This Is How We Became a Family:
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
For the youngest child who is just beginning to wonder, "Where did I come from?" and for older children who want to be reminded how much they are cherished, this is an adoption story for all ages.
It is the story of a couple who long for a child, of a pregnant young woman who is not ready to be a mother, and of the events that bring them together for a happy ending. Told in simple terms, it invites children to ask questions about their own adoption story and gives parents a unique opportunity to tell it, whether their child's adoption was domestic or international, open or closed, or arranged privately or through an agency.
The following is an article about Wayne Willis, PhD
from The Morehead News, Vol 117, No 13
Tuesday, February 15, 2000—Morehead, Kentucky
MSU Professor Authors Book
By Chris Turner
Dr. Wayne Willis knows the happiest day in his life.
It was when he and his wife, Melinda, received their daughter Suzannah, who was 6 days old at the time.
Willis, 43, who teaches in Morehead State University's education department, decided to turn this joy filled day into a children's book that might help other parents tell their children the adoption story.
"Adoption is a long process, and the summer that we knew she was on the way, I had some time so I started writing this story about this family who adopted a baby," Willis said.
This free time resulted in "This is How We Became a Family."
The story is about a couple who long for a child, and a pregnant young woman who is not ready to be a mother, and of the events that bring them together for a happy ending.
The story gives children the opportunity to ask questions about their own adoption story and gives parents a unique opportunity to tell it.
Willis spent about four and a half years trying to find a publisher for the book.
He wrote the text for the book before Suzannah was born, and then spent the next four years doing the 23 paintings that are the illustrations for the book.
The story in the book is one that Suzannah, who is now 8, often wants to hear.
"She took an early copy of the book to school with her and read it to a kindergarten class."
Willis believes that the book will enable parents to answer the many questions that adopted children have about their beginnings.
He and his wife have lived in Morehead since 1988. Melinda Willis is also a professor in MSU's education department.
Willis is active in the local Baptist Church, where he teaches an adult Sunday School class, helps with the nursery, and currently serves as chairman of the board of deacons. He also on occasion gives sermons during the worship service.
He has degrees in education, journalism and theology, and studies art and photography.
Willis has five more projects for young readers in the works.
Having worn many different hats—he's been a minister, grocery clerk and factory worker—he considers the role of father being the most challenging and fulfilling.