We Adopted You, Benjamin Kooby Linda Walvoord Girard, Abby Levine (Editor), Linda Shute (Illustrator)
Nine-year-old Benjamin Koo Andrews, adopted from Korea as an infant, describes what it's like to grow up adopted from another country.
"A warm and reassuring story of foreign adoption and family love."
School Library Journal
"This is a welcome and needed picture book introduction to the concept of interracial adoption."
- Whitman, Albert & Company
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.26(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.38(d)
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
Read an Excerpt
We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo
By Linda Walvoord Girard, Linda Shute
ALBERT WHITMAN & CompanyCopyright © 1989 Linda Walvoord Girard
All rights reserved.
My name is Benjamin Koo Andrews. I'm nine years old, but I don't know when my real birthday is.
No one knows my real birthday except my first mother, in Korea. When I was about ten days old, she left me on the step of an orphanage there. That cold stone doorstep where I was found one chilly evening in October is where my story begins.
Sometimes at night I think about my past. Why did my birthmother leave me there? Was she sad when she put me on that step? Was I cold?
I was bundled up well, and the people at the orphan-age found me soon. I'll never meet my birthmother, but I know she didn't leave me just anyplace. She left me where she knew loving people could find me easily. I think she really cared about me.
On the day they found me, the workers gave me a name and a birthday. They guessed my birthday was about October 10, so that's on all my records. The name they gave me was Koo Hyun Soo, which means "flower found by water." Today part of that name is still mine—I'm Benjamin Koo Andrews.
Now comes the happy part of my story. The orphanage was trying to find parents for each baby, and far away in America, my mother and father were waiting and hoping that a baby could be found for them.
One day a worker at the orphanage took my picture. Then she wrote this about me: "Baby Hyun Soo is alert and cries a lot; he appears healthy, but he is very tiny. He grasps at sunlight when it crosses his crib. He kicks very strongly."
My picture and the description were sent to my mom and dad. "This baby needs you," the letter said.
When my mom got the letter, she was so happy that she cried. She carried that picture in her purse for months and showed it to everyone she and Dad knew—their families, friends, and the people they worked with. Mom even brought the picture to the kids she taught in first grade. "This baby is coming from Korea to be our new baby!" she told them.
But then my parents waited. So did I. When you're being adopted from a foreign place, there are all sorts of papers to be filled out.
It was hard for my parents to wait. "I didn't want to miss a single day of your life!" Mom says.
The orphanage wrote another letter. It asked my parents to send lots of money—thousands of dollars. Mom and Dad had to pay for my plane trip and for a lady who would bring me to America and take care of me on the way. You can't mail a baby like a football in a box!
Finally, in April, came the great day I call America Day. That day, with other babies, I flew clear across the huge Pacific Ocean to America. The helpers wrapped me up—in a pink out- fit! In Korea, pink doesn't mean girl, and blue doesn't mean boy. Thy just use whatever nice clothes they have.
At the airport, my mom and dad held their breath as the other babies came off with their helpers and were given to their parents for the first time. Each worker would say, "Where are Tommy's parents?" or "Where are Emily's parents?" Grandmothers and uncles and brothers and sisters crowded around each little bundle.
Excerpted from We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo by Linda Walvoord Girard, Linda Shute. Copyright © 1989 Linda Walvoord Girard. 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.
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