A lot of people ask us if we’re going to tell Levi that he’s adopted. This is, I’m assuming, a question that most parents of adopted children get asked. I know that everyone handles it differently, and obviously it entirely depends on your child and your family. We are hopeful to be able to convey to Levi from the very beginning the miracle of how he came to be a part of our family. We don’t want him to have any kind of utterly life-altering moment when he realizes that he’s adopted. We don’t want it to define him, but we want it to be a part of who he is.
We want to start weaving this idea into conversation soon, even though he won’t really understand, and I think we’re going to do it through books. I know there are countless books out there about adoption, but I wanted to share the two that we have and that I absolutely love.
The Day We Met You by Phoebe Koehler
This book. I have a story. My sister Allison and I were browsing in this wonderful store, and found a few books about adoption. I sat and read through one, while Alli read this one. She came over to me, eyes full of tears and handed it to me. I read through it, largely unphased, until I got to the last page and then promptly burst into tears.
I know that most parents feel and understand this, but it so perfectly encapsulated how I felt about my boy. Where there had been a dark, empty, sad place, suddenly the sun! How do you help a child to understand that? How will he ever know how my heart came alive that day?
It’s not blatantly about adoption, which I actually kind of like. It’s about preparing for a child, meeting the child and loving them immediately. The adoption piece is implied and I like it because it will convey the hopefulness of expectation, regardless of how the child in your life came to be. The illustrations are sweet, simple, and colorful. I’m excited to start reading it to Levi.
But, I think this book is more for me – so he can understand, in time, how important he is and how much I love him. It’s about my love for him. This other one, I think, will be more for Levi. It’s about the love his birth mom has for him, and that is just as important for him to comprehend.
A Blessing From Above by Patti Henderson
This one was given to me by my friend Megan. It’s a sweet little Golden Book, with all the things you love about a Golden Book. I immediately loved this story because I think it’s so close to Levi’s story. A Mama Kangaroo adopts a little baby bird that has fallen out of it’s overflowing nest. The Mama Bird sees that her baby has fallen, and realizes that her nest is too full and that the Mama Kangaroo would take good care of her baby.
I’ve struggled with how to rightly explain to Levi how E (his birth mother) could love him so much but still let him go. I think it’s one of those things he just won’t be able to understand for a while, and that’s OK. But I love this book because it gives the perspective of the Mama Bird, who loves but lets go so her baby can be cared for. When I speak of E, I want to honor and respect her and the decisions that she made. I hope this book will be a starting place for him to understand how completely loved he is.
It’s wonderful the truth that can be found in such sweet little books.