When my husband and I were in the process of adopting our youngest son, Jamie, in 2004, from Russia, I looked high and low for a book to read to my older child, Jacob, that would explain what we were going through. I found books about adoption from China, books about domestic adoption, and books about adoption from beautiful tropical places. I found books about adopting transracially, and books about adopting from foster care. I found books telling kids it was okay to be adopted, and books that celebrated adoption day, and books about non-traditional families. But nowhere could I find a book about adopting from Russia.
So I decided to create one.
When I Met You: A Story of Russian Adoption, was the book that came out of that initial impulse. Funnily enough, once Jamie came to our family I realized that it wasn’t his brother who needed a book about adoption from Russia, but it was Jamie! Jamie, and the tens of thousands of other children adopted from Russia and other former Soviet countries needed a book that honored their experience and which spoke directly to them.
When I Met You has been received very well in the adoption community, and it was only natural that two years later a second book, Mishka: An Adoption Tale, followed. Where the first book is a “lap book” – one you read to the child in your lap – Mishka is a real story, complete with a bottom-heavy bear as its main character, and a plotline that follows the stages of a typical EE adoption.
Next projects were a book about activities for families in central North Carolina, The Big Fun Guide to Tar Heel Country, by my friend, Erin Donoshue Baldwin, and another adoption book, The Forever Friends Club, by Sue Gainor and Sarah Gibson, illustrated by Miranda R. Mueller. And with my current project, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, co-edited by Kay Marner and me, and written by 35 parents and 20 experts in the field of child behavior, I’ve turned a corner in the kind of books I want to publish. I’m moving away from children’s books and towards books for adults. Stay tuned for many more of these types of projects in the future! With the success of Easy to Love but Hard to Raise we hope to put out many calls for participation.
I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve had to offer! Pay attention for more from DRT Press over the next few years. My company may be tiny, but I’ve got big dreams.
Your friend, Adrienne Ehlert Bashista