Eyes That Weave the World's Wonders

Eyes That Weave the World's Wonders

Written on 05/24/2024
Sonya VanderVeen Feddema

In introductory notes to this book that explores transracial adoption, author Liz SoHyeon Kleinrock, who was born in South Korea and was adopted by a white American couple, writes, “I remember years ago when I was asked, ‘When was the first time you saw yourself represented in a book?’ The truth is, until Joanna Ho and I wrote this one together, the answer was ‘Never.’ Being adopted can be joyful and painful, often at the same time. Growing up, I often felt torn by the love of my adoptive family and the loss of never knowing my biological parents. There is no one-size-fits-all story when it comes to adoption. Every adoptee’s experience is unique. This book is one adoption story that will hopefully become one thread in the tapestry of adoptee narratives.”

Eyes that Weave the World’s Wonders invites young readers into the experiences of a young girl who loves being with her relatives who wear matching clothes at family reunions. However, she’s conscious that everyone matches except her because no one else has eyes like hers. She’s aware that her mother has large, sparkling eyes and her father has bright, big eyes. She thinks, “My parents’ eyes don’t look like mine, but through them, I see a world full of wonder, a world that made us family.”

The girl wonders about her biological mother in a faraway country, and she thinks, “I know somewhere there is someone who has eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea. Just like mine.”

In her imagination, the girl revisits the stories she was told about when her American parents came to South Korea to finalize her adoption and bring her to the United States. She’s sure her biological mother cried when she gave her up.

Slowly, she comprehends “that eyes are for more than matching.” Then she celebrates the realization that she has “eyes that spin stories and weave the world’s wonders,” stories that connect the country of her birth and her new country, and her biological mother and her adoptive parents.

In this unique collaboration, authors Joanna Ho and Liz SoHyeon Kleinrock effectively open a window for young children to understand what transracial adoption involves and the emotional impact it has on children, their biological parents, and their adoptive parents. Illustrator Dung Ho’s bright, optimistic artwork celebrates the experience of an adopted child that is characterized by love, security, and hope. (HarperCollins)