Due to popular demand, Gabriella van Rij, international kindness activist and author and a frequent anti-bullying expert on various network shows and news channels, has released the third edition of her acclaimed and candid memoir, With All My Might, which recounts her journey from a Pakistani orphanage in 1966 at the age of three into a diplomat’s family in the Netherlands.
Young Gabriella’s struggles with intolerance, bullying, racism, and feeling like she did not belong followed her throughout most of the first part of her life but are narrated in a brave and wise voice, empowering readers as they watch her journey toward becoming the woman she is today.
In 1966, a three-year-old girl makes the journey from an orphanage in Pakistan to a diplomat’s house in the Netherlands. This is the fresh and candid memoir of international activist, author, and speaker, Gabriella van Rij.
Over a series of interviews set against the backdrop of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Gabriella shares with journalist Mark Grijsbach an honest and mesmerizing account of what it was like to be one of the first cross-cultural adoptions in the 1960s.
Whether you are a father, a mother, a child, a blood relation, or adopted, you will be pulled into this story. From thought-provoking commentary on what adoptions are really like and advice for those wishing to adopt, to thoughts on the various contradictions in life, there are takeaways for us all. Primarily, Gabriella’s message underlines that “It is okay to just BE you.” This book is a must-read for social activists, those considering adoption, and for anyone looking for a story that touches on the universal topics of belonging and family.
“You really come through in it I believe. An image comes into my mind—of you swimming and sometimes floundering in a rough sea. Then somehow you find a surfboard and, with both feet on the firm surface, you ride the wave to the shore—ready to go back with your board into the sea and ride again!”
“Thank you for writing a very inspiring book. I read the book cover to cover in one evening. For me, that is fantastic, as I don’t get much time for myself, with two foster boys, 8 and 11, and two biological daughters 17 and 21, and I also work outside the home. It was a book I just couldn’t put down. I’ve been told you’re on a second book, and I’m looking forward to it. My 21-year-old daughter also read the book and enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing your story.”
“My dear sister friend. You radiate gratitude and optimism throughout the pages of this book. I have never seen you without a big smile and a ready hug for everyone you meet. It’s amazing you did not become hardened or debased by your struggles but grew in both strength and wisdom.”
“Author Gabriella van Rij was a half-hour guest on my television program, Conversations With Gloria Greer. Gabriella was one of the most interesting and articulate guests that I have interviewed. (And my guests have ranged from Benjamin Netanyahu to the late Betty Ford.) Gabriella’s book With All My Might is an example of how a person can succeed in life with intelligence, determination, and pride despite obstacles. Her story is fascinating and so is she.”
“WOW. Gabriella’s easy-to-read style combined with her fascinating account of her young childhood and adopted, overseas family is compelling. The backdrop of the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada is refreshing. And, the message is inspiring. I highly recommend Gabriella’s book, without reserve. One note of caution: only read this book if you are ready to fall in love with the person Gabriella is and become a close friend of hers.”