Book Giveaway: From Ashes to Africa

UPDATE” Book winner posted here. Thanks for your stories about your awesome hubbies!!!!!

My book giveaways have been a bit derailed by the bathroom remodeling drama around here– pix soon! But as promised, here is the first giveaway. A couple who reads my blog, Josh and Amy Bottomly, wrote a book about the experience of adopting from Ethiopia. The book is called, “From Ashes to Africa.”

A few weeks ago I found enough time to read it, and very much enjoyed it. It is written from the perspective of both husband and wife, and candidly details the highs and lows of waiting to adopt. Adoption is not for the faint of heart– something I already knew! But this book does more than describe an adoption. It also chronicles the story of a marriage, and the way Josh and Amy changed and grew throughout the adoption process.

This is a great read for any adoptive parent, or for anyone who is considering adoption.

Here’s the cool part: I am giving away a signed copy of this book. To enter the drawing:

— If you are married I would like you to share one thing your spouse did when you were dating that you are glad he or she still does! If you like, you can also share one thing that he or she did while you were dating that you are glad he/she quit.

— If you are single, you can still play along: just share one trait that is essential to you in a partner.

Umm…let’s see….to make this fair, I guess I ought to start.

I am glad my husband doesn’t spend as much time car-washing as he did when we were dating. But I am very glad that he still thinks I am gorgeous, even in comfy jammies (yeah, the soft, baggy cotton kind) and no makeup.

You have until Saturday at 9 AM to make your comment and enter the drawing!


  1. He still makes me wonderful gourmet meals when we need “us” time, and surprises me with something he has baked for me when I come home from work (most often something chocolatey!).

  2. He treats me like I’m special and makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the world. He opens doors and carries heavy things for me. When we were dating, I had no idea what a fabulous father he would be. He’s the best.

  3. The Bottomly’s wrote a book! WOW!!!

  4. He bought flowers for me while we were dating and he still does!

  5. My husband is a hard working chef who works crazy hours but has always made time for us and now the kids. I know he would love to sleep in late on Saturdays but instead he has always gotten up so we can spend some time together.

  6. Sounds like a great book.

    I think what I would be looking for in a partner is a huge sense of humor, since many things can be a mess in a family with seven kids and it is good to laugh about it instead of being frustrated.


  7. when we were dating we went on dates. Now that we’ve been married for almost 11 years it’s been even more important to him. Almost every week we’ve gone on a date. If we have a nursing baby that babe gets to come but other than that it’s a little time each week for just the two of us.

  8. I’m glad that my husband’s love for me is not the same that it was when we were dating. It has evolved into a more biblical, deeper, long-lasting love. And now, he’s even crazier about me then when we were dating.

  9. My wonderful husband still buys me treats. I love that!!

  10. I love that once a year my husband writes me a poem- they are the sweetest reminders of his love for me (although he does show his love everyday!) and as for what I’m glad he no longer does- smokes. He was a casual smoker before we got married (I didn’t know it right away) and I asked him to not propose unless he was willing to give that up- and he did!

  11. He still thinks I’m the most beautiful woman there is. He’s still very proud of what I accomplish.

  12. I think I’m glad that my husband still likes to listen to me. No matter how crazy I might sound or how much I have to say, he’s always been willing to just be with me and listen.

  13. While we were dating, my husband made very complimentary remarks to me about things he specifically liked about me. He still does.

  14. We really didn’t date as we were around the world from each other…him in Texas and me in Australia. But we talked on the phone a lot! and we still do! We ‘met’ on one trip, agreed to write…got engaged on the next trip…and married on the next… 😉

  15. The most essentail trait for me in a future mate would be the ability to love me because of all my quirks and not in spite of them 🙂

  16. I’m glad that snuggling wasn’t just a dating thing. Twelve years into marriage, he still likes to wrap his arms around me whenever possible.

    And I love it.

  17. Thanks so much for the opportunity to hear about this wonderful book…and your thoughtful give-away! My husband and I had our Home Study approved in November for a domestic infant adoption and we are finding the waiting quite challenging, especially realizing how much longer we may be waiting.

