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FB Friends, Part 3: Ola Zuri talks about her "Believe In Me" project

Picking up where we left off with Christina Seong and Miriam Gaenicke, I give you my conversation with Canadian Ola Zuri. I’ve never met Ola, but, man, she’s motivated!  Love it!

 

Children’s Books for Trans-racially Adopted Children

I attended a book launch at our local McNally Robinson book seller. The author, by the name of Ola Zuri, was launching the first two children’s books in a series that she has written. Ola was trans-racially adopted as a child (at the age of two), and she writes about family, identify, belonging, fitting in, transracial adoption, racism, and, most of all, about building positive self esteem and self confidence in children of colour. The books are written from the perspective of a child; the first one is called Why Can’t You Look Like Me? and the second Where Do I Belong?

 

A big SHOUT OUT to Ola Zuri Szadiak

Welcome to an exciting month filled with activities celebrating a people of colour! It is Black History Month this month and there is plenty to see and do! The Kelowna Immigrant Society, a non-profit agency, is proud to join with communities across Canada in celebration of Kelowna’s second annual Black History Month in a week of celebration.

 

Transracial Adoption has a voice of its own

Recently published children’s title, Why Can’t You Look Like Me? is the first book in a series of books with topics relating to transracial adoption, racism, fitting in, questions about family, identity, and most of all, self esteem and self confidence. The inspiration for these stories has stemmed from my own personal experiences as a transracial adoptee and the various areas of difficulty that have been discussed with me by other adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents.

 

How Can I Belong?

“I think you like her more than you like me.” That was the observation whispered to my husband one day and myself two days later by our six year old daughter. Was this jealousy of a younger sister or was this an adoption thing?

 

Growing up as a Transracial Adoptee – About Ola Zuri

When I was younger, I wanted to look like everyone else around me so that I wouldn’t get so many why questions asked of me.I wanted to know the answers to some of those same questions, but, I didn’t know the answers. As I got older, I was starting to get used to people asking me all sorts of things that I didn’t always have the answers for.I had a very closed adoption and I still don’t know all of the answers to some of those questions.Imagine trying to figure out everything about yourself when you only know a partial bit about your life and where you came from.

 

Transracial adoption has its challenges

Some, like Ola Zuri, were adopted within Canada but across racial and cultural lines. Zuri and her twin are black but their adoptive parents are white. Adopted as 2-year-olds in 1968, Zuri says she has since been told by their adoption agency that her family was one of the first transracial adoptive families in Canada.

 

Book answers adopted kids’ questions

A local Okanagan author is taking her personal experiences with adoption and offering a way to communicate to children going through the same thing. Ola Zuri was adopted when she was a child by a family with a different skin colour than hers. She says although she always felt loved, she always had a vague feeling of being out of place within her adopted family.

 

BC transracial adoptee tells her story

Ola Zuri, a transracial adoptee, has written a children’s book Why Can’t You Look Like Me? Siobhan Rowe interviewed Ola about her experience growing up and what she’d like parents who adopt a child of a different ethnicity to know.

 

Build Your Kids’ Self Esteem

Several months ago, we launched a brief series of blog posts relating to transracial adoption and what you, as parents, can do to ensure that your child is raised with a strong sense of self-identity and high self esteem. Recently, we came across a series of kids’ books, written by Ola Zuri (a transracial adoptee herself) that break down the issues that children face in a way that they can understand.

 

Growing up as a Transracial Adoptee – About Ola Zuri

When I was younger, I wanted to look like everyone else around me so that I wouldn’t get so many why questions asked of me. I wanted to know the answers to some of those same questions, but, I didn’t know the answers. As I got older, I was starting to get used to people asking me all sorts of things that I didn’t always have the answers for. I had a very closed adoption and I still don’t know all of the answers to some of those questions. Imagine trying to figure out everything about yourself when you only know a partial bit about your life and where you came from.

 

 

REVIEWS

Review – Why Can’t You Look Like Me? by Ola Zuri

Book review by Angela Krueger

 

Review – Where Do I Belong? by Ola Zuri

Book review by Angela Krueger

 

Review – What Is A Part Of Me? by Ola Zuri

Book review by Angela Krueger

 

Review – Why Can’t You Look Like Me? by Ola Zuri

Book review by Patty B.

 

Canadian Transracial Adoption Blogs

On Black Oasis, Ola Zuri, a transracial adoptee now living in B.C., promotes her books about transracially adopted kids who are working to find their identity. She has also started the True Colours mentoring program in B.C. where adopted kids can find support from other adoptees. Started in 2009, the blog gives Zuri a forum to communicate first-hand with white parents of black and biracial children in the hopes of educating them on what it is like to grow up looking different from others in the community.

 

Adoption book review: Why Can’t You Look Like Me?

Book review by Sally Bacchetta

 

Black History Month – adoption book review

Book review by Sally Bacchetta

 

June Book Reviews: Why Can’t You Look Like Me? (English and French Edition) by Ola Zuri

Book review by Love Builds Families

 

 

INTERVIEWS

Interview With Adoptee Ola Zuri About True Colours Mentoring – Angela Krueger

The True Colours Mentoring program in British Columbia lets adopted kids celebrate their heritage and connect with other transracial adoptive families. Dianna Mortenson and Ola Zuri started True Colours Mentoring in 2007 when they identified a need for Black children adopted and fostered by White parents to connect with other youth who had similar experiences. In an interview with Suite101.com writer Angela Krueger, Zuri describes the True Colours Mentoring program and how it has become a success with adoptive and foster families.

 

Transracial Adoption from the Heart – Ola Zuri

My name is Ola Zuri and I have written a children’s book. The book is titled “Why Can’t You Look Like Me?” and is the first in the series. The story is about a young girl who has been adopted transracially and feels that she does not fit in anywhere, even within her own family. Follow along on her journey of discovery. The title is currently being translated into other languages, as will the other titles in the series.

 

 

DISCUSSIONS

Ola Zuri

I received a link on my Facebook page today linking me to this website. After reviewing her blog I learned a little more about Ola Zuri, a children’s book author. She writes books about issues relating to transracial adoption. Here is an excerpt from her profile

Get involved in the discussion at: http://www.adoptivemomma.com/2010/01/ola-zuri.html

 

Discuss Adoption Forum: “Why Can’t You Look Like Me” by Ola Zuri

“Why Can’t You Look Like Me” (2009, Black Oasis Ent.) written by Ola Zuri and illustrated by Jenn Simpson, tells the story of a little girl who looks different from her parents, neighbors and schoolmates, and thus feels alienated and left out. Her fortunes change when another little brown girl arrives at school.