I have always carried a special place in my heart thinking about adopting, and specifically adopting from China. I always thought I would but the Lord has not led us on that path – yet! As you may know, I work with A Journey Through Learning as an editor and I have known for some time that co-owner of A Journey Through Learning, Nancy Fileccia , had adopted a child from China. So it was a pleasure to be offered the opportunity to review Nancy’s release of her book More Than a Memory: The Candace Kate Story.
One Family’s Story of Love, Pain, Loss, and Joy
The Fileccias did not consider themselves special; just an ordinary family. Yet in 2003, God chose them to begin an extraordinary life journey. Trusting in their faith, Rusty and Nancy packed up their three children and traveled to China to adopt Xing Dan Nang (Candace), an eight-year-old blind girl. Little did they know this trip would lead them through the deepest valleys a family could ever experience.
The challenge of teaching a blind child paled to insignificance when their precious daughter was diagnosed with Battens, a fatal disease, in 2006. The next three years became a roller coaster ride of deep despair, desperate hope, and searching for answers. Based on Nancy’s heartfelt journal entries of their journey, the story of Candace Kate unfolds, shining a light on God’s purpose to give this little girl a “forever family” and showing how she lived a full life in only thirteen years.
Life is short; no one is guaranteed eighty years. But during our time on earth we can inspire, love, and show God’s undying love for us, before He calls us home.
Nancy Fileccia never intended for her journal entries to become a book but it turned into a book that will hopefully inspire and lift-up other families who find themselves in as special needs adoption or fighting the rare Batten’s disease or just realizing that life has thrown them something they think they cannot handle.
It is a story of faith and joy and challenge and sadness and family and what it really is to be a mother. You will share in the joy of Candace’s life with her loving family and the challenges and hurt and raw emotion shared by Nancy during the short years that Candace graced their life.
Be sure to read this with your tissues close by. You will be touched, inspired, and likely unable to put the book down. Candace was diagnosed with a rare condition called Batten’s disease when she had only been with the Fileccia’s a short time and thus began her battle with her mother, Nancy, and her whole family at her side. Though she had a short time in this life with her family, it was a full life laced with true and complete love. Nancy now shares Candace’s story to maybe help others learn of this disease and/or help other families that may be battling Batten’s disease or other life challenges see that they are not alone and maybe find comfort and hope in Candance’s story.
About the Author:
Nancy Fileccia is a fourteen-year homeschooling veteran and co-owner of A Journey Through Learning lapbooks with her best friend, Paula Winget. They create fun, hands-on learning products for homeschooling families. Nancy loves helping parents with their journey of international adoption. Nancy and her husband, Rusty, make their home in Shreveport, Louisiana, with their three children. Visit her website at www.ajourneythroughlearning.com.
Nancy was asked why she wrote the book:
My prayer for this book is exactly what I DID NOT have, INFORMATION!!! When Candace got sick, I had never known another sick child. I had never seen a family struggle. I did not know what to do, who to talk to, who to question. I felt so alone. Then, during her illness, I had so many feelings going on. I did not know if they were “normal!” Was it ok to be mad? Who was I mad at? How much do I let friends really see me in pain? I pray that through this book, parents will now have the answer to these questions and more!
It was never meant to be a book. I was my personal journal. Two years after Candace’s death, I felt the Lord leading me to put it in book form.
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