Saturday, June 25, 2016

(Review) Gathering Courage: A Life-Changing Journey through Adoption, Adversity and a Reading Disability by T.A. McMullin

Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Gathering Courage Media
Genre: Nonfiction, biography, learning disability, courage
Pages: 222
Source: Free paperback copy from T. A. McMullin
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Amazon link for the book















About the author:
T.A. McMullin has become a champion for the encouragement and success of others. She has earned two degrees from Texas A&M University and has served as a 4-H Leader and FFA Advisor. Her professional career involves teaching agriculture, science, developing material for science and science fairs, working with students in an alternative school setting, teaching students with visual impairments, and mentoring students with dyslexia. T.A. McMullin lives on a small ranch in Texas, a forever home, with her horses, donkeys, and rescued Border Collie dogs.

Summary:
T. A. McMullin was born in 1954, in Fort Worth, Texas. At birth, she was given to the Gladney Center for Adoption. At twelve days old, she was adopted. A grandmother and friends loved and accepted T. A., but her adopted family struggled to accept her. 
Gathering Courage follows the life of T. A. McMullin: birth, adoption, school years, struggles in school, natural ability with animals, support network, college, work, and a Christian testimony. 

My Thoughts: 
I enjoyed reading Gathering Courage. McMullin established early in the story a tenacity and strength to persevere against the odds. She did not give up, but instead kept her eye on the goal. 
Often while reading McMullin's life story, she reminds the reader of God's active role in her life, and she is quick to give Him the glory for every blessing. 
Sad and disappointing experiences did not harden her heart. She did not become a bitter person; she became a better person. 
God opened up opportunities for McMullin to share how she felt with people who had caused pain. She spoke "plain" but did not speak with malice. 
Gathering Courage is a story of hope for people who have disabilities or hardships. Sometimes people do not pick back up and persevere, they loose the "wind in their sails" and cannot move forward. McMullin picked herself back up and dusted her self off and kept moving. 
The pace and rhythm of the story is steady. 
The attitude of the story, even during sad moments, is balanced. Sometimes a biography that is filled with dysfunction and sadness can be overwhelming. Instead, I felt an attitude of hope and grace. 

"Yes, forgiveness is an ongoing process, and many times has to be applied over and over. Forgiveness is the gift we give to ourselves." Page 35. 

"However, I do have control as to how I act and react to those situations. I can honestly say there is a peace in my heart and forgiveness for the way I was treated. Most of all, I knew that I was God's child and He protected me and filled in the gap with people who showed me love and kindness. Their acts of kindness were paid forward years and years ago. It was love and kindness that gave me the courage to survive and to keep my heart pure. It is through love and kindness that I choose to live the rest of my life." Page 111.



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