Conceiving in the Heart

Book review: Stories of love and adoption compiled.
by Staff Writer | Source:

Conceiving in the Heart:  Stories of love and adoption compiled 
by Deana Coreen Kastello
Springville, Utah:  CFI, 2009

     If you believe that God has a special plan for you but are not quite sure how His plan is going to play out, if you need encouragement to keep trusting, if you are looking for an extraordinary book that will touch you very deeply and inspire and motivate you in a very special way, then I highly recommend “Conceiving in the Heart:  Stories of Love and Adoption.” 

     The poignant testimonies of Deana and other parents leaves a permanent mark on one’s heart.  Regarding the adoption of her sixth child, Deana wrote “There were a number of unusual events leading us to him, which showed us once more the Lord’s powerful hand in our lives.  Once again His ways were certainly not ours, and thank goodness for that. How grateful we are for the tender mercies of the Lord, but mostly, His great love.” 

     This book accomplishes many things.  The moving personal accounts create a greater awareness of the many children throughout the world growing up without a family.  The book provides hope and encouragement to couples longing to respond to their calling to be parents, and will resonate with anyone who feels called by God toward any apostolate. We are encouraged to listen to His promptings and persevere on the journey as His plan unfolds.  As we feel strongly called toward something, God in His infinite wisdom charts a course that is sometimes different but always better than the one we thought was best.  

     In one mother’s account, “Our world shifted dramatically due to a couple of books I picked up randomly at a drug store. Dave Pelzer’s “The Child Called It” was on the New York #1 best-seller’s list, and “The Lost Boy:  How Foster Care Changed My Life” caught my eye.  After her husband read the books, “I could see something taking place in his heart.”  He was excited to share his vision of helping the orphans “in our own backyard” with her, and she didn’t need convincing (p. 187).

     Comments from other parents include “It didn’t take long for God to start working on me too and after a series of inspirations and miracles, I knew that we needed to help children whose lives had been somewhat broken” (p. 53).  “As I look back over these miraculous events I can see how God had been preparing me.  Even though my spirit fought the will of God with my selfish thoughts and fears.  The Lord knew how to change my heart and mind.  I cannot thank the Lord enough for all His love for me and my family.  May God ignite your faith as you read our story” (p. 52).  “…he simply looked in my eyes and with heartfelt support he mouthed these words to me, ‘Let Jesus take care of it’” (p. 64). “So with the many obstacles we had to overcome the Lord was continually showing His wondrous hand in all of this” (p. 51).

     Deana hopes her book will increase awareness of the great need for adoptive and foster parents, but the scope of her lovely book extends far beyond that to everyone in the human family.  You will thank God for guiding you to read the faith-filled, inspiring, heroic stories of her family and the families in her book. 
For more information, please visit

Reviewed by Michele Bondi Bottesi.  Michele is a Mother, Psychologist, and Author of “Your Personal Apostolate:  Accepting and Sharing the Love of God” (Rochester, MI:  Joseph Karl Publishing, 2009).  She can be contacted at

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