Addition by Adoption: Kids, Causes & 140 Characters

Addition by Adoption: Kids, Causes & 140 Characters by Kevin D. Hendricks
Cover design by Brian White

Love, laughter and lunacy in 140 characters.

A work-at-home dad turns to Twitter to share updates about kids, causes and life. It’s a curated selection of bizarre quotes, funny stories and temper tantrums. Woven between potty-training woes and breakfast time songs is a family growing through adoption and learning how to change the world, one status update at a time.

You’ll find humor, parental commiseration and life-changing wonder mixed into a quick and compelling read.

Buy Now

Build a Well

A book that talks about a bunch of causes but doesn’t do anything is kind of silly. So let’s do something. Let’s build a well. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to charity: water to fund a clean water well in Ethiopia.

Update: We did it! On September 22, 2010 our campaign hit the $5,000 goal to fund a well in Ethiopia. Incredible! At this point additional money will continue to help charity: water provide clean water.

In the fall of 2012 we received an email that the well was completed. Check out the pictures and learn more about the well you built.

A well costs $5,000. A portion of the proceeds from each copy of Addition by Adoption is donated to the well (if you buy on Amazon $2 is donated). You can also skip the book and make a direct donation to charity: water.

Why Build a Well?
In late March 2009 we traveled to Ethiopia to bring home our son Milo. While there, we witnessed the reality of unclean water:

  • Time and time again we saw the people of Ethiopia carrying these 5 gallon jerry cans, often walking hours to muddy water holes for their daily supply of tainted water.
  • Milo came home with giardia, a water-borne intestinal parasite common among people with no access to clean water.
  • I fell sick for a day, stricken down by water unintentionally consumed either in the shower or from rinsed dishes. Thankfully it was a mild case (yay for meds!).

We know firsthand what a lack of clean water can do.

Clean water saves lives:

  • A whopping 80% of all sickness and disease are caused by unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation (charity: water).
  • One billion people have no access to safe, clean drinking water. In Ethiopia somewhere between 70-80% of the population has no access to clean water (UNICEF/SIM).
  • 42,000 people die every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation—90% are children under 5 (charity: water). In Ethiopia that’s 300,000 kids every year—it’s the country’s number one cause of infant mortality (SIM).

Why charity: water?
charity: water is an organization that brings clean, safe water to people who need it. For $20 they can provide one person with clean water for up to 20 years. They’re great about proving their work and partnering with organizations already on the ground (Living Water International, A Glimmer of Hope, Healing Hands, Concern, etc.). They do a lot of work in Ethiopia (35% of their work, in fact), they’ve been featured on CNN and ABC News, and 100% of money donated goes to water (administrative costs are covered by private donors). charity: water is the organization I supported with the 2009 Bald Birthday Benefit.

There are a lot of great organizations that provide clean water, pick your favorite and support them. I’ve picked charity: water.

Inside the Book

A book of tweets? Seriously? No. It’s not just a book of tweets.

It’s a curated selection of tweets, pulling out roughly 500 Twitter posts from more than 3,000. I’ve pulled out the good stuff and organized it into logical chapters with their own introduction. I’ve also cut out the technical jargon, the hashtags, the links and the clutter that wouldn’t make any sense in a printed book.

The result is a compelling narrative in a concise, 82-page book. Who would have thought you’d find that from a bunch of tweets?

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Disclaimer
  • Meet the Family
  • Chapter 1: Waiting
  • Chapter 2: Boy
  • Chapter 3: Ethiopia
  • Chapter 4: Home
  • Chapter 5: Water
  • Chapter 6: Family
  • Helping the Cause
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Author

A number of people have helped with the book (too many to mention), but a lot of credit goes to Brian White of TriLion Studios for the cover design and Ronald Cox for the interior design. Some of the photos also came from Barbara O’Brien.

