Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story

Overview


Young Elizabeth feels a range of emotions as she learns that she has two mommies: one in China and one in America. Her adoptive mother explains that although her Chinese mother loved Elizabeth and wanted to keep her, she couldn't because of China's laws.

Elizabeth, who was born in China, describes the family who has adopted her and tries to sort out her feelings for her unknown mother.

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Overview


Young Elizabeth feels a range of emotions as she learns that she has two mommies: one in China and one in America. Her adoptive mother explains that although her Chinese mother loved Elizabeth and wanted to keep her, she couldn't because of China's laws.

Elizabeth, who was born in China, describes the family who has adopted her and tries to sort out her feelings for her unknown mother.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Elizabeth's misgivings are met head-on by her adoptive mother's reassurance, love, and thoughtful responses."

Booklist

"Elizabeth's healthy exploration of what it means to be adopted evolves naturally over time."

School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This adoption story is told by Elizabeth, a little girl born in China and adopted by American parents. When she is old enough to learn that not all babies come from China, her mother explains gently that she and her adopted sister have two mommies, one far and one near. So very much information for a little girl to process. The author does a superb job with difficult subject matter, such as when she deals with abandonment and the Chinese birth control policy. The poignancy of this book is felt on every page. There are two features that are particularly notable. The first is that Elizabeth explains the adoption story as she understands it to her younger sister, Katherine, so that child is talking to child. The second is a two-page spread showing that adoption is to forever--that it is an everlasting bond stretching from childhood to adulthood, with significant milestones depicted. The book is beautifully written, with soft illustrations. 2000, Albert Whitman, Ages 5 to 9, $14.95. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-With sensitivity and honesty, this book explores the feelings and questions a young Chinese girl has about having been adopted into an American family. She learns why her birth mother had to give her up and why her parents chose to adopt her and her younger sister. She plays games to help her adjust such as pretending to have a phone conversation with her "China mommy" about her current life. Elizabeth's healthy exploration of what it means to be adopted evolves naturally over time. The text and illustrations are printed on brown speckled paper. Confident brush strokes create fluid family scenes and thoughtful facial expressions. The illustrations make Elizabeth's intermittent vulnerability even more obvious.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807552346
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Series: Concept Books Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 814,101
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.16 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Mommy Far, Mommy Near

An Adoption Story


By Carol Antoinette Peacock, Shawn Costello Brownell

ALBERT WHITMAN & Company

Copyright © 2000 Carol Antoinette Peacock
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-5234-6


CHAPTER 1

I am Elizabeth, which starts with an E. I have black eyes and shiny black hair. I love to do cartwheels and climb trees. I can make popcorn in the microwave, and I like to pick the biggest chocolate chips out of cookie dough. I tell knock-knock jokes, very hilarious. Also, I can do the hokey-pokey.

Now about my family. I have a mommy and a daddy and a little sister named Katherine. Katherine and I were born in China. That's a big country far away.

I don't remember about being born. Mommy made a photo book about how I was adopted from China when I was a baby. The book has lots of pages and a silver cover, and it is very heavy.

"Read," I say to my mother, holding the book in my lap.

Mommy snuggles me, and we read the story together. First there is a picture of my crib, with nothing in it.

"No baby," I say. "You were sad."

Mommy nods. "Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby so much. But we couldn't have one."

I pat Mommy's leg to comfort her.

Next come Mommy and Daddy holding me. "Now we have a baby," my mother says. "Our wonderful baby, Elizabeth."

"Now you are happy," I tell her.

Mommy squeezes me tight.

I am happy, too.

Also in my family is Penny, our dog. I like to roll on the floor with her. Penny's yellow fur is so soft, she makes a big dog pillow.

One day Mommy said, "Do you know how we got Penny? We adopted her. Penny had no family. So we went to a shelter, and we chose her. We made Penny part of our family."

"Where is Penny's mommy?" I asked.

Mommy said that she didn't know. The mother dog couldn't take care of Penny, she said.

I grabbed Penny's neck and kissed her on her wet black nose because once Penny had no dog family, and now she had our family to give her hugs and love.

I made up a game for Mommy and me to play every night at bedtime. The game was called "Look."

"Look" meant I lay on my mommy's tummy. Our faces touched. I waited until I could hear my mother's heart thumping softly, like a drum.

"Look," I said. "No songs, no kisses. Just look."

Mommy and I would look and look and look at each other.

One night during Look, Mommy said, "Are our eyes different or the same?"

Different, I told her. Mommy's were two circles, the outside one green, the inside one black. Mine were one large circle, very black.

"Yes, and your eyes are almond and mine are oval," Mommy said. She sat up and drew me closer.

"But our smiles are the same, Mommy. Exactly the same! We both smile with dents in our cheeks. Now, no words, Mommy. Just look."

"When did your mommy get you from China?" I asked my mother one day.

Mommy said that she did not come from China. She was born in America.

"I thought all babies came from my China."

"No, honey." My mommy's voice was soft. "Babies come from inside their mommy, Elizabeth."

"But Mommy," I said, "I always thought I came from my China." I felt afraid.

Mommy lifted me onto her lap. She said I was right, I did come from China. That was the country where I was born.

Mommy talked very slowly. Did I remember the empty crib? she asked. She had not been able to have a baby because she was too old.

Then she said that I had two mommies. I had a mother in China who grew me in her tummy. And I had her, the mother who adopted me.

"Are you telling the truth, Mommy?" I asked.

She nodded.

Two mommies! I had two mommies! I felt dizzy, like when I do too many somersaults. I went outside to climb my favorite tree. Two mommies, two mommies, I kept saying over and over and over as I climbed.

I tried to tell Katherine what our mommy had said. Katherine was busy ripping up an old magazine. She was almost three, and she didn't listen that well.

"Katherine," I told her, "Mommy said I have a mommy in China that grew me in her tummy. And you have a mother in China, too. The one who got you born."

Katherine kept ripping.

"And we also have our other mommy right here. The one we call Mommy. We each have two mommies, Katherine. One is far away, and one is in our house.

"A far mommy and a near mommy," I said.

Katherine and I talked on our toy telephones a lot. Once in a while I pretended it was my mommy from China calling.

"Katherine," I would say, "it's my mommy from China."

Katherine would yell, "Hello, Elizabeth's China mommy! What are you doing?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Mommy Far, Mommy Near by Carol Antoinette Peacock, Shawn Costello Brownell. Copyright © 2000 Carol Antoinette Peacock. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2006

    From a Mommy Near

    As the adoptive parent of a little girl from Asia, I have only one problem with this book I can't read it to my daughter without getting completely choked up! The author did an amazing job capturing the amazing experience, confusion, and tremendous love present in an adoptive family. I strongly suggest this book for adoptive families, families considering adoption, and any parents who would like to explain adoption to their children.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2009

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