Bringing Asha Home (2006) by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamel Akib.
A mixed race family is waiting patiently for their new baby to “come home” from India to the U.S. Bringing Asha Home focuses on Asha’s big brother Arun and his experience waiting for almost a year to meet his little sister. There are many “referrals,” “permissions” and other set backs to work out as the whole family waits and waits.
The next morning, before breakfast, the telephone rings. Talking on it makes Dad frown.
“It’s going to take more time until I can go to India for Asha,” he says.
“Why?” I cry. “That’s not fair!”
Mom hugs me… “When you adopt a baby from one country and bring her to another, there are many government forms to fill out and laws to follow,” Dad says. “It takes time.”
I go to school feeling sad. I hope the people in India are taking good care of my sister. I try to believe that someday soon she will come to us.
The family gets Asha’s room ready and have a 1st birthday party for her even though she hasn’t arrived yet. And finally the day comes when Arun’s father travels to India to bring Asha home.
Cuddled in Dad’s arms, my sister looks so small. Very carefully I touch her cheek. She looks at me and smiles…
This book offers a different perspective on adoption, that of an older sibling’s anticipation and the patience it takes as families wait for all the paperwork to get approved. It is sweet to see Arun so connected to his sister even if it’s only through pictures. He’s excited; he’s worried; he’s upset when the waiting feels like it’s going to take forever.
Again, this book does not focus on the experience of Asha as the adoptee, but it should ring true to many older siblings who are waiting for their own brothers and sisters to come home.