My dear classmate and famous Singaporean author Melanie Lee has published another book!
|How cute is that?|
|Taking it all in|
I let her read it from beginning to end, and then I read it aloud to 3.5 year old B. What struck me first was the interesting plot development, and the engaging writing style that is particularly suitable for children.
The cute chalk-writing font and good typesetting makes it easy for children aged 5 onwards to self-read too.
Dave Liew’s illustrations featuring an Asian family were realistic and definitely relatable to Singaporean kids. Overall, it’s just such a gem, to have an adoption story written by a Singaporean, since it does bring the story very much closer to heart and home.
The girls were thrilled with the personal dedication (thanks Mel, so sweet of you!), and I really loved the story and all that it stands for, because adoption is also a cause close to my heart.
|A look inside!|
An aunt of mine was given away to a neighbour in the 1950s, because my grandmother had so very many children, and her childless neighbour pined for one of her own to bring up. After being approached every time a child was born to her, my grandmother finally relented with her seventh, though she did go on to have two more children, who were not adopted by others.
Both families kept in touch, and my mum, uncles and aunts would visit their sister often. Till today, we have extended family gatherings that include my adopted aunt, and her three kids.
I have a church friend who adopted her daughter in the 1990s. When I see their family interact, I am constantly amazed at how much love they openly show for one another, and how closely knit they are.
At least another four families I know in my generation have adopted children, one of whom adopted a child after having many of his own, and good friends in the UK who adopted a fifth child, after having four of their own!
I had considered this myself, when I got married, and was quite sure that if I could not birth children for some reason or another, I would be very open to adoption.
I guess the main reason for this springs from my faith as a Christian. (Incidentally, the five sets of parents I mentioned are all believers too.)
At present, in our local culture, cosmopolitan as our city is, I think that there are many who are still prejudiced against adoption, not least our parents’ generation.
There is this taboo of raising someone else’s child, and the worry that the child will turn their back on his or her adopted parents, once they find their birth parents. Or that the child will grow up with a stigma of being unwanted by his or her birth parents. (And Melanie’s book skilfully addresses these pertinent issues, crafting them into the ‘FAQ section’, if not the main storyline.)
I couldn’t think of anything further from the truth. The adopted children I know are so very, very deeply loved, and their parents are so thankful to have them, that they are really model parents to me. Not just in offering their child the best that they can, but also in disciplining their child strictly, because they consciously seek to have their kids brought up well.
There is a mindful thankfulness, that sometimes, us as parents with non-adopted children, take for granted.