Spotlight: Awakening East by Johanna Garton

About the Book

A few years after adopting her son and daughter from China, Johanna Garton and her husband took them back to the land of their birth - leaving the only lives she and her family knew for the adventure of a lifetime.

What Fellow Mothers, Authors and Adoptive Parents are saying of Awakening East

“Johanna Garton is a brilliant storyteller. Her prose exceeded my expectations, the sheer relatability made much of her chronicle almost deja-vu for me: I appreciated her adventure-seeking ambition, and her anecdotes from the their time in China made me chickle with fond recollection” - Mia White of

“In Awakening East, Johanna Garton's family embarks on an adventure: one year in China to allow her adopted children a chance to experience their birth-country.  It's a year filled with hardships and humor, but most of all, with heart.  If the year was Garton's gift to her children, then Awakening East is a gift to the reader, our chance to live with a vibrant family through all their ups and downs.” 

“If you’re looking for a widely entertaining, richly written story that combines international travel, family and inspiration for stepping outside of your comfort zone, Awakening East is your read. Ms. Garton takes us on a literary adventure through a series of life-changing experiences, all connected beautifully through humor and the deep love she has for her family.” 

“Awakening East is told in such an authentic and raw way that I cried several times, relating to the struggles with parenting, the balance between adventure and stability and how to define one’s own cultural identity amidst a sea of competing values.  Garton has given us a gift with this story, as we are allowed a glimpse into a unique, cherished and inspiring experience.”

“Compelling, shocking, hilarious. This is a memorable read for anyone interested in adoption, travel, China or parenthood in general. Garton holds nothing back in this moving, candid memoir.  The story of her family’s journey across the world is one that many people will relate to, even if they’ve never set foot in Asia.  

“I laughed and cried my way through Awakening East.  Johanna Garton uses her personal and family journeys to capture the depth of emotion and meaning that accompany the various stages of growing a family through adoption.  Garton will inspire all parents through her candid and humorous account of the love and endurance that carried her family through the ups and downs of living for a year in China.  It’s a must read for any parents challenged to think outside the box when dealing with issues unique to adoption

About Johanna Garton

Johanna Garton fills her days as owner of Missionworks Consulting, a nonprofit management consulting firm in Denver. She leads workshops for parents on traveling back to China through the Chinese Heritage Camp in Denver through Regis University. For those looking for something a little more close to home, Johanna also developed Kids Yoga Speak  while preparing for her year in China. The program is based on Total Physical Response and teaches children Chinese by incorporating the language into a yoga routine. The program can be accessed through the website or through a downloadable app through iTunes.

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