Five years ago, I was at the Select Bookstore in Tanglin Shopping Centre (which no longer exists) when I came across this book: “Our Very Own: Stories Celebrating Adoptive Families” published by Touch Family Services.
This was at a time when my husband and I were curious about adoption but hadn’t really done anything yet.
The most memorable bit of that book was the account of how Rod Monterio and his wife, Joyce, adopted a one-year-old boy from the foster care system. Rod was one of my favourite DJs growing up, and just knowing that someone I was familiar with had adopted made it feel a little more accessible. The overall tone of the book was also surprising (note this was the first form of adoption literature I’d read): adoption was celebrated and appreciated, and I liked how people from a variety of backgrounds were featured in the book.
Earlier this year, the 2nd collection was launched – “Our Very Own 2: Stories Celebrating Adoptive Families”. We went for the book launch and my son spent most of the time running around with one of his buddies. We said hi to a few families that we have gotten to know over the years, and as I flipped through the book, I saw that The Adventures of Squirky the Alien #1: Why Am I Blue? had been listed as one of the resources. That’s when it really hit me: SO MUCH has happened within these five years.
It’s kind of like the potted plant that you see in the photo above. My son did some “gardening” at a birthday party last week where he got to paint a pot, dig soil and sprinkle seeds. When we got home, I chucked it at the balcony and forgot all about it. When I finally remembered yesterday, I discovered that little shoots had sprung forth.
This made me realise that growth is a part and parcel of life, and it happens whether you want it to happen or not. We age, children (and plants) grow, and sometimes, things just blossom when you’re not even really looking.
For the Our Very Own 2 book, the story which struck me the most was from an older parent, Yoke Fong, who recounted how she and her husband had adopted two girls who initially were resistant to their love. There’s this realistic resilience in this account which somehow encouraged me so much in this parenting journey.
Such stories are not bestsellers. Such stories may not really contribute anything to the “literary scene”. But these personal narratives need to be out there in a society that struggles in dealing with anything out of the norm. Such stories plant the seeds for more dialogue, acceptance and love.
If you’d like to get your hands on Our Very Own and/or Our Very Own 2, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to order the books (delivery can also be arranged).