Character Spotlight ~
Kai & Gloria
Patti Lacy has written a deeply personal story in Reclaiming Lily ~ enjoy meeting Kai & Gloria.
Over to you, Patti:~
Brief physical description
Kai Chang, M.D.—a petite yet sturdy woman with a strongly sculpted face and straight black hair styled in a chic yet professional way. Kai’s luminous dark eyes have experienced suffering and unbelievable sorrow for one only thirty-five. Actress Sylvia Chang nails my mind’s-eye image of Kai.
Gloria Powell—a tall, thin woman who carries herself with an air of fragility tinged with insecurity. Gloria has the pale skin and blue eyes of Mia Farrow. You can see Bethany House’s vision of Gloria on the cover of Reclaiming Lily!
Strengths and weaknesses
Kai Chang—a compassionate, intelligent woman who burned kerosene oil by the liters to ace the tests she needed to gain entrance to the ivy-covered gates of Harvard and its med school. Driven to conquer the deadly polycystic kidney disease lurking in Chang genes, Kai passes her medical boards and is licensed as a renal specialist. Despite her successful career, her attentive boyfriend, her American citizenship, Kai cannot escape the iron grip of fate and guilt that has hounded her ever since she left her youngest sister on orphanage steps. Kai must reclaim Lily and get her tested for PKD…no matter what.
Gloria Powell—Gloria has battled insecurity ever since her father’s lurid affair and the ensuing divorce of her parents. Then Andrew Powell, a fellow Baylor University student, gives Gloria all she ever wanted when he gets on one knee right in the campus quad and asks for her hand in marriage. Ecstatic in married student housing, the two plan for a family as Gloria majors in education. Soon she has a classroom full of children…but none of her own. China flings open its orphanage doors, and the Powells find Joy, the child of their heart. Then teenaged angst whirls into their family, as do shoplifting charges, Goth clothes…and a supposed Chinese sister bringing ominous news. Can Gloria’s faith and psyche withstand yet another barrage?
Gloria digs at her palms when nervous.
Inspiration for character
Kai Chang—a real-life doctor who acted, with her brave sisters, to save their family during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Gloria Powell—those pastors’ wives who must wear so many crowns as they serve the Lord, their family, and their husband’s congregation.
Background to the story
Because both of my brothers are adopted, I’ve always been fascinated with the questions that swirl around that process. Where’s that other family? Why did they place one of God’s greatest gifts into the arms of other folks? As the daughter of missionary/teachers to China, I was drawn into the “Lost Girls of China” phenomena that has gained worldwide attention since the doors of China’s orphanages have been flung open. My seed of my character Lily/Joy germinated by a combination of those two interests.
Then in 2009, my mother contacted a Dr. Chang for a medical procedure…and discovered a “God” connection since my mother had taught English as a missionary in Kai’s city years before. After the procedure, my mother awoke from anesthesia to find Dr. Kai in tears, saying, “You have cancer. But you will become my American mother, and I will help you through this.”
Soon Dr. Kai became a part of my family as well…and shared the story of how she and her sisters saved her parents following their return from a Cultural Revolution era prison. I now had the multicultural and historical links that I love to include in stories.
A friend’s battle with PKD (polycystic kidney disease) provided the Jodi-Piccoult-like crisis that gave me enough material to write a story. Reclaiming Lily was born!
My adoption information is taken directly from the files and life of a friend who shared her daughter’s journey to China. I also read over 20 books (most of which sag my shelf) about China, its history, its people, with a focus on its lost daughters, including The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella.
Thanks so much for sharing this, Patti ~ so looking forward to reading the story
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Sally Stevens (What the Bayou Saw)
Character spotlight on Mary Freeman (An Irishwoman’s Tale)
Visit Patti’s website & blog
Buy Patti’s books at Amazon or Koorong