I wrote about The You We Adore yesterday because an article about it popped up in a newsfeed. I quoted the article and the book’s website, and thought I had done a sufficient job of trashing the noisome thing.
Not at all. I’ve barely scratched the surface. Here’s a rave review from a’gran Judy Capeheart:
The You We Adore opens with these lines: “Our love searched the whole world for the you we adore. We longed to open our hearts to the one we were waiting for…”
Even if you’ve never been directly involved with an adoption, your heart can still resonate with these words so beautifully written by author Valerie Westfall.
The reason for this is that while The You We Adore is a book about adoption, it is also simply a delightful story celebrating love and family. In fact, the word “adoption” is never used in the book.
Yes, you read that right. But I’ll type it again, because it’s so fucking stupid: THE WORD “ADOPTION” IS NEVER USED IN THE BOOK THAT IS SUPPOSED TO TELL YOUR CHILD HOW GREAT BEING ADOPTED IS. Seriously, why is this a selling point? Why? Why must you tell us over and over again that adoption is a wonderful thing we must never be ashamed of–so shut up about it already? Just how stupid do you think we are?!
While many books about adoption seek to help children understand the process of how and why they were adopted, The You We Adore takes a different, refreshing, and warm perspective.
No, it doesn’t. it takes the same perspective as every other “children’s book” about adoption. That perspective is: The hearts of APs are cold, and require constant warming. The egos of APs are shaky, and require constant reassurance. I’m insulted by this crap as an adoptee, of course, but I’m starting to get a little annoyed on behalf of the decent APs of the world too.
This unique viewpoint is illustrated and captured perfectly by NY Times Bestselling Artist Richard Cowdrey. He symbolically uses a long, red ribbon that circles the globe in search of the child to complete their family and fulfill the longings in the hearts of both the adopted child as well as the hopeful parents.
Almost like a red…thread. How very unique and original!
Along the way, the ribbon brings its readers on an exciting adventure around the world, climbing with pandas and swimming with dolphins.
Because The You We Adore might be Chinese, and that’s exotic and cool? Because The You We Adore might turn out to be…A MERMAID! (….I guess?)
In doing so, The You We Adore bridges global and cultural boundaries in its simple yet profoundly beautiful story of unconditional love.
You know what, Folks? I’m gonna confess something here: I am sick and tired of the phrase “unconditional love.” Why? Because I was a veterinary assistant for some years in my youth, and I saw what unconditional love is. It is the love felt by a puppy for the owner who didn’t want to pay for parvo vaccines and now refuses to pay for treatment. It’s the love felt by a cat hit by a car whose owner won’t pay for treatment because “It’s only a cat.”
Love, if you do it right, is by-gods conditional. When you love someone, you’re taking a sort of responsibility for them. If you love a child, you owe it food and vaccines and an education and any number of other things. These are conditions. Unconditional love is the cheap shitty kind people throw away easily, because they want all the conditions to bind the other party, but not them.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way…Look, here’s a different endorsement from the same person–and this one is Official. The absence of the A-Word is not mentioned, but the wonderful adoptive parents and their wonderful love and their wonderful search sure are.
You will cherish this meaningful book, which captures the adoption process in its simplest form: love flowing from a parent seeking to find that special child, the one so adored. This book is sure to become a classic for families touched by adoption, and even those who simply know that love transcends biological ties. Love is a journey of the heart.
Again, not one word about how adoptees will feel about this book. Not one. Do you suppose it’s intended for adoptive parents to read to one another to lull themselves to sleep?
I hope you find Searching for…The You We Adore to be just as meaningful as I have found it to be, says the endorser. Then she sort of remembers she seems to have forgotten someone in her review (but whom? WHOM? Think, Homer, think!) and signs off thus:
For our children.
Yeah, Lady, whatever.