a blessing to the children (which they were and are) but they hadn't realized how much of a blessing the children were going to be to them. Yes, life has not been easy - there have been many, many battles but God has not given them more than they can handle. Think you are too old? Domingo and Irene are in their early 60's!
Thank you Domingo and Irene for sharing your story. You have truly inspired us as we wait to see what the Lord hands us next. Blessings, Liz
The only negative I would say about this book - and it's not really a negative as much as a perspective - is that I got the feeling toward the end that perhaps the author felt that anyone who isn't taking in orphans and foster children is not fully living up to what they should be in helping further God's kingdom on earth (my personal interpretation - I could be wrong). While I stand in total awe of what they did, and it did prompt me to deeply consider what God would be having me do in my own life to serve others, I also feel that we each have different spiritual gifts to use in serving others. We need to each earnestly contemplate what God would have us do to serve Him in our own way.
This family had AMAZING faith and fortitude. I enjoyed this book a lot.