I Wished for You ISBN: 9781934082065
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2010
This story is set in a Christian context, which may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is a beautiful book full of good ways to explain to young children about how they were adopted. Mama Bear and Barley are cuddled up in their favourite chair when Barley asks his mum to tell him again about how he was her ‘wish come true’. She explains how the wish for a baby grew and grew within her, how she had to fill in lots and lots of paperwork and spend lots of time dreaming what her child would be like. She also prays that God will give her a baby to love, and God picked him specially. Barley is quite pleased about this, but enquires about his birth mother: didn’t she want him too? She knew, says mama, she couldn’t give Barley the sort of life she wanted him to have and so was willing to give her to someone who would give him ‘total and adoring love’. During her long waiting time, mama tells Barley that she would imagine him just as he is now, playing with his toys and wondering what he would enjoy doing in life. The special day when she heard that her baby was coming was the happiest: ‘I shouted for joy!’ she says, and told all her friends. Barley has realised that he and him mama don’t look much alike, but mama explains that this is okay, because families don’t always look alike, and ‘What makes a family is their love for each other.’ Wishes don’t always come true, but wishing is a good thing, and sometimes we can make those wishes happen. The soft watercolour illustrations are lovely and intimate, as is the relationship between mother and child, and while there is a certain amount of sentimentality in the approach, the story is a good one and explains many of the questions adopted children often have. We hear nothing about a dad, so mum has evidently adopted on her own.