When I was a little girl, I had a wonderful babysitter. She was the mother of one son, who I may have been a tad bit in love with. Okay, so I was in love with him. Sadly enough, he passed away in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. It was beautiful to see how many lives he touched by the amount of people who attended his funeral.
The entire time I sat there, all I could do was stare at his mother, my childhood babysitter. Of course she was crying and mourning the loss of her son, but she still has so much to live for — another son.
One day, my babysitter came to us, all the children in her care, and showed us a picture. It was a newborn baby boy, very tiny and extremely adorable. For some reason, I remember the picture so vividly. I think my grandmother still has it in her collection of family photographs.
She explained to us how she had trouble having a baby, but this baby in the picture needed a home, and she and her husband were going to provide him with one. At only five or six years old I didn't think much of it. To me, it was like bringing home a Cabbage Patch doll to play with and dress up.
Not so much.
The baby boy finally arrived. Everyone gushed over him and showered him with kisses. Even his now big brother was excited to have him home. He now had someone to play ball with, run around in the backyard with, and occasionally beat up. It's apart of being a sibling.
As my babysitter watched pictures of her son and the memories he had made being flashed on a projector inside the church that day, a few pictures stood out in my mind. There were the ones with two brothers — embracing, playing, laughing. I knew right there that losing what would have been her only son was no longer a fear. She still had another person to love, a baby boy who she and her husband agreed to dedicate their life to.
That's the beauty of adoption — gaining another life to bring joy to a family.
I sat down and read "Adopted Ed" by Darren Maddern to Mariah and Kaden. Kaden got a kick out of the part where Ed tells another child: "MY PARENTS CHOSE ME, YOURS WERE STUCK WITH YOU!" Every now and then he tells me that he is "stuck" with me. And I respond with, "Ditto kid!"
The book is fairly easy to read. The words are simple and the font is large. I love that it is written in poetic prose. This gives the book a rhythmic flow and makes it fun to read. I was able to hold Mariah and Kaden's attention span and provoke interest. They interrupted a few times to ask questions. I love when that happens.
The pictures are wonderful as well — the color, the illustrations, and the relativity. I like that the characters represent diversity too. In fact, Ed's parents appear to be an interracial couple. And that is extremely relative in today's society. Kudos to Darren for this.
The book's main objective is to talk about adoption, but it also explores areas of social pressure, acceptance, and empowerment. One of my favorite lines from the book is:
"So whether you're Chinese, African, or even from Spain, an adopted child is a gift just the same. So puff out your chest and say it out loud — I'm Adopted, I'm Special!— and stand very proud."The book goes on to mention famous people who were also adopted. To name a few they are Faith Hill, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe, and plenty more. This shows you that adoption is not about who you are, it's what you are to a family who loves you, and that's the perfect fit.
Darren is just one of the many millions of adopted people throughout the world today.
Born in England, Darren was adopted when he was only 10 days old by Don and Dolly Maddern, an American military couple who were stationed at an American Air Force base just outside of Oxford.
After spending three years in England, the Madderns were transferred to Tehran, Iran where they settled for the next five years and where Darren attended first and second grades. When Darren completed second grade, the Madderns were transferred again, this time to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, Darren was naturalized as an American citizen. Three years later, the Madderns moved one last time to Colorado, where Darren spent the rest of his formative years.
The Madderns made the decision to tell Darren he was adopted at an early age.
Find out more about "Adopted Ed" and Darrren by visiting the website http://www.adopteded.com, following @adopteded on Twitter, or LIKE the page on Facebook. You can even purchase your copy from Amazon.com.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to facilitate my review thanks to Darren Maddern and One2One Network. The opinions and views expressed are mine and do not reflect those of the sponsor(s).