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Finding Katherine

A Spiritual Journey to Vietnam and Motherhood

By Dr. Ellen Fitzenrider

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Review by Allison Martin

Dr. Ellen Fitzenrider shares her journey to Vietnam to adopt her little girl in her engrossing book, Finding Katherine.

In 2001 as American-Vietnamese adoptions were in a rather unsettled state, Dr. Fitzenrider, a chiropractor from Virginia, traveled to Vietnam for an independent adoption. She left the US early, planning to spend six weeks exploring the country of her new daughter as the remainder of her paperwork was processed. Unexpectedly when she reaches Lang Son in the far north of Vietnam, she was presented with a different one year old girl than she had been referred and asked to take custody immediately! Rising to the occasion, she spent the next six weeks getting to know both her daughter and her daughter's birth country.

This book is engrossing to read and will be enjoyed by anyone interested in adoption from Vietnam. As she gathers impressions of Vietnam, Dr. Fitzenrider provides detailed observations on the landscape and the people she meets along the way. In Hanoi, Hue, Lan Song, and Ha Long Bay she visits with shopkeepers, monks, and other interesting people. Her spiritual explorations as a Buddhist also make a thought-provoking counterpoint to the ups and downs of the adoption process. Most importantly, Dr. Fitzenrider explores what it means to be a mother in this new life.

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