Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s hear from today’s guest, Jim Fellows, author of the author of the children’s book The Itty Bitty Soul. It is a children’s story that explains adoption from a unique perspective.
Tell us about your story
The Itty Bitty Soul is, at its core, a story about adoption. The main character, Jimmy, is having a conversation with God prior to being born. God tells him that there is something special that Jimmy can do for him on Earth. And while we’re not privy to what that task is, he whispers it to Jimmy. He then shows Jimmy the two people who will teach him what he needs to know. This is when he’s first introduced to his mom and dad. God shows Jimmy what both his parents do and all the people that they love and care for. When Jimmy asks, if God is sure they would have room for him, God tells him that he is so loved already that his mom and dad would go to the ends of the Earth to find him. And they do.
Is this a different interpretation of the adoption story?
I haven’t found a children’s story that approaches adoption in this way. At one time I studying to be a therapist I learned about a therapeutic technique called reframing. The purpose of reframing is to take an event in your life and look at it from a different perspective. You don’t change the facts, you cast a new light on them. Storytelling can be a powerful tool in reframing events in our lives. “I never looked at it like this” is a comment I get often after someone reads the story.
What has been the reaction to the story?
Many people who have read my story were touched by it. Most people have had wonderful things to say about the story. There are some who wished I had touched on other aspects of adoption in the story. But no one story can touch on everything. I’ve gained a great deal of respect for the fact that adoption is a deeply personal event for people. I’m thrilled that so many people who read my story connect with it. It’s a blessing that it’s being shared with their children.
What inspired you to write The Itty Bitty Soul?
When my two best friends in the world decided to create their family through adoption, I got to be one of their sources for support. For a couple of years, we would regularly sit in their kitchen and I would listen to all the stories about the journey. They would talk about how vulnerable they felt at times, how frustrating the process can be, and how heartbreaking it can be. People who were trying to console them would say things like “I knew a couple who adopted! But then they were able to have one of their own!” Statements like that made me realize that there were still some social stigmas to adoption that shouldn’t exist. Adoption is viewed by so many like it was a consolation prize. The purpose of The Itty Bitty Soul is to show that children are not “given up” for adoption, they are sought after!
Why the blog tour now?
I am partnering with a wonderful organization called Gift of Adoption. During the month of November, I’m donating $1 from every book sold to them. Their purpose is to help families close the financial gap that usually incurs with adoption. It’s heartbreaking that some families are prevented from becoming a family because the cost of adoption can be too great. Gift of Adoption has been a big supporter of the book and I love partnering with them!
If you would like to purchase a copy of The Itty Bitty Soul visit www.ittybittysoul.com. If you order during the month of November, $1 will go towards Gift of Adoption Network and go to help a couple to realize their dream and build their family!
Jim Fellows is a storyteller and a public speaker. He lives in Woodbury MN with his wife and stepdaughter. Jim has spent much of his life working with teensand young adults. In his spare time, Jim is a avid Minnesota Twins fan and an amateur sheepherder with his Australian Shepherd Baxter. He is a strong advocate for pro-life issues.