This is from A Portrait of Pia, a young adult book by Marisabina Russo about a 13-year old girl who goes looking for her — and finds — her long-lost father.
Pia could see herself standing in front of the class holding the [self-portrait] upside down. How foolish she had felt! Then she remembered Mrs. Lavelle pointing out the negative space behind her hair. It made her think of her father, the part of her life that was not here, but still defined her.
I was pleased to see that she wrote The Line-Up Book, too, because this was one of son’s favorites when he was little.
I’m always looking for books that aren’t just about adoption but also about kids finding themselves in unusual family circumstances. In this one, Pia’s mom’s boyfriend tells her that he was adopted. He tells her about finding his birth mother while he’s sitting with her at the airport before she gets on a plane with her mom to go meet her father. He tells her:
“In that instant I realized that although I’d found her, the woman who had given birth to me, I was still Greg Finer … I remember feeling really relieved because you know …” Here Greg finally took a deep breath. “I didn’t want to change. I liked who I was.”
Our children — most especially our children separated by birth parents for whatever reason — need to know that while they become better everyday, they are who they are. They are right and strong and true and they are exactly who they should be.
This is a great long review of the book and I encourage you to check it out.