As I’ve mentioned before, we talk very openly about adoption in our family. My kids are 3 and just-turned-5 (yikes!) and they talk about adoption in the same manner as any other everyday topic. My husband’s and my goal is for them to always know they can express any feeling they have, ask any question they think of and generally feel 100 percent comfortable discussing adoption.
Books are a wonderful way to keep communication open — or to get it going. However, I’m very, very finicky about adoption books that I read to the kids. I don’t want to present a completely romanticized version of adoption to them, but at the same time, I don’t want them to receive facts that are beyond their ages.
So, when Valerie Westfall contacted me about reviewing her children’s adoption book, Searching for… The You We Adore, I was hesitant. In fact, I told her I was highly critical! Still, Valerie said she was curious to hear my thoughts.
When Searching for… The You We Adore arrived, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful pictures. Illustrator Richard Cowdrey did a wonderful job with the images. They float right off the page and the colors are vibrant. I read through it twice on my own and really enjoyed it text as well. A ribbon of love leads the reader traveling all over the world to locate a special child who is love and adored.
Searching for… The You we Adore is definitely presented from an adoptive parent’s point of view — we waited for you, searched the world, finally found you and our lives are complete. I think that when balanced with books presented from the perspective of children who were adopted, it’s a wonderful story book to share as a family. It conveys a message of love and belonging.
I strongly believe in telling my kids how lucky I am to be their mom, adoption notwithstanding. I grew up knowing my mom thought she was the luckiest person alive to be my parent and I want my kids to know I feel that way, too.
In fact, on almost a daily basis, I ask my kids, “Why am I so lucky?” and one or both responds, “Because you get to be our mom!”
And it’s true — I am so very lucky.
Searching for… The You We Adore is a beautiful, feel-good book about adoption to convey to young children who were adopted how much you, as a parent, wanted them and love them. That’s an important message for every child — adopted or biological — to hear. My children loved the pictures and ahhh’d at several of messages. And I loved that it referenced both Asia and Africa, where my kids were born!