Wales – Wales resident Christine Wegner was surprised to hear that among the hundreds of submissions, her personal essay will be featured in an upcoming book, So God Made a Mother. In her essay, Wegner talks about her experiences as an adoptive mother.
Wegner grew up in the area and attended United South Central Schools. She attended a music school for a while before deciding it wasn’t for her.
“I’ve always loved writing. I caught a glimpse of Iowa…they have a really good journalism program there. I ended up transferring as a sophomore,” Wegener said.
I majored in English and after graduating, I started working as an English teacher at Granada-Huntley-East Chain School. She worked there for seven years but left in 2014 because she lost her driver’s license due to her epilepsy. She stayed as a long-term replacement for a while, but ultimately could not make the transfer work.
Now, Wegner continues to write, which is something she loves.
“When you teach, you don’t do much of it. It’s mostly reading. You read other kids’ work.” explained Wegener.
She has her own blog called The Frustrated Epileptic. Wegner said she intended to write all about her experience with epilepsy but now said her voice had changed and she was writing about other aspects of her life.
In addition to writing, Wegner is passionate about foster care.
“We found out we couldn’t have our own kids and my husband thought foster care would be a good thing to try. We actually got our first placement two weeks after I left teaching and I don’t think we’ve been childless since that time in 2014,” Wegener said.
The couple usually babysits older children, ages 16 and older, and Wegner said they’ve seen four kids graduate. However, Wegner said they took a placement of a seven-year-old girl and ended up adopting her.
“I saw her beautiful eyes and knew she needed a home,” Wegener said.
Despite adopting a child, Wegner and her husband continue to adopt and currently have a 17-year-old girl who they will see through graduation.
Wegner was able to combine her two passions and write about her experiences in foster care and as an adoptive mother. I’ve submitted work to a blog called Watching It From Home several times. The blog, which is owned by Leslie Means, is where Wegner discovered the calling for personal essays to be featured in a book.
“Once you are accepted by the site, they keep you updated on current affairs and place a call saying they are planning a book. They have requested new articles that are not shared anywhere else,” Wegener said.
She was one of hundreds to submit a personal essay and one of the few to be selected. The entire book is about different aspects of motherhood.
Wegner’s piece is called Braiding My Own Umbilical Cord and details the process of gaining a relationship with her adopted daughter.
“When you get a foster child, they don’t want to be there. They want to go back to what they know and what’s familiar even if it’s broken. A lot of times they fight that and they don’t want to be there.” Wegener said.
In her article, she talks about the process of enduring that period of time and trusting that it will settle down. She also shares how she and her daughter finally chose each other.
Wegener said she believes the book will be relatable to a lot of people.
“If you can think of a topic about motherhood, I think it’s covered. There’s love, loss, grief, joy…it all includes,” Wegener said.
The book officially comes out on April 18, but it’s already earned the title of best seller and first release on Amazon. The publisher has also already issued a second printing prior to the actual release date.
There’s a launch party this weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, where Means lives. Wegner is attending with her mother and is looking forward to meeting up with some of the other contributors to the book. Other writers, she said, are not only from all over the country, but all over the world.
She is also excited to see and hear the feedback from those who have read the book. It is the first time that her work has been published in a book.
“It was poignantly poignant to write but also very delightful,” he said. Wegener said.
So God Made a Mother will be available in bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, on April 18th.