Please welcome this bonus book club discussion outside of our regular first Friday chats! All I Never Knowed is one of the most important books I’ve read in ages. It’s no secret that the author, Stephanie Giese is a dear, dear friend of mine, my best friend in the blogging world. Outside of our relationship is the truth that she is an exceptional writer. Tuesday, 10/5/21, is the release of this book, and it’s a story that not only needs to be read, but celebrated. Please join us TOMORROW, 10/1/21 for a Facebook LIVE chat at 4pm EST!
All I Never Knowed Book Club Discussion
Stephanie wrote this book with not only the permission and blessing of her son Nicholas, on whom the book focuses, but with him as well. Nicholas has been instrumental in telling his own story, and he so very much wants it to be told. Stephanie was hesitant to share his journey, but Nicholas specifically asked her to do so. You see, the Giese family has been through undue battles with his mental health needs, and it is both Nicholas’s and his family’s hope that the sharing of their journey can validate, encourage, and spur on progressive action for others–not only others in similar boat, but society at large. The mental health care in our American nation is truly in crisis, most specifically the mental health care of children. And the Giese family is here to share their truth while calling on us all to rise up to the cause.
My most sincere hope is that you read this book, that you share it with friends and family, and start a conversation about the status of mental health care in our country. Below I will share a few thoughts below to spur on processing of what Stephanie shares and facilitate further action to benefit the cause.
That said, I need to share on a personal note how my heart bleeds for this family. I have been in their house and home throughout the timeline of this book. I have fallen in love with their family–Nicholas is truly my favorite, the sweetest, most engaging boy! (I’ll never forget when he brought “Miss Meredith” a rose!). My son and Abby are the same age, and my daughter adores playing with Penny. I have witnessed the years and largely, the depth of their war, and I have one singular thought–Stephanie and Eddie wow me. They are warriors. Most truly, WARRIORS.
So friends, as we explore their story more, please do me the honor of seeing their journey not only from the eyes of those keen to the cause of mental health but with a genuine understanding that the Giese family is real. They are beautiful, kind, caring, smart people who have done a gorgeous job of raising their children, all of their children. Approach their story, not with a critical eye, but a holistic eye that captures their entire truth for all that it is.
All I Never Knowed Book Club Discussion Questions
- Have you ever considered adoption yourself? If so, was special needs adoption ever on the table?
- What questions do you have for Stephanie and Eddie?
- Speaking of questions, what would you like to ask Nicholas? Anything you’d like to tell him?
- Still on questions, anything you’d like to ask or know about the other Giese children?
- What surprised you about the Gieses’ journey?
- What resonated most with you in regards to the status of children’s mental health services in America? What do you think we need to focus most on reforming?
- Since we’re all now fascinated with the Giese family, what practical, day-to-day things do you want to know about their family? (This is largely where my logistal brain is stuck–how in the world do they find time to clean the house?? Shop for groceries?? Are they part/mostly super-human?? [answer: obviously yes])
- How has Nicholas handled the addition of Ana and Donny to the family? Do they share a special connection as adopted-to-the-family children?
- The Giese family is now happily situated in Florida. What would you like to ask them about their move/adjustment to their new home?
- What updates does the Giese family have since the book was written?
Friends, I hope you so enjoyed this deep dive into the Giese family’s story via All I Never Knowed. They are such a beautiful family, and I appreciate you spending this time with me and them! Please hop onto my Facebook chat with Stephanie tomorrow, Friday, 10/1, 4pm EST!