Open Adoption, Open Heart Book Review

Title: Open Adoption, Open Heart

Author: Russell Elkins

Genre: Parenting

Publisher: Aloha Publishing

Release Date: May 2012

Format: Kindle/Paperback

Pages: 120 pages

About the Book:

The world of adoption has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. No longer do biological parents have to say goodbye to their child forever. They now have more options when deciding the type of adoption to pursue, such as open adoption. Open adoption creates the opportunity for a special relationship between biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.

Open Adoption, Open Heart is an inspiring and true story, which takes the reader deeper into the feelings and emotions experienced by adoptive parents. As you read this incredible story, you will experience the joys, difficulties, and amazing victories facing adoptive couples. Russell and his wife, Jammie, invite you to share in their inspiring and heartwarming journey.

Here’s the book trailer:

AmazonMy Review:

Open Adoption, Open Heart is an inspirational story of hope, faith and love.  The story is told, much like a series of blog posts, in a straightforward, conversational tone.

I almost bit off one of my thumbnails reading through the chapters where Russell and Jammie were waiting to find a birth mother that would work with them and the chapters towards the end when they are unsure if they will be able to keep their adopted son.

Russell and Jammie discovered when they opened their hearts and home to their new son that they were opening up to his birth family as well and the story of how they all come together to work for the baby’s best interests is amazing and overwhelming.

This book is not just for those who are interested in adoption.  Open Adoption, Open Heart is for anyone who enjoys an uplifting read.

I give Open Adoption, Open Heart four pacifiers!!!

About the Author:

Russell Elkins was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family moved away from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.

Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when they decided to adopt.

Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption. Russell also writes a weekly post for and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.

Follow Russell and Jammie at:
Website * Facebook

Follow the book tour at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

I was given a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review through I Am A Reader Not A Writer. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with Hazelnut Whipped Cream #Torani

hazelnut hot chocolate

I was so excited when SheSpeaks asked me to be a Torani blogger.  My family loves Torani for Italian ices and the kids love making soda in the SodaStream with Torani flavorings.  When I found out I would be getting hazelnut and gingerbread flavors, I was a little nervous.  I had never thought about using Torani syrups in hot beverages.  Was I up to the challenge?

After some debate with the kids, we came up with a recipe for each of the flavorings.  You’ll have to wait until next week for the gingerbread recipe.  This week the recipe is:

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with Hazelnut Whipped Cream


For the Hot Chocolate

your favorite hot chocolate mix

six ounces of milk per person

1 tsp. Torani hazelnut syrup

For the Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 Tbsp. sugar

4 Tbsp. Torani hazelnut syrup


Chill metal bowl and beaters in the refrigerator or freezer until cold.  Beat whipping cream, sugar and 4 Tbsp. of Torani syrup on high speed until soft peaks form.

Heat milk in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high.  Stir in hot chocolate mix and 1 tsp. of Torani syrup.  Top with hazelnut whipped cream to taste.

hazelnut hot chocolateEnjoy!!

Click here for my recipe for gingerbread pancakes using Torani gingerbread syrup.

What recipes would you make with Torani syrup?  Leave a comment below.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of SheSpeaks and Torani.  All opinions are 100% my own.