Mount Airy woman pens memoir about adoption story -- Gazette.Net


In 2000, Debbie Marrow Michael, 57, of Mount Airy often woke up in the middle of the night thinking that she needed to adopt a child.

She was already a mother of three children.

“I just kind of ignored it,” she said. “I was comfortable in my life, I wasn’t the least bit interested in changing it ... But [the thought] just wouldn’t go away.”

A year later, Michael — a substitute teacher at Linganore High School in Frederick — and her family would embark on a the journey to adopt Roma, a 7-year-old Russian boy, who had been living at an orphanage in Vladikavkaz for two years before coming to their home.

“I feel like he was handpicked for us,” Michael said of her son. “We’ve been blessed.”

In a 232-page memoir entitled “But the Greatest of These is Love,” Michael tells the story of her journey through the adoption process that ended with the adoption of her now 18-year-old son Roma in 2002. The book was published in August.

“It’s a feel good story,” she said.

Roma, who attended South Carroll High School for a few years before enrolling at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va., is set to graduate in May.

“He’s a delightful kid,” Michael said.

So far, Michael said, that about 400 copies of the book have been sold since its release. Published by InspiringVoices, the book is available online at