February 23, 2007

"The Day We Met You"

"The Day We Met You" was one of the first adoption books for children that I bought as we were going through the adoption process. Its simple words were ones I read to Puppy as we rocked in the twilight during his earliest days home.

"The sun shone bright the day we met you," begins the story. The adoptive parents, having received a phone call saying they would be the child's parents, prepare their home for the baby's arrival. Diapers and bottles are procured; friends and family bring blankets and toys. Flowers and a mobile brighten the nursery. Everything finally ready, the adoptive couple meets their child for the first time. The closing lines brought me to tears as I spoke them to my newborn son: "The minute we saw you, we knew that we loved you. You felt like the sun shining inside us."

Preparations like the ones described in the story were powerful symbols for me in the weeks leading up to Puppy's birth. While the child who might become our son was being loved and cared for by his first mother, we were preparing our home. Unable to touch a swollen belly to prove he was real, I folded and refolded clothes, smoothed craddle sheets, stacked diapers and thought about him. Each item I touched became a tailsman of hope.

The book is clearly not a comprehensive look at adoption. It makes no acknowledgement of birthfamilies or the infant's life prior to the adoptive parents' arrival. I do think that the piece it does touch on (i.e. the adoptive parents' loving preparations and excitement) it does well. (It's my personal philosophy that our library as a whole should bear the burden of touching on all sides of the adoption story, not each individual book.) It is a very simple picture book, with only a handful of words on each page. The age range is listed as 2-5, but I think it is a better fit for the board-book years. Puppy's attention span is just right for it now and it's been a favorite over the past year. The story is vague enough to apply to most domestic infant adoptions. The adoptive parents and the child are all Caucasian.

(written & illustrated by Phoebe Koehler, Aladdin Picture Books, 1990)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...