Adoption Is for Alwaysby Linda Walvoord Girard
A five-year-old girl, Celia, knows she is adopted. But she is confused and angry, and her parents must deal with her many questions in an honest and loving way. Information about adoption a young child can understand is integrated into the text.
"One of the best titles available about adoption for young children."
School Library Journal
"Girard's story examines an important issue with sensitivity."
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Adoption is for Always
By Linda Walvoord Girard, Judith Friedman
ALBERT WHITMAN & CompanyCopyright © 1986 Linda Walvoord Girard
All rights reserved.
Ever since Celia was a tiny girl, her mother and father had told her she was adopted. They said she hadn't grown inside her mommy but had grown inside a lady called her birthmother.
Celia hadn't really heard what they said. When her parents said, "Celia, we adopted you," it sounded no different than, "Celia, we took you to the park when you were a baby."
One Saturday, Celia and her parents were sitting on the porch swing. Mother said, "We bought this swing right after we adopted you." That day, Celia really heard the word. Adopted! This time she understood. Just like the baby down the street, Celia was adopted!
"You mean that birthmother lady was my mommy first, before you? And somebody else was my daddy?"
Mother nodded, yes.
"You mean I have another mommy somewhere?"
Daddy nodded. "She was your mommy just in the very beginning," he said.
Celia felt her stomach hurt. "But I don't want to be adopted!" she said. "I want you and Mommy to be my ONLY mommy and daddy!"
Celia went to her room and lay on the bed. She felt confused, as if someone had played a trick on her. A birthmother was a mommy! She buried her head in the pillow.
Celia stayed in her room and watched her goldfish for a long time. Being adopted made her feel alone.
Then her parents came to the door.
"We know you feel sad, Celia," Mother said. "But we are your mommy and daddy now. We've belonged to each other since you were four days old. Look, we've got your baby book!"
Her mother showed Celia pictures she'd seen before, from the time she was a tiny baby.
"Here's you drooling, and here's you in the bathtub, and here's you in front of a mirror, and here's you in your baby buggy, and here's you with Grandpa, and here's you playing in the mud!" her mother said. She and Daddy were laughing, and Celia began to laugh, too. There were so many photos of Celia they were falling out of the pages.
Celia felt a little better then. Nobody said anything more about adoption that night, but when Daddy tucked her in, he said, "You're ours for keeps, Pumpkin," and he hugged her extra tight.
Still, Celia lay awake a long time that night. She couldn't forget that word, adopted. Ugh. It couldn't be a word about her. She tried to pretend it wasn't true, but lying in bed, she started thinking. If she wasn't born out of Mother's body, then whose baby was she? She wondered who her birth parents were, and why they didn't keep her. Had she been a bad baby, or an ugly one?
Celia woke up feeling grumpy and sad. That morning she got into trouble. She didn't pick up her clothes after Mother asked twice. She had to stay in her room.
"I don't like you!" she yelled when she came back down. "You're not beautiful like my real mommy! She was a movie star! And my daddy was a football player!" Celia just made that up to make her mother feel bad.
"I know you're angry, but that doesn't mean you can say hurtful things," Mother said quietly. "You have to mind my rules, and that's that. I AM your real mommy now."
Excerpted from Adoption is for Always by Linda Walvoord Girard, Judith Friedman. Copyright © 1986 Linda Walvoord Girard. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
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