When I told K what was in the brown envelope, she went “Yes! Yes! I want to read it!!” Obviously a huge Squirky fan by now!
This time, Squirky continues on his travels with his sister Emma, and comes very, very close to locating his birth parents. No spoilers here, but K was a tad upset with the ending of this edition! I think like most other 7 year olds, she was looking for a predictably pleasant and neat end to this chapter.
I told her it was good enough that this chapter ended with the revelation of Squirky’s decision, instead of a cliffhanger where we are kept wondering what he would choose, till the next book.
In fact, I appreciated this ending, because it is a good reflection of real life, and how issues are not always cut-and-dried. All the more when it concerns adoption. So I was glad that the book portrayed the very tough choice Squirky had to make, and the less predictable route he chose.
The Adventures of Squirky #5 includes two personal stories by adoptee Jenna Ushkowitz (of Glee fame) and birth mother Rachel Roberts, tagged on at the end of the book as resource materials.
I started checking out Kindred Adoption (an adoption organisation co-founded by Jenna) and came across Whitney’s story. I clicked link after link and found her original blog post, written in 2010, when she had just located her birth parents in South Korea. In that blog, post after post was upbeat and happy, making it the most joyous adoptee-story I have ever read. Her adoptive parents and birth parents even had a very happy meeting eventually in Korea, each side repeatedly thanking the other.
I then tried to find out why she was placed for adoption. It seemed to be the elephant in the room. But try as I might, scanning through pages and pages of blog entries, there was not a word about that.
it was only in another blog that she co-wrote with her husband (also an adoptee), in an NBC news interview, that the reason was revealed. Whitney had significant health issues as a newborn, and her parents were exceedingly poor then, and could not afford the surgeries she needed.
I found Whitney’s second blog much more open and real. She writes about how she’s gone for counselling to seek help for the roller-coaster of emotions she faced, and the tensions in relating to her birth mother now,
Adoption is never simple, and it has been said that it is always borne out of difficult or sad circumstances, whichever way you look at it. Which is why I particularly appreciated this chapter of Squirky – how it did not give a pat answer to a complicated matter.
In any case, I believe that sorrow is a given, for our life on earth, and adoption is a force for good. It plants a seed of hope and growth amidst two families facing sorrow, and brings wholeness in the face of brokenness.
Which is why I was glad to have the chance to support the Del Collo family recently, in their adoption of a little girl in Panama with special needs. They have four children of their own, and have moved from the US to Panama to help in the education of Panamanian kids. They had also fostered two boys previously, and are now in the process of adoption. They have such big hearts! So happy to be able to help a little through purchasing a tee via Bonfire Funds, and make a direct donation to their family too. In the family of Christ truly we are one body, many parts, some heeding the call of adoption, and some existing to support them.
And now, it’s giveaway time!
Author Melanie Lee is generously giving away TWO copies of Squirky #5 to two loyal readers of this blog. Just complete all the following steps for a chance to win:
1. “Like” The Adventures of Squirky FB page
2. “Like” LilBlueBottle’s FB page
3. “Like” and leave a comment on this post with your email address, tagging two friends.
Winners will be announced after the contest closes in a fortnight’s time, and contacted via email. The book will also be mailed to you if you win – all the best! The usual terms and conditions apply, and the winner’s name will subsequently be announced as an update on this blog post.
[Update: The winners are Doris and Agnes! Congrats and thanks for participating!]
Squirky will also be coming to two bookshops in March – there will be storytelling and craft sessions alongside. Do take note that the Woods in the Books store in Forum is called BOOKS AHOY.
Here are our other Squirky posts, and more of my reflections on adoption:
1. The Adventures of Squirky #1: Why am I Blue?
2. The Adventures of Squirky #2: What happened to Planet Q?
3. The Adventures of Squirky #3: The Red Commander
4. The Adventures of Squirky #4: Where is My Mama?