Growing Grace is a tender story about adoption from the perspective of a girl (almost a grown up, but not quite) who discovers she is going to have a baby. Readers, young and old, are taken on a journey with the young mother as she struggles to do what she believes is best for the baby who is growing inside her. The book addresses the plight of her decision making process, the connection she develops with her baby, and most of all, the love she has and will always hold for her child.
Children learn about the world through imaginative play and story telling. Parents who have adopted children often introduce the concept of adoption and help each child understand their journey through books and stories. Many books on the subject of adoption begin with the adoptive parents’ experience, their journey leading up to the adoption, or the first moment meeting the child. Most of these stories beautifully reiterate how much the children were hoped for and how valued and loved they are from the perspective of the adoptive parents, but do not convey this same sentiment from the perspective of the birth parents.
This missing perspective is an integral part of fully understanding the adoption process. Through the account of one young mother, Growing Grace provides an opportunity to engage in an open, honest, and evolving conversation about each family’s unique experience. Acknowledging the circumstances of the birth mother, and making it part of the dialogue about adoption in the earlier stages may help the family and each individual to comprehensively synthesize their experience in a meaningful way.
An ideal read-to children’s book, this story introduces the perspective of the birth mother framed in love and compassion. Written in simple and appropriate language, Growing Grace provides an opportunity for children as young as preschool-age to navigate and understand, in their own way, how their life may have begun. Inviting the birth mother’s perspective into the conversation allows a unique opportunity for the family to explore this rarely shared aspect of the adoption story. Every family’s situation is different, and this book is intentionally open-ended and inconclusive, as to allow additional opportunity to explore the various possible outcomes.
The story of Grace is a tribute, not only to the child who has been adopted, but also expresses appreciation, honor, and recognition of adoptive parents and biological parents alike. Brought to life by illustrator Layal Idriss, the dynamic images in this book beautifully convey the complexity of emotions involved in the adoption experience. It is intended to spark questions, facilitate communication, and foster an exploration of what each family’s adoption means for them. This book promotes self-discovery and self-actualization, and helps anyone affected by adoption to integrate their own unique experience into their identity with positivity, clarity, and confidence.