After reading an article about the thousands of baby girls languishing in Chinese orphanages, Bowen and her husband adopted a little girl from China and brought her home to Los Angeles, not out of a need to build a family but rather a commitment to save one child. A year later, as she watched her new daughter play in the grass with her friends, thriving in an environment where she knew she was loved, Bowen was overcome with a desire to help the children that she could not bring home. That very day she created Half the Sky Foundation, an organization conceived to bring love into the life of every orphan in China and one that has actually managed to fulfill its promise.
In Wish You Happy Forever , a fish-out-of-water tale like no other, Bowen relates her struggle to bring the concept of "child nurture and responsive care" to bemused Chinese bureaucrats and how she's actually succeeding. Five years after Half the Sky's first orphanage program opened, government officials began to mention child welfare and nurturing care in public speeches. And, in 2011, at China's Great Hall of the People, Half the Sky and its government partners celebrated the launch of The Rainbow Program, a groundbreaking initiative to change the face of orphan care by training every child welfare worker in the country. Thanks to Bowen's relentless perseverance through heartbreak and a dose of humor, Half the Sky's goal to bring love the lives of forgotten children comes ever closer. To this day, Bowen is the only Westerner working with the Chinese government to transform its entire child welfare system from the inside, and Half the Sky, with 52 children's centers throughout the country, has helped more than 100,000 children. Bowen's beautifully written memoir, Wish You Happy Forever, teaches us that saving a child's life can transcend language and cultural barriers, and that, above all else, a determined dreamer with a loving presence speaks at the greatest volume.
"Both heartrending and victoriously uplifting, Wish You Happy Forever provides the backdrop on the lives of thousands of orphan girls and their foster grandmothers, teachers, volunteers, donors, and the ever-grateful adoptive parents. This is a must read for lessons on compassion, persistence, and true love." (Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club)
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Powerful story of one woman making a difference
I think so. Jenny Bowen reads this book herself, which - though unpolished - is a fine narration.
Jenny, many of the half the Sky volunteers, and all those both in America and China who helped with Half the Sky
This book is tragic, uplifting and inspirational. Jenny and her husband adopted two Chinese girls and took in others, as well as spearheaded a movement that impacts many children in institutionalized care.
it is hard to read in places, especially considering the malnutrition and lack of care due to immense overcrowding and poor training in Chinese orphanages.
I will read this book again. Well done!
Fascinating and powerful story
- Always Reading Something :)