Dear Walden

She’s been making artwork for the brother she doesn’t yet have, the one that she wants, the one that we want, too.

When Ken and I talk about the home study process over dinner, about the paperwork and the fingerprinting and the education seminars, she takes a bite of her apple and asks when he’s coming.

Someday, we say.

I think he’s going to come tomorrow, she says.

We’ve been reading books. Rosie’s Family, Over the Moon, We Belong Together, I Wished For You. I close the book and turn off the lights and tuck in the blankets and she whispers that she is going to write him a book, too, a great one, as soon as we wake up in the morning.

Then I can teach him how to be a baby, she says.

She does write him a book. We do it together. She gathers her art and I type her sentences into Blurb – long and winding sentences about slugs and Walgreen’s and a maiden rocket ship voyage. We take breaks for cashews as I scan in more of her drawings, and she asks what we should call it.

The book? I ask.

No, the baby, she says.

I think we’d like to call him Walden. Do you like it?

I love it! she says.

Dear Walden,

If I am flying in my rocketship (this is a picture of a rocketship), then I will leave outer space when you cry and I will tell my mom and dad that you are crying and then I will get back in my rocketship and go to outer space until you are not crying anymore.

Then we will go to Walgreen’s.

Love, Bee

Do you think he’s going to like it? she asks while we upload her art, while we type in her words, while we customize our cover, while we click ‘Publish’, while we wait.

I think he’s going to love it, I say.

A week later, the package arrives. It’s her book – our book – beautifully printed and bound, wrapped with care. I call for Bee to come open it, to come see her handiwork, and she beams with pride as we share each glossy page with Ken.

It took forever to get here, she says.

I know what she means.



p.s. This is an essay for Blurb, book printer of one-of-a-kind memories and beyond. Thanks for reading!

  • This is so sweet. She’s growing up to be such a fine little lady. I’m sure she will make a great big sister Someday. Thank you for sharing!

  • Love, love, love this! From a mama of two adopted kiddos I can’t even tell you how much I love this.
    ps – another great children’s book about adoption that my kids love is – Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. xo

  • Erin,

    This is my first time commenting, but I am a long-time reader.

    As the oldest of four children (two of whom are adopted) I love reading this from your perspective, but I definitely remembering feeling the way Bee feels right now. And oh! The nostalgia. I will never forgetting walking into the airport to pick up my brother, and later my sister, both of whom are adopted from South Korea. My dad is also adopted (domestically) and he still volunteers from the foster home where he was housed as a baby. Such special memories you are building. I am so thankful for the way you write so eloquently. Hugs to your family as you go through this process and transition!

    • Oh Molly, what a lovely memory you have of such an exciting, life-changing event for you all. :) Thank you for sharing this!!!

  • Love reading your beautifully written and inspirational posts! The book idea is so cool! Also, where did you find such neat crayons?

  • Erin,
    This made my morning. What a genuine slice of life and that little gal is full of beautiful pictures. I am sitting here smiling about slugs and Walgreens. Love that! Thank you for sharing.

  • My heart leapt when I read this post’s title; my oldest son is named Walden! He would love Bee’s story, particularly as a boy obsessed with space and rockets. He would also love to make his very own book like this, and I think we will now. What a great idea!

    She will be a superb big sister, I can tell.

  • Erin, this is one of my favorite posts ever (they’re alllllll pure gold). I love this idea. I love that you two wrote and illustrated the book and immediately uploaded and ordered it. The immediacy is so great. And what a treasure to have! She will be an amazing sister <3

    • Oh thank you Brittany!!!! I don’t always follow through with Bee’s ideas (some are just so messy!!!), but this one seemed like a no-brainer. ;) Biggest of hugs, friend!

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