and Reflection Pond
And these lines from Beautiful:
Later, in Beautiful, a child
says, How can you assume people who scorn what I come from can make
me feel loved. These poems, though written by the author as fictional
composites of what children have expressed to him, are true on a larger level.
Many adoptees and birth parents will also find the words true for them, even
if they have not been involved in the foster system. Adoptive parents may
find some of the words troubling, touching, or painful.
Reflection Pond, which was written a year earlier
than the books of poetry, consists of short essays on the same theme as the
books of poetry: separation, loss, lack of understanding, grief for which
are no words. It should be required reading for all social workers and therapists
who are involved in foster and adoptive placement and treatment. Part of
the authors emphasis is on black children caught in a foster system
run by white adults, but what he has to say on behalf of children is more
universal than just color differences. That is not to discount the importance
of color in a childs heritage and outlook, although as the author says
reducing a childs heritage down to a color is an incredible insult.
Doing so allows us to believe that her heritage is meaningless. For
those involved in cross-cultural or cross-racial adoptions and foster situations,
it may be difficult not to feel defensive when reading all of these books,
but making an effort to let go of that defense and just allowing the words
to speak to the reader will prove valuable.
Excerpted from the October 2009
edition of the Operation Identitiy Newsletter