Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth
“I've always loved that the word we use for a personal written message is the same word we use for the alphabetical building blocks we share with a newly literate five-year-old, with Shakespeare, and with one another. Letters bind us across distance, across time, and across difference. Here are letters to be cherished. They link one to the next with chains of hard-won feeling and wisdom.”
— Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
"This collection of letters to young people is about nurturing and sustaining an authentic inner life in a world that often doesn't mirror their realities. The authors invite the reader into a larger community of caring, and to love and appreciate their diverse and complex identities. These are such valuable messages in the face of all that fostered and adopted people live with. This is a beautiful resource written with compassion and the conviction of knowing."
— Ray Pillidge, LICSW, Adopted Person
“Adoption embodies the human condition- good fate and bad, triumph and tragedy. Dear Wonderful You broadens our understanding of its joys and problems as adult adoptees share their experiences.
Adoption, with all its complications can be a source of joy and support. Each individual must figure out how to retain the best of both his/her pasts. Dear Wonderful You is a resource for young adoptees to help them on their journey of self discovery.”
—Ruth Nemzoff, Ed.D., author of Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children. Former Assistant minority leader of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
“These letters are messages in a bottle for today's adopted teens, from adults who were themselves adopted. 'You're not alone,' these letter-writers say, ‘We've been there, and we are there with you now as you wrestle with questions about who you are and where you belong.’ The best of these letters overflow with generosity and confidence, passing on assurances that adopted teens can borrow until it fits.”
—E.J. Graff, author and journalist
“These inspiring letters will provide courage, strength and solace to adoptees who believe their experiences set them apart from the world around them. They contain a message that every adoptee’s experiences are unique, but the commonality among them not only connects them to other adoptees but also—perhaps—to young people of all stripes. I suspect that each adoptee who reads these letters will find at least one that grabs them, where the response is a joyful, “Yes, you understand!”
—Peg Dawson, Psychologist and author of Smart but Scattered
“There are so many stories in this book that I'm eager to read to my children as they navigate their own adoption journeys. I'm glad to be able to provide them guidance from people who have been on the same path.”
— Lori Holden, author of The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole
“Dear Wonderful You is beautifully put together book. A weaving of stories that will touch anybody affected by the complexity of adoption. As an Adopted/foster person myself I identified with every word, finding myself sighing and nodding with recognition of feelings.
How wonderful there is a book like this just for adopted people . When I was young I could have greatly benefited from reading this book, adoption feelings can feel so very lonely. How wonderful to be able to give this to a young adopted person so they know they are not unique in their emotions.
I was reminded how universal our feelings are and how in the adoption community we connect together in such a profound way whether domestic or international.
This book will be a powerful addition to all the other adoption books out there and a gentle resource for adoptees of all ages.”
—Zara Phillips author of Mother Me an Adopted Woman’s Journey to Motherhood
“While “Dear Wonderful You,” is addressed to adopted and fostered youth, as an adoptive father of three and the husband of an adoptee, I find it carries great meaning for me as well. And as a founding member of The Tired Married Guys book group (operating for over 15 years), I can also say that this is a book that will generate interesting discussions for book groups as well. It is critical for adoptive parents to understand, as best we can, how adoption and fostering impact our children’s sense of self and identity. This wonderful, wise book lets us listen in on the discussion between adoptees so that we can have insight into what our children are wrestling with. The wide variety of experiences and authors covers the range of adoption and fostering situations, making this a useful book for almost anyone who is touched by adoption or fostering, including those who are friends with adoptive parents and adoptees.”
‘Dear Wonderful You’, is a collection of letters and occasional poems from adoptees, written from ‘older fostered or adopted brothers and sisters’ to the younger adoptees of today. As part of the AN-YA project, and edited by Diane René Christian and Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman, ‘Dear Wonderful You’ is a rich addition to the heard voices in adoption. This collection of letters brings real emotional resonance to the adoption journeys of the contributors. Most of the writers are from the USA, some were adopted or fostered domestically but many were placed into the USA from overseas, with Korea and China featuring prominently in the histories. Whilst some tell stories, undoubtedly the most powerful letters are those where life moments are reflected upon, sometimes turning points which serve as a source for learning and feeling, and which the author then seeks to pass to the generation below.
—Jan Way, Intercountry Adoption Centre, London, Adoption Social Worker, Adoptive mother and adoptee