I’ve always wanted to be a mother. But I never thought that adoption would be an intrinsic part of my journey through motherhood.
I’ve always wanted to write books. But I never got down to writing them until I found bigger reasons to write besides liking words.
Life unfolds in unexpected ways and with that, the question marks pop up. Why must this happen to me? Why is my life like this?
Stories are a wonderful way of dealing with these curveballs. And this is why I decided to write adoption stories for my toddler son, Christian, with The Adventures of Squirky the Alien. It’s a six-book illustrated series (the 3rd book is just about to be launched) about a blue alien boy called Squirky, who travels around space with his adoptive sister Emma, looking for his birth parents. Along the way, Squirky meets challenges. But by overcoming these hurdles, he discovers more about himself as well.
This book series is also my way of letting Christian know that should there come a day when he wants to find out more about his origins, we will support his search. It’s something my husband and I are committing to now because we do know how emotionally intense it will be when the actual time comes.
We’re from Singapore, and in this part of the world, adoption is still regarded as slightly taboo because blood ties are highly valued. Most adoptions here are closed, and many adoptive parents are often advised by family and friends not to disclose that their children are adopted. There is the fear that once the children know, they would not feel like they are part of the family and would reject their parents. However, I believe that honesty is more important than this fear.
This is why with every alternate Squirky book, I try to include a short resource section that deals with real-life adoption issues. In Book 1, I had a Q&A section on disclosing adoption with young children. In Book 3, I have tips on dealing with awkward adoption questions. In Book 5, I’m looking forward to sharing stories from Kindred Adoption by grown-up adoptees, adoptive parents and birth mothers
Besides this, with The Adventures of Squirky the Alien, I hope to bring across the message of acceptance. You are loved by your adoptive and birth families. You are loved even when you make mistakes. You are loved though you look different. You are loved whether you want to search for your birth family or not.
My son may find it hard to talk to me about his adoptive identity when he’s older. There will be lots of question marks coming his way and the journey will not always be easy. But that’s where I hope Squirky will come in, to remind him that we’ll give him the space to search for what he wants and needs to know, and that at the end of his search, our door will always be open for him.
The Adventures of Squirky the Alien is sold online here.
- by Melanie Lee