Saturday, January 16, 2010

Choco and Owen

Since getting back home from New York, I've been nesting. There is nothing like being back in your own digs after a time away. Abe and I went yesterday afternoon to our library to restock the top of his bookshelf, the place reserved for library books (when I manage to pick them up off the kitchen floor). As I've mentioned here before, sitting in the children's section of our library is one of my favorite things to do. Yesterday, without looking for it, I came across a copy of A Mother for Choco, a book that has been on my mental "get this book" list for well over a year. I'd never read it, just knew it was about adoption.

I'm sure most adoptive families have a copy of this at home already; I'm just slow on the take. If you're like me and haven't gotten around to reading this book, go get it. I sat down with Abe and read it through, finding it difficult to get through the last few pages, especially when I got to the unexpected twist at the end.

Since we read it yesterday, he's asked to read it at least five more times. I'm not sure how much of it he "gets" right now. He may just like the story and the illustrations. But he does ask for this one over any of the other ten or so books we came home with last night. And he also has been calling himself "Choco," and me "Mama Bear."

He's been assigning us new names for a couple of weeks now. Most recently, he has been "Ponyo" and I have been "Totoro." For the last week we were in New York, I was pretty much exclusively Totoro. One day as I sat Ponyo on the toilet, he said, "Totoro, I like Japanese cartoons." He also told me last night that he is Japanese. Oh, and the name he's assigned to Ted? Chicken. No idea why. Abe=Ponyo. Mom=Totoro. Dad=Chicken.
This is Totoro, the fat guy with big teeth

We also got a book called A Mama for Owen, which is the retelling of a true story about an orphaned African hippo who found a new "mother" with a tortoise after the 2004 tsunami. I liked it, especially since the tortoise was actually a male. The book was criticized for being either too flippant in the face of tragedy or too traumatizing for little ones. Like Autumn, I don't believe in completely shielding our children from suffering. How else will they learn compassion?

Also like Autumn, my heart can't help drifting towards those children in Haiti who were almost home with their adoptive families when the earthquake hit. I also can't help feeling overwhelmed at the number of newly orphaned children now in Haiti. What will happen to them? All I know to do is give, to read, to pray, and give more. There are so many Chocos and Owens. So many.

Give to the Red Cross

Compassion International

Doctors Without Borders

Mercy Corps


Sara said...

I like this post. Dad/Chicken cracked me up. Hasn't children's lit. come leaps and bounds?

Katie Sullivan-Vivar said...

on the subject of Haiti please check out to learn about two american women who are trying to keep the 150 orphans in their care safe and eventually evacuated to the US.

annieglan said...

I LOVE A Mother for Choco. I read it to my daughter all the time. It was a Christmas gift so I wasn't expecting it to be about adoption. Needless to say I was crying by the end.

Eastiopians said...

Love your thoughts. :)