Mommy Far Mommy Near:
An Adoption Story
by Carol Antoinette Peacock
Albert Whitman & Co., 2000

Reviewed by Barbara Free

     Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story is a children’s book, especially written for children adopted from China. The author is the mother of two young girls from China. It is told in the first-person, with one of the daughters as the narrator. In the book, the little girl tells of a game she and her mother have, called “Look,” in which they talk about the differences in their eyes, for instance, and the child’s earlier mistaken belief that all children were born in China, She talks about”.her learning to understand that she has two mommies, one near, and one far away, in China. She also discusses an incident in which she saw a Chinese mother and daughter and felt sad that she could not know her own Chinese mother. The adoptive mother acknowledges her sadness and comforts her.
     This book would be appropriate for children from preschool up to nine or ten, even though the text is primarily aimed at an audience younger than eight. Sometimes older children still find comfort in a book designed for younger children, particularly if the story applies to them personally. This book s told in such a loving, warm, and honest way, including the illustrations, that other adoptees might enjoy it, too, as well as adoptive parents, and even birth parents. It addresses the special issues that girls born in China and adopted to the United States might have, including identity, loss, and confusion. The author is extremely respectful of the child’s needs and also of the birth parents’ situation.
     Unfortunately, this reviewer was unable to find the book in stock at the local bookstores and had to order it. It had been recommended by Kerri Wormwood, who obtained her own copy at a gathering for children from China arid their adoptive parents. It is such a wonderful book that it would be worth ordering, and worth urging the bookstores, particularly the home-owned ones, to stock this book. School libraries would benefit from having this book available, too.
     This book would make an excellent gift for any adoptee or adoptive parent, or for prospective adoptive parents, particularly those hoping to adopt inter-culturally. It is also comforting for a birth mother, to see how the author addresses the issue of the child’s birth mother.

Excerpted from the January 2004 edition of the Operation Identitiy Newsletter
© 2004 Operation Identity