Bonus Content
Since a book of Twitter posts is still a book you lose some of those links to interesting content. So now you can check them out:


Chapter 1: Waiting

Chapter 2: Boy

Chapter 3: Ethiopia

  • Ethiopia photos! Our album of 1,100+ photos from our trip to Ethiopia to meet Milo (many of the photos were taken out the window of a moving bus, so don’t expect stellar quality).
  • I mentioned a friend who needed to be medivaced from Ethiopia. Here’s the blog post first describing her accident. You can go backward to read about her time in Ethiopia or forward to learn about her complete recovery.
  • Describing the goodbye ceremony at the care center: Milo leaves his mark in Ethiopia.

Chapter 4: Home

Chapter 5: Water

Chapter 6: Family

Causes we talk about in the book:

Of course you can follow the continuing adventures of Kevin, Abby, Lexi and Milo on my blog and on Twitter. I’ve also started a page collecting all sorts of Ethiopia-related links and resources.


Reviews & Press


Reviews & Reactions:

  • “Twitter updates re: adoption process was a very unique yet powerful way of sharing info & I was amazed at how emotional I got reading it.”
    Book Dads, Oct. 12, 2010
  • “Funny and touching and entertaining and inspiring all at once.”
    Tara’s View on Books, June 26, 2010
  • “Laugh-out-loud funny in parts, whilst touching and moving in others.”
    Twittercism, June 9, 2010
  • “It’s a call to global awakening.”
    Heart Cries, June 7, 2010
  • “As inspiring as it was funny.”
    Creating Culture, June 7, 2010
  • “It is a good book and a good cause.”
    ChurchCrunch, May 25, 2010
  • “The book had a great message and the author does a great job at allowing others to understand the adoption process.”
    Dad of Divas, May 17, 2010
  • “Interesting book about adoption mixed with 140 characters.”
    Chris Brogan, May 12, 2010
  • “This book is creative, funny, inspiring and a quick read.”
    Kem Meyer, May 11, 2010
  • “Entertaining and inspiring.”
    -Musician Shaun Groves, May 11, 2010
  • “The honesty in this book is refreshing and inspiring.”
    Jeffrey Martin, May 11, 2010
  • “Clever, ironic, and written like a Dad… both hilarious and heartwarming.”
    SocialWrkr24/7, May 11, 2010
  • “It’s a candid, touching story that is a must-read for anyone who wants a front row seat to the incredible thing that happens when a family chooses to bring an adopted child into their life.”
    Tim Schraeder, May 11, 2010
  • “The tweets are funny, personal, and endearing, and they give us a great model for documenting and reflecting on our adoption journeys.”
    Adoptive Dads, May 10, 2010
  • “What a great parenting & adoption inspiration!”
    Pam Parish, May 6, 2010
  • “Reading your book moved us to set up a campaign for my son’s 1st birthday.”
    KittenCrush, May 6, 2010
  • “Hilarious! A must read! I will be passing this one around and gifting it to friends.”
    Divine Dishes, May 6, 2010
  • “Started reading Addition by Adoption last night. I stayed up late giggling!”
    Kirsten Vogel, May 6, 2010
  • “You can’t really go wrong with this book.”
    Faith & Geekery, May 5, 2010
  • “Hendricks puts together a fun, compelling read.”
    Minnesota Christian Chronicle [PDF], May 2010
  • “Kevin is an example of what makes Twitter good.”
    Geoff Graham, April 21, 2010
  • “If you’re one who is still wondering, ‘What’s the point of Twitter?’ or you have people asking you that question, Addition by Adoption goes a long way… not to explaining the answer but to exemplifying an answer.”
    Paul Steinbrueck, April 19, 2010
  • “I normally don’t do math books, but…”
    -Musician Justin McRoberts, April 17, 2010
  • “Great idea…”
    Anne Jackson, author of Mad Church Disease, April 16, 2010
  • “…a hilarious look at adoption, parenting, and life.”
    Joshua Cody, April 15, 2010
  • “Funny, inspirational and well written. So glad I got a chance to pre-read this… you should seriously order it now.”
    Shawn Wood, author of 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One, April 15, 2010
  • “It’s a must-read for anyone who has adopted or is considering adoption. Shoot, it’s a must-read for anyone who’s a parent.”
    Matt Todd, April 15, 2010
  • “Wow. I’ve enjoyed @kevinhendricks tweets, but his new book, Addition by Adoption, is crazy good.”
    Jaime Hunt, April 14, 2010
  • “The book is an amazing testimony to the power of a Tweet and to the power of ambient intimacy.”
    Jonathan Blundell, April 14, 2010
  • “I was also relieved to find out that I am not the only parent who sometimes feels it necessary to hide behind closed doors and eat large amounts of chocolate in order to regain sanity.”
    Julie Gumm, April 13, 2010
  • “If you like quirky families, quality writing, good causes, and heart-warming adoption stories, this is the book for you.”
    Jason Boyett, author of O Me of Little Faith, April 13, 2010
  • “Interesting new book…”
    Jonathan Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like, April 13, 2010
  • “Kevin’s heart for his daughter and the cause of adoption drips from the pages, leaving you with an overwhelming sense that God’s plan for [his] family has been and will always be addition by adoption.”
    Sam DuRegger, April 13, 2010
  • “I found myself bursting out in laughter and sometimes holding back the tears.”
    Mike Rusch, April 13, 2010
  • “One hundred forty characters may seem brief, but Addition by Adoption speaks volumes about love, faith, laughter and this crazy thing called life.”
    Greg Swan, April 8, 2010
  • “Buy this book, it’ll warm the cockles of your heart.”
    Brandon Mendelson, April 6, 2010

