It’s been a non-stop day; and Theo is still wired. He wants to play ‘crash it’ with his superheroes but I kibosh the idea in favour of a book. It’s been a while since we’ve read an adoption story. I pull out “God Found Us You” (by Lisa Tawn Bergen with art by Laura J. Bryant) despite my agnostic tendencies. I figure all adoption books are great jumping off points for discussion so we give it a whirl.
It begins with Little Fox cuddling up to Mama Fox and asking her to tell him again about the day he came home.
Immediately, Theo says, “Little Fox adopted?” I say, “Yes just like you.” Then he curls up to me and waits for me to go on. I’m so surprised, I keep reading, and for perhaps the first time, Theo listens to a complete story (with a few amendments by me) end-to-end.
Mama Fox begins by giving Little Fox an idea of what life was like for her before he arrived in her life. The story uses beautiful imagery to show her deep longing for a child. Little Fox snuggles up as his mother tells him how she dreamed of him, how he would look, smell and sound. Every day she thought of how wonderful it would be to hold him in her arms. She saw him in the leaves and bark of the giant oak and in the night stars. But she had to wait, and wait, and wait.
In a series of achingly beautiful scenes, the book shows Mama Fox watching the other mothers have children (bears, owls, rabbits), and it shows her howling alone on the cliffs watching for Little Fox to show up. Day after day after day, she waits. The trees lose their leaves, the snow flies, and she wants to give up but she never does.
Then Little Fox asks why he couldn’t stay with “the mother who had me.” I worried that the book might steer into “God had his reasons” but Mama Fox’s response is quite wonderful. She says, “She must have had very big reasons to give you up. She must have thought it was best for you.” Mama Fox does not try to make up a reason when she doesn’t know all the facts or motivations.
Little Fox then asks: ”Did she have fur like mine? Eyes like mine?” I mention to Theo that he has brown skin and curly hair like his birthmother whereas Mama Fox says (not knowing all the facts): “She must have been as beautiful as you are handsome.” I like how the book honours the birthmother in the context of limited information.
Little Fox then asks if Mama Fox will be his forever mama. She says yes, “Always and forever no matter what. I will always love you and treasure you and celebrate the day you came to me.” Some people take issue with “forever mama” and celebration around adoption but it works for a small child who needs to know they are not only cherished but they are with you for life.
Mama Fox then tucks Little Fox into bed, and he is glad that he has a cozy home and good food and a mama how loves him very much.
At this point, Theo is sprawled on my lap making fox-like noises, and says. “Mama, you call me Little Fox?” I say, “Yes Little Fox … now time for bed.” “Okay Mama Fox,” he yawns.
* Like most adoption books, the story won’t match up perfectly with your own but I found it a great jumping off point. This book refers to God a lot but you can easily omit the references so it still works for non-believers. It also works nicely for international, local, closed, open and single mother adoption.