Craker's book, "Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me About Grace, Belonging & the Orphan In Us All" (Tyndale House Publishers Inc.), weaves the literal sense of the word "orphan" with the fallout that's let loose when rejection and desertion strikes our emotional and spiritual core.
Either way, we feel bereft of hope and direction, left behind and abandoned, grieving, wondering through it all who to turn to.
That is one facet of life.
The other is the assurance that our heavenly Father never leaves or forsakes us. Craker in more ways than one, has been impacted by loss and what it truly means to belong.
Turn to the Father
"Those orphan feelings are an opportunity to turn to the Father Who does not fail us," said Craker, whose book cites two Scriptures: "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18); and "I would not forget you! See, I have written your name in the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:15-16."
Craker's new book — her 13th — draws inspiration from Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved series of novels "Anne of Green Gables" whose protagonist, Anne Shirley, is a young orphan who is sent to Prince Edward Island after a childhood spent in strangers' homes and orphanages.
The 'lost' girls
Craker also threads the stories of three other "lost" girls: her own adoption, the adoption of her now 10-year-old daughter, Phoebe Min-Ju Jayne; and Lucy Maud Montgomery whose father gave custody of Montgomery to her maternal grandparents after her mother died of tuberculosis when she was 21 months old.
"The cool thing was I was able to explain it to her how Anne was an orphan, I was an orphan and she was kind of an orphan," Craker said. "That was the spark of my book. I make a case that we belong to people who are not our flesh and blood. DNA is not the qualifier."
Craker was 13 she read on her birth certificate her original name was Charlene Rudineska. She eventually did meet her birth mother and father later in life, which didn't go well.
"I found my birth father a few years ago," Craker said. "His letter to me was cold and business like."
She also endured the taunts of a "mean powerful girl" in 8th grade and wrestled with losing her long-time job as an entertainment writer for The Grand Rapids Press.
The universal reality is all people at some point feel like they've drifting in uncertain waters.
Connecting the dots
"We've all had experiences where we've been excluded or rejected," Craker said. "I was pointed to the Father who always claimed me.
"I hope people can connect their own orphan dots. When we hear about other people's stories, we're able to make sense of our own stories."