Spread the Word

10 ways you can help spread the word about Addition by Adoption:
Thanks in advance.

  1. Buy a copy. You gotta drink the Kool-Aid, so to speak.
  2. Tell your mom. My mom likes it—I bet yours will too.
  3. Status update it. Post it to Twitter, Facebook or your favorite status update engine. Some sample posts are below if you prefer not to think:
    1. Addition by Adoption: A new Twitter book about kids, causes and adoption. Proceeds will fund a well in Ethiopia.
      [Tweet it!]
    2. Buy a book, build a well w/ @charitywater:
      [Tweet it!]
    3. OMG! Some dork turned his tweets into a book:
      [Tweet it!]
    4. Or write your own. You can use our short link to send people directly to the main book page: You can use this short link to send people directly to Amazon:
  4. Blog it. Use your self-published independent media platform to promote my self-published independent book. We DIYers have to stick together. I’m happy to do an interview, write a guest post or do whatever will work—contact me and we’ll set it up.
  5. Sing a song. Ridiculous songs are awesome. Exhibit A: I like puppies. Bonus points if you make a video out of it. Heck, free autographed copy if you post said video to YouTube.
  6. Write an Amazon review. Find my book, scroll down to the Customer Review section and click on “Create your own review.” You will need to be logged in. You don’t have to write anything long or fancy. If all else fails you can just say “This book is awesome.”
  7. Tell your friends. Mention it in person. I hear face-to-face conversation is the latest rage.
  8. Like it. This one’s easy: Any time you see me or anyone else talking about the book on Facebook, click that handy little ‘like’ button. Popular posts show up more often in people’s ‘top news’ feed. I’ll be artificially popular!
  9. Buy a copy for a friend. I know every help-me-promote-my-book-author says this, but seriously—you’ve got friends who would like it and everyone loves a random, out-of-the-blue gift. Buy 3 copies and you qualify for Amazon’s free shipping. The book also qualifies for Amazon’s 4-for-3 deal. We also have a 10-copy package and we’ll gladly customize other multiple copy packages for you.
  10. Get a banner. Slap one of our pretty banners on your site:

300 x 300 Some Dork:

300 x 300 Some Dork

125 x 125 Some Dork:

125 x 125 Some Dork

300 x 300 Buy a Book, Give Water:

300x300 Buy a Book Give Water

125 x 125 Buy a Book, Give Water:

125x125 Buy a Book Give Water

300 x 300 Cover:

300x300 Cover

300 x 250 Cover:

300x250 Cover

260 x 125 Cover:

260x125 Cover

125 x 125 Cover:

125x125 Cover

You’re welcome to use the full book cover as well:

Addition by Adoption: Kids, Causes & 140 Characters by Kevin D. Hendricks
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A work-at-home dad wrestles with faith, social justice & story.