Grateful adoptive mom profiles the Manheim couple behind Paul's Kids New York writer will sign books at Tet fundraiser.
, , By Jo-Ann Greene, Books Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Restrictions on international adoption are making news again, but sadly it's old news for Paul and Sandy Pinkerton.
The story of the Manheim residents' work facilitating adoptions from Vietnam is told in detail in a recently published book, "Divine Fate," by Audrey M. Insoft.
After his wartime experiences in Vietnam, Manheim native Paul Pinkerton returned to that country two decades later, looking for POWs and MIAs along with redemption.
Sandra Campbell, born out of an extramarital affair, grew up in Chester County unwanted but wanting children of her own.
"By chance, their worlds collide on Valentine's Day, setting in motion a remarkable journey together," the book's back cover explains. (They were both working in the floral business at the time.)
His focus on one category of the "abandoned and forgotten" eventually shifted to another: Vietnamese orphans.
She, who had already adopted one child, would add three special-needs Vietnamese children to her brood.
They went on to help others adopt --including actress Angelina Jolie -- until restrictions halted their efforts in 2008.
But the Pinkertons didn't stop caring about the children. They started a foundation to raise money for those left in Vietnam's orphanages. In 2008, Paul's Kids received the international Samaritan Medal for Humanitarian Achievement and Peace
Insoft, a resident of Westchester County, N.Y., describes the couple's international exploits as well as earlier phases of their lives and their family backgrounds, all of which lends insight into why they did what they did.
The author's training as a journalist shows in the flowing narrative about their lives before and after they meet, and in the multiple sources she cites in piecing it together. (She notes that some names and situations have been chanted for legal and privacy reasons.)
As a beneficiary of their services (her son was adopted with their help), Insoft portrays them with the utmost respect and gratitude.
"Events happen for a reason, divine intervention often exists, and lives are changed forever by twists of fate" she writes in the Author's Note that prefaces the nearly 300-page paperback.
Audrey M. Insoft will discuss and sign her book at a fundraiser for the Paul's Kids charity. The Vietnamese Tet (new year) party is set for noon-4 p.m. Feb. 16 at The Gathering Place in Mount Joy. Part of the proceeds from books sold there will go to the charity. Tickets to the event, which includes a Vietnamese meal and dragon dance, are $27, $16 for ages 4-12. Reserve by calling Paul Pinkerton at 940-8458.
The book also available online, priced at $19.99; visit audreyminsoft.com.