Hello 2019! Both Ends Believing loves you already! We made great strides in 2018 toward our ultimate objective of placing tens of thousands of children with loving families. We are very encouraged for the future because of an already remarkable start to the year. We can’t wait to influence big changes in child welfare this year and we can’t believe it is already Valentine’s Day! Remember to tell your family you love them today.
Along with today being valentines day, what you might not know however, is that February 14th is International Book Giving Day: a worldwide initiative to encourage people around the world to give or share books, especially with children. We wanted others to know about International Book Giving Day this year is because we recently discovered a book that has touched our hearts and is helping many people in the adoption community.
Meet Elena S. Hall, the author of Through Adopted Eyes: a collection of memoirs of adoptees that brings to light many hard and heartfelt conversations about child welfare, including Elena’s own experience and opinions from being an adoptee herself.
We had the privilege of interviewing Elena and learning more about her story. Elena was adopted from Russia in 1995. She lives in Dallas, TX with her parents Mark and Twyla and sister Lara, who is also an adoptee. Elena learned from her loving adoptive parents at young age that she was adopted; she urges parents that it is healthy for adoptees to understand early about their adoption journey. She continues to have a joyful, friendly spirit when sharing her story. “Why not be positive about the experience? I don’t want to discredit anyone that is upset; I want to show that there can be hope, and thats why I wrote the book.”
Since Elena learned what adoption was, she has been passionate about helping others understand the misconceptions about adoption, as well as relating to fellow adoptees. She was inspired to write the book through journaling. “When I was writing I realized how much I really do love being involved with adoption and how much I want others to experience the goodness in it.” Elena interviewed fifty adoptees over a two year period. For their privacy, she created pseudonyms for every adoptee. Each has a unique story, with different attitudes about their journey.
Elena sent questions to every participant that prompted very interesting dialogue. Such as:
-What was the best thing that your parents said to you that helped you understand your adoption?
-What do you wish you knew that you don’t?
-What do you want to tell people about what it is like to be adopted?
Elena is grateful that each one of these people opened up their hearts and acknowledges that some adoptees will struggle with the adoption experience their whole life. What she wants those people to know is that they have value, regardless of their story, and to see beyond the ‘what ifs’. “I think there is hope in clinging to that which I know to be true, like the fact that I have a family who loves me. What is true of all of us, regardless of how much we know or don't know about our histories, is that we are human.”
Elena had the opportunity to visit her birthplace in Russia a few years ago. Her hope for global child welfare is a system that is best for each member of the adoption triad: the three-sided relationship between birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee. Whether it be reunification, relinquishment, or adoption, “I want whatever is best for every child’s situation. There are so many kids that need help.” She hopes to help in this mission with her own career; she is currently finishing her masters in social work and interning at Gladney Center for Adoption.
And of course, before her new internship, Elena has become an author of a great book. Each story will open your mind and your heart to the world of adoption and
we hope that you purchase Through Adopted Eyes today for International Book Giving Day! “My hope is that you finish this book knowing more about adoption and the impact it can make, and having at least a glimpse of what the world looks like through adopted eyes.”
You are already making such a difference in child welfare through your book Elena; we are so thankful to have met you!
What a great way to start off the year. We are energized from meeting with passionate people like Elena, who urge us to stay positive, love wholeheartedly, and to advocate for children around the world.
“Be stronger than negativity! You can be a positive influence in your community by advocating for orphans, foster kids, and those that need family.” - Elena S. Hall, Author of Through Adopted Eyes
Editor: Jonathan Jordan
Designer: Liz Housewright
(Don't forget to shop through Amazon Smile to support BEB!)