Yesterday Lottie and I had the great privilege of attending a book signing with some (relatively) new friends. Our friends had heard of a new children's book, On the Far Side of Poplar Pond, and invited us to go with them to meet the author and illustrator. Before going, I found the author's page on Facebook and quickly read up on the book. Amazon says:
Tina Turtle needs a home. The Duck family has more love that they long to share. Watch and see how God brings these lovable animals together as a family in a unique way through the gift of adoption.
Read together with your children and explore how families are created not because you look the same but because God perfectly orchestrates families.Sounded good to me! Lottie loves books and we always love a good book about adoption. Can I be honest, though? I was really assuming it would be like most of our other adoption books, which are pretty much just about a child who needs a mother, and a mother who wants a child to love. They find each other and live happily ever after. They're good books, and there's certainly nothing wrong with them, but On the Far Side of Poplar Pond is different.
After we got our book signed, I sat down with Lottie to read it. After a couple of pages, I decided we needed to read it later because I was starting to get very emotional. I decided to pick it up again today and read it to Lottie before nap time Whew! Friends, I practically sobbed through the whole dang thing. And you know what that means? It's really, really good.
Adoption is explained very clearly and succinctly, in addition to including the birth mother throughout the story. I have found that other adoption books reference the birth mother, but she's more of a secondary character. And maybe for some families, that's how adoption really is; but for other families, the birth mother plays just as important a role as the adoptive parents and the child, so I really appreciated Mama Turtle's role in the book.
Secondly, the theology of adoption is very well integrated and clearly explained in the book. Not only does the story make clear that God is the One who cares for Tina Turtle, hears Mama Turtle's and the Duck Family's prayers and places Tina Turtle in the Duck Family, but it completely spells out why Christians find adoption so natural and desirable:
"Once we believe in Him and His son, Jesus, as our Savior, He adopts us too. He gives us everything He has, and we are forever a part of His family."Amen and Amen!
Finally, one of the things Rob noticed about all of our other adoption books is that Daddy is nowhere to be found. Mama wants a baby. Mama waits and waits and waits for a baby. Baby needs a mama. Baby finds a mama. But where in the world is Daddy? It may be a minor point, but I LOVE that this book includes the Daddy! And not only is he present (and not a secondary character), but he leads his Duck Family well!
"Every night when the moon was high, Mama and Daddy spoke to God, who provided it all. It sometimes made Mama cry, her heart full of joy, as Daddy would try to find the words to say thank you to God for putting their family together in the way that was best of all!"Now maybe you understand why I wept through the whole book? I'm kicking myself now for only buying one copy because I feel like every family I know should have this book! Of course it's great for adoptive families, but it's also great for any family who wants to explain adoption to their kids. So, for you people who are reading this, go - RIGHT NOW - to Amazon and buy this for your family. Buy it for your friends, buy it for as many people as you know. Here's the link:
Buy it, read it, love it, and then tell everyone you know about it!
P.S. OH! I almost forgot! As a bonus, the author is a Gladney mom :-)