Making Connections, Making it Real

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Review by: Delana H. Stewart, Author of Nine Year Pregnancy

I just love Aha moments. Moments when you see the light bulb go on in your child’s eyes. Moments when you can almost reach out and touch a connection being made.

Tonight my daughter and I snuggled on the sofa and read books to each other. Two of the books I chose to read were ones we had not yet read. I loved the look in my daughter’s eyes and the smile on her face as she connected with the main characters/narrators of the stories. Both were stories of international adoption.

In Star of the Week by Darlene Friedman, a girl in kindergarten puts together a poster about herself and her family. She looks through photos in star week, adoption book, international adoption, transracial adoption, brownie sprinkles, love and adoption, asian girl, asian adoptionher memory box to choose for the display. She gets the display almost finished and realizes something is missing — she doesn’t have photos of her birthparents. The emotion in the drawing of her face captured my daughter’s heart. She talks about missing her birthparents, thinking about them a lot, and about being a part of them (and them a part of her). She has lots of questions about them that she verbalizes. At this point in the story, my daughter looks at me in amazement that this girl thinks about the same questions she thinks about: what do they look like? Where do they live? Why couldn’t they keep me? Do they miss me?

The girl decides to draw a picture of her birthparents for her display poster. She is nervous about questions kids may ask her, but shares an answer from her mother about how to handle that situation. This ended with a positive, inspiring, and encouraging message. The illustrations perfectly depict the mood and emotions of this story. And the real-life photo of the author’s family on the back flap caused my daughter to light up as she exclaimed: “They’re real! It’s a real family, not just a story.”

Mommy Far, Mommy Near, international adoption, transracial adoption, white mommy tan girl, adoption bookIn Mommy Far, Mommy Near by Carol Peacock the main character, Katherine, tells a story about how she and her sister were adopted from China. She talks about having two mommies: one far and one near. Two parts of this story easily became my daughter’s favorites. One was the rhyme the mommy would say about how she adopted Katherine. Every time the mommy would say the rhyme, the daughter would say, “Again…adopt me again.” In this part of the story, it tickled my daughter that Katherine would say the rhyme to her stuffed animals and “adopt” each of them on different days of the week.

Another interesting part of this story occurs when Katherine sees a Chinese mother and daughter on the playground. This stirs her emotions. Again, the illustrator does an excellent job capturing the emotions occurring in little Katherine.

Children who were adopted have questions. Sometimes they bury those thoughts because they do not think adoptive parents will understand. But the questions are still there. I am thankful for excellent, well-told stories such as these two books to help children process their questions and understand that they are not alone or unusual for having the thoughts they have.


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One thought on “Making Connections, Making it Real

  1. Oh, what you just posted touched my heart. We have been dealing with these exact things from my 10 year old who was internationally adopted. It is hard to answer some of those questions sometimes but it is what they need to hear to feel connected. Bless you Delana for posting this!

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