    Now, about my beloved husband. I am extremely grateful that he has found the strength to quit smoking since we met. And I am doubly grateful that he had and still has an incredibly healthy sense of boundaries and limitations and has always been very open and honest about when and what his needs and what his expectations are, whether it be needing a bit of quiet time to write a song, or take a walk alone in the woods, or wanting time for us to go on a proper date, and get some laughs. I’m blessed and inspired to have such a good guy in my world who can discuss his feelings and his needs openly!

  18. I like that he still holds my hand when we go out. Mostly, I love what a wonderful father he is to our boys…something I had glimmers of when we were dating but have only gotten to really see since we’ve had kids.

  19. My husband still tells me pretty I am, still listens to me, and still works hard to understand what makes me feel the way I do. Our first anniversary is coming up and we’re excited about how much we’ve grown together!

  20. An essentail trait is that my husband would respect me. This would show up in how he talks to me, listens to me, encourages my passions, and treats me in public (opening doors, etc.) and in private.

    Great book give away. I have two couple-friends that are adopting from Africa. This book would be great for them to read.

  21. He makes me feel like one in a milion. He did it when we were dating and he still does it today.
    He gives me the greatess hugs when I need one.

  22. I love that my husband is still gentlemanly towards me: opening doors, carring heavy stuff, etc. I’m glad that he doesn’t study all the time as he did when we were dating.

  23. My hubby still leaves me little love notes…while we were dating they used to be on my car windshield, but now they’re usually on the bathroom mirror 🙂

  24. He has always been very particular about researching major purchases, and scouring the web for deals and second hand bargains… sometimes it drove me nuts, but it’s saved us plenty of money!
    Also, he dreams with me about adoption 🙂

  25. Great giveaway! Thanks!

    I love that my husband always makes me feel like there is no place in the world he would rather be and no people he rather be spending time with than me and our son.

  26. My husband still rubs my back and feet which makes me feel loved.
    Check out our blog if you have time. We are hosting a T/bag fundraiser to bring our son home in about one month. Those on here who are thinking about adoption, I want to encourage you that God does provide and it is amazing to watch happen. Blessings.

  27. i love how my husband still write poems for me like he did when we were dating. i keep them all!

  28. As a single person, I’m going to say that it’s essential….that he be hyper on occasion. I wouldn’t be able to stand constant stuffiness. 🙂
    I would LOVE to adopt some day. It’s definitely one of my dreams…

  29. I am so glad that my husband still opens doors for me and let’s me go through them first, I am glad he is still a gentleman.

    I am also glad that he stopped going in late to work, now he is fairly prompt. =)

  30. My husband still thinks I’m as beautiful as the day we met – 15-1/2 years ago & (more importantly) three children ago. 😉

  31. He still calls me daily and listens – many times I have forgotten a comment when he will surprise me with a relavant book or article. What I am glad he gave up…. hmm.. only thing I can think of are some white shoes he loved to wear.

  32. He still loves Jesus like crazy. And I love that about Him.

  33. He always acted like I was the most amazing person he had ever met…and he still does! WOW…blessed me!!!

  34. He does laundry. Need I say more?

  35. One of the main things I wanted was a giver. When I want to give to someone in need, offering, whatever… Zack either beats me to it or ups my ante and gives more than I suggested! I love how generous he is!!

  36. My husband and I have been married for 12.5 years. One very important trait of my husband’s that I was drawn to is his open-mindedness and ability to really listen to people. This is especially important on those days that he comes home and I look a wreck, the house is a wreck and I’m feeding the kids cheese toast and canned peaches for dinner because I lack any energy. He doesn’t criticize, and invariably, he puts the kids to bed so I can unwind. And then, the next evening he makes a gourmet meal, or brings me flowers or does some meaningful gesture to let me know he values me and our family.

  37. My talks with me (given not as much as he used to since our three kidswere born.)

    I want to read this book! We are now in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. You have helped me more than you know! You were the first to show me how ‘normal’ it is and can be. Thanks for sharing your family with us.

