Surrendered Hearts {Book Review}

I first met Lori Schumaker online in 2016 when we were both asked to contribute to a new Christian website called Blessed Transgressions. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I enjoyed getting to know her through her blog, where I found encouragement and hope that transferred into my own life.

I knew Lori had an adoption story and I had read portions she shared with her readers. But when I read that she was looking for help in launching her new book Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust, I was happy to sign up. I knew I wanted to read more about her story.

I am not an adoptive parent, nor has my family been blessed by adoption. However, I know how hard it can be to trust God with everything you have, including your child. I’ve felt the emotions of not being able to see how a situation can possibly work out, and of struggling to let go of what I want for what He wants. I imagine you know the feeling too.

Different stories. Different situations. Different outcomes. Different seasons of life.

Same wonderful loving God who loves His children more than we can comprehend. {Tweet this}

What I found as I read Surrendered Hearts is that Lori’s transparent story of love, trust, and patience isn’t just for adoptive families…it’s for everyone. Her story kept me engaged, and the Biblical truths she shared spoke to my heart.

A few of my favorite quotes from Surrendered Hearts:

“Control and trust do not exist simultaneously. Life is a series of taking control of the situations we can and letting go of what we cannot.”

“Peace would follow when I walked God’s journey instead of my own.”

“Sometimes we get to see the why behind the wait. But other times we don’t. We must surrender any right to know the why and choose to unconditionally accept life as it is. We must believe that even in situations that feel desperately unfair, God is making all things right.”


A lifetime of knowing. Decades of praying. Years of paperwork, research, and planning. Lots of tears. And the growing of faith in the waiting.
One look into a pair of sparkling brown eyes, and Lori and Bryan Schumaker fell head-over-heels in love with a beautiful young girl in Bulgaria. Certain this was the child God intended for them, they stepped confidently into the adoption process they'd been preparing for. They thought they knew what to expect, and they did—but there was so much more.
The application process moved smoothly ahead, and they began making plans for their daughter--only to be informed she'd been adopted by a family in Italy. Heartbroken, they struggled to move on, until, through a series of incredible events, they learned their daughter still languished in her Bulgarian orphanage. Turning heaven and earth, the Schumakers started over. Mix-ups, red tape, inexplicable delays, and a difficult judge threatened the adoption, but they were determined to bring their child home.
In a true story of learning that trust means surrendering your version of how the story should unfold, Lori and Bryan finally let go—of their dream, of their daughter, of their fears and frustrations. And in that relinquishment, God began to move.
For more information and to order Surrendered Hearts, please visit Lori at

What are you currently reading?

In Christ,

[Photo credit: Lori Schumaker]


  1. I'm on her launch team too, Laura, and have cultivated a friendship through our blogs as well. Wouldn't it be great to meet her in person! Thanks for sharing about her story! I'm sure this book is going to bless so many people, whether they adopt or not!

    1. I would love to meet you all ♥ It would be so fun!

  2. Lori's writing has touched my heart so many times. This is one book I am wanting to read. Beautiful review!

  3. I haven't read much of Lori's writing, but I'm captivated. Thanks for this review, Laura! This looks like a good book to put on my Christmas request list!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for providing a thoughtful review. I am currently reading Quo Vadis. It was a little slow at the beginning, but now it is a page-turner. It's about first-century Christians in Rome under Nero's rule. Very moving!

  5. What a wonderful review, Laura! I'm looking forward to reading this book!

  6. Laura,
    Thank you for this beautiful review ♥ I am so blessed by you, your writing, and your kindness! It makes my heart overflow with joy to know God is using our story and the words He gave me to bless and encourage others!
    Blessings and smiles,

  7. Laura, I know Lori through her blog, as well, and I'm so excited to read more of her story. Ours is a blended family story, but we have friends who have a adopted and have shared some of the joys and struggles with them. I know Lori's book will be a blessing to many!

  8. This sounds like an amazing read! The kind I wouldn’t be able to put down and would need a box of Kleenex handy!

  9. I love how you made this for everyone! Thank you for sharing the pieces that apply to those with adoption stories and those without. I especially liked the quote about faith!

  10. I definitely want to read Lori's story to know the whole thing. Adopted by another family? Still languishing in her Bulgarian orphanage? What?

    I also loved the quotes Laura shared - especially "Control and trust do not exist simultaneously" That one really spoke to me!

  11. I'm in the midst of reading this book also! And love, like you said, how transparent she is. It is an absolutely beautiful story! (Hopping over from Lori's linkup.)

  12. I do link ups and have read some of her story, I do love the peace quote, following His plans.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!