My first book, entitled "Why Can't You Look Like Me?," is the first in a series of books that I will be publishing. The story is of a young girl who has been adopted transracially and feels that she does not fit in anywhere, even within her own family. Follow on her journey of discovery.
This story can be about anyone who feels that way or can even be about someone who is bullied. There is a positive message for kids about believing in themselves. The stories I write are very important to me because when I was growing up, I did not have the resources that are available now and I want to give back to the children of today by showing them how to still feel good after asking questions they were afraid to ask of their friends and families. To show them how to empower themselves and have the self esteem to believe that it is okay to voice their opinions.
Through the Adoptive Families Association of BC (www.bcadoption.com) and the Boys and Girls Club of Canada, I run a mentoring group here in Kelowna called True Colours, for children of colour that are either adopted, fostered or natural children living in predominantly white families and/or communities. By mentoring these children, I see the value in all of them grow as they come together and have fun by learning new things about themselves, each other, and other cultures.
At our last session, one of the kids, a five year old little black girl to be exact, was treated very poorly by some children at school and then again on a planned outing. Her mother said that the little one had cried and cried about the treatment and about what was said to her. After hugs, reassurance and discussion with me, I gave the little one the book to read with her mother, to show her what the little girl in the story did about not fitting in. It helped her feel a lot beter and she had a very good day participating in the games and activities at our group session. Her mother was very impressed at the fact that she had a place to take her daughter for reassurance and comfort, and that she could get that from someone that could relate to what her daughter was feeling. She ordered the book.
This book, and the whole series for that matter, should be a part of every school's curriculum to show our children that diversity is out there, and always will be, and that it should be acknowledged by all and not just pushed aside. Our children learn a lot of things in school but for some reason, teaching them the basics of treating others who are different with kindness seems to be lost in the school curriculum. My goal is to have this series in schools, libraries and communities across Canada and the United States... for now...