I’m excited to have found two really good children’s books about adoption:
I Wished for You, by Marianne Richmond
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis
The former I found by searching on Amazon; the latter by asking the librarian in the children’s room. Both are awesome. And both made me tear up a little as I read them to Teddy.
The first, with beautiful watercolor-style illustrations, is about a mama bear explaining to her son, Barley, his adoption story. It starts off with Mama Bear and Barley cuddling on a chair and Barley asking Mama Bear to tell him again how he was her wish come true. Mama Bear happily obliges, remembering aloud how long she had wished for Barely, how she worked so hard to get him, and then how she’d finally learned her wish was coming true. I love how the author weaves in answers to tricky questions, like “What about the mama who grew me in her tummy? Didn’t she wish for me, too?” and “…you have dark fur, and I have light fur with brown ears. Is this okay?”
But my favorite aspect is how the author includes Barley’s thoughts, relating Mama Bear’s experience to his own. When Mama Bear assures Barley that she wished for him all the time, even during all the mundane tasks of her day, he tries to imagine wishing for something throughout his day, even during lunch and math, and is impressed with how much wishing that would be.
The second book has the same premise–a child wanting to hear the story of her adoption–but this time the child, not the parent, is relaying the story, through a series of statements clearly demonstrating that the child has heard the story many, many times. The child starts by addressing her parents with the title of the book, Tell me again about the night I was born, and continues to share her own story by imploring her parents to tell her again about each part she’s heard before.
Several of the details of this story echo our own. “Tell me again how you carried me like a china doll all the way home and how you glared at anyone who sneezed.” I chuckle remembering how Mike insisted anyone who wanted to hold Teddy had to hand sanitize first. “Tell me again about the first night you were my daddy and you told me about baseball being the perfect game, like your daddy told you.” We received a baby board book about the Nats as a gift, and the afternoon we got it, Mike read it to Teddy as we walked from our post box to our condo.
Both stories prompt memories of our journey to Teddy and are helpful in setting the stage for future conversations about adoption.