  38. One trait I am looking for in a hubby is someone with a good sense of humor!!! And of course someone who loves the Lord.

  39. Let’s see here… something I’m glad of that he still does… how about a state of mind? We had been married for, at most, three months when I asked him “When should we have kids?” His response (and remember he is only 23 at the time) was “whenever you’re ready.” And to this day (six years later!) he has stuck by that statement, allowing me to decide that this year I am in fact ready… and we’ll be trying to start our family (though biological or adoption or both) later this year.

    One thing I’m glad he doesn’t do anymore… pay the bills! He was terrible about keeping money straight and I’m so thankful that right after we got married he handed it over to me and I have been happily paying the bills ever since!

  40. hi mary, when i met my husband i was pretty sure i was infertile and i really liked him right away. i didn’t want our relationship to go too deep before he understood that bio kids weren’t an option and that my lifelong dream (anyway) was to adopt children. my first marriage broke up because that husband refused to to even discuss the idea of adoption. i was a little nervous about telling my then-boyfriend about infertility and adoption so early in our relationship but i did. we weren’t totally young so i felt we didn’t have time to waste if either of us had other ideas about family-building. well, he didn’t flinch when i told him there likely wouldn’t be any homemade babies and then when i told him i wanted children of color he said, simply, “okay.” and that was it. although we did not pursue adoption until we’d been married five years (and the time was right) he never went back on his stance that forming our family through adoption was just fine with him. he never once tried to opt out of adoption, never once acted anything but proud as any preening papa over his (adopted) kids. he’s been as good a father as i knew he would be, when we were dating. it was a quality i looked for when considering a husband and if anything, he’s improved with time. and, as you know, he even expanded the family when he was satisfied with its size. and never once has he suggested that the challenges of that third kid could have been avoided had we stopped at only two. i’m glad to say that while i’m sure I drive HIM crazy, i’d marry him all over again 🙂

  41. I love how he forgives me before I ask–He has always done it! And believe me it is a must have for me! And that he NEVER holds a grudge… I could learn ALOT from him… 🙂

  42. He has always forgiven before asked and never holds a grudge!
    I could learn alot from him!! 🙂

  43. My husband still listens to all my crazy ideas and supports me on them which is great.

  44. Hi Mary,
    I am excited about this book as my son and his wife are hoping to be able to adopt 2 beautiful little people from an orphanage in Uganda. I think they would find this very helpful to read.

    My husband’s mother always cut his hair for him when he was growing up. When we were dating he started letting me cut his hair for him and stood up to his mother when she complained about it. He still lets me cut his hair for him 28 years later and I am thankful for the trust that he had in me to do the job and that he was showing me in his own way that it was important to him how his/our money was used. He has always been able to generous with that saved money when there is a need in someone’s life. It has been a great example for our children as well.

  45. My husband goes out of his way to always help others in need, and I was drawn to this from the beginning!

  46. My husband still tells me that we’ll be great parents even though we’re four years into trying and haven’t succeeded yet. It’s the most precious thing he could do in the circumstances.

  47. Mary,

    this has nothing to do with your book giveaway but i am new to commenting on blogs and wasnt sure where to post so you would see this. I have been following this blog for awhile (saw the article somewhere else where you fed your family 10 meals for $100 i think). I wanted to let you know that inspired by your 30 days of nothing blogging, my family is doing a Lenten nothing- trying to only spend money on needs for all of Lent. Just wanted to let you know how much food for thought you have given me and how much i appreciate it.


  48. He still makes me laugh and because of him I can now laugh at myself. That’s a good feeling. He’s gonna love me anyway.

  49. He never goes a day without telling me he loves me. Started about day 10 after meeting and 16 years later he still smiles when he says it. But I hated him smoking and he has finally quit. Yeah!! Wouldn’t trade him in for all the tea in china.

  50. We’re in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, too (a very loooooong process, here in Australia!!!).

    One thing my husband always did when we were dating was just sit and gaaaze at me for hours. You know that love-lorn look? He perfected it. He still does it now, which is lovely – just not for as long! He is very sweet and very loving, even when I am – not. 🙂