Adoption Day

I can’t count how many of you have asked me about the dedication in my book, KISS RIVER, over the years. The dedication reads “For Haseena and the other waiting children.” You wanted to know who Haseena was. I told you that she was a little girl in India whom my writer friend Sharon and her husband were trying to adopt. It was Sharon and Haseena’s story that inspired the international adoption struggle in KISS RIVER, as Gina fought to adopt Rani. I always hoped that Sharon and Haseena’s story would have the happy ending I envisioned for Gina and Rani, but it wasn’t to be.  Sharon and John’s trip to India to bring Haseena home coincided with an anti-adoption movement in that country. Sharon remained in India for more than a year, seeing Haseena every day at the orphanage, as she fought in the courts to bring her home. Finally, Haseena was moved to another orphanage and Sharon’s access to her was cut off. To this day, she doesn’t know what became of the little girl she’d come to think of as her daughter.
But Sharon and John’s story doesn’t end there. This week, Sharon sent me a link to an article in the San Jose Mercury News. The article was about “Adoption Day” in the Santa Clara courthouse, where Sharon and John were able to finalize the adoption of three children–a brother and sister from Ethiopia and a little girl from India. Sharon gave me permission to share the link to this video with you. She didn’t even realize the video was being made, but what a wonderful keepsake she has now! I am so happy for all five of them.
So for those of you who’ve asked me whatever became of Haseena, I have to say that I don’t know but I hope that she is thriving and happy. But I do know that these three other children are no longer “waiting.”   


  1. Margo on November 20, 2007 at 8:48 am

    What an emotional and touching story Diane. How heartbreaking for Sharon to ‘lose’ Hassena and never know where she is…I can’t imagine. The video was also emotional as I cried with happiness for this wonderful couple I do not know but who have brought a new life to 3 little children. Blessings to all of them.

  2. Julie on November 20, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Oh, that just made me bawl, especially when Sharon and John promise to encourage and not discourage the children.
    We are in the process of a stepparent adoption with my kiddos, and it is certainly an emotional rollercoaster, so it was lovely to see this joyful video!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. brenda on November 25, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    What a wonderful holiday for those adopting the children. Our house is almost ghostly tonight…the travelers have left for the south and the midwest…little ones are gone…it was great. We did T’giving and C’mas together as it is my daughter’s turn to spend C’mas with her in-laws…We plan to go south to visit my son…he comes home every C’mas, but this year, we are going to the ocean.
    When children leave to go to college-across the country-it is most likely they will find a mate there-as did my daughter…I miss them so much…
    Happy T’giving to all of you.
    Have any of you had the time to read Water for Elephants? I read it in July, but I don’t remember if we discussed it…It is a book about an elderly man in a nursing home…the premise is good…if a couple of scenes and some language were omitted…however…it is well worth reading.
    The Thousand Suns book-one of my teacher friends just finished it-I read it the month it came out too… a story of two women married to one man–the Taliban, etc…so so so sad…don’t read these around the holidays…however…well worth the read.
    I just do not understand why authors have to include explicit sex and graphic language. I am sorry…I am eager to hear what you think of these…
    By the way, the second book-that is not the correct title-I keep forgetting it…
    P.S. Don’t think that I can’t skip across the language-I do that often in my mysteries I love…but these two books would have been great to use in high school with those exceptions…

  4. Diane Chamberlain on November 25, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Hope you all had wonderful thanksgivings.
    Brenda, I just bought WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, but I’m reading an older book, THE TORTILLA CURTAIN, by TC Boyle first. I’ll let you know what I think.
    As for sex and language–we’ve discussed that before and certainly will again! I can’t answer for all authors, but I include graphic sex if it feels “right” to me to do so (not gratuitous; important to the scene or the character) and the same with language. As I wrote about in a past post, I just can’t see my tough guy male character saying “frickin.” LOL. I don’t remember anything like that in 1000 Splendid Suns, though. Very sad and tragic, but also very moving and enlightening, and I’m so glad I read it.

  5. brenda on November 26, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    I the elephant book-you will get to ONE SCENE that the man remembers-you will then know what I am talking about…it is not appropriate for high school kids, and the book would be great other than that.
    As To the other book…it would be so good to use with students (to understand another culture) BUT THE SEX SCENES ARE JUST NOT APPROPRIATE FOR STUDENTS.
    As to other books-those we read for entertainment, that is much different.

  6. Diane Chamberlain on November 27, 2007 at 12:05 am

    ah, I get what you mean, brenda. 1000 Splendid Suns would be a wonderful learning/teaching tool for that age–or for any age, really.

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