Meet Lucy’s (Adopted) Family

Image: Unsplash, Daiji Umemoto

When writing Wherever Would I Be, it was really important to me that Lucy’s adopted family be loving and as trauma-free as an adopted family could be. This family was to be a safe haven for these children.

Lucy’s father, Luca, was a foster child himself, bounced around from home to terrible home before he was finally adopted by Grandma Fran (who is named for my own adopted grandmother – a woman who showed me SO MUCH love and support, especially in times when others told me not to expect her to). In the story, Grandma Fran believed that kids needed to be kids – and in order to do that, they needed love, safety, and support. And that is exactly what she gave to Luca. Because of this, it’s always been Luca’s wish to pay that forward. Luca is a social worker; his wife, Donna, is a professor at the University of Chicago (where the two met as students). Together, they create a big, beautiful family.

Along with Lucy, four other children have joined this family before we get to page one of the story. Lucy is the first adopted – but not the oldest. Her first sibling is an older brother (Terrence). For a while, it’s just the two of them, and they are kindred spirits. Three years before the story begins, the family adopts a set of five-year-old fraternal twins (Samuel and Marie). And then a year before the story begins, the fifth child is adopted at age seven (Ciro) – so when the story starts, he is still feeling his way into this world, learning to trust it.

Ciro laughing at the penguin sneezing.
Image, Unsplash, Duangphorn Wiriya

Unlike Lucy, all of her siblings know their birth families and the situations from which they were adopted. Because of their previous experiences (abuse, trauma, neglect), Lucy can’t help but wonder if it is indeed best that she doesn’t know where she comes from. (But, of course, she can’t help but be curious.)

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