Saturday, October 31, 2015

Harry Potter, Halloween, & Adoption

This was the first year that Cava did not want to go as a super hero for Halloween.  And who had the power to vanquish the likes of Superman?

Harry Potter!  

Since he started school, Cava wanted to read the book series. At first he tried on his own, but found it too difficult and not on his reading level, so I would let him read it to me.  He struggled but I helped him.  Then he would have to answer questions for school about his reading.  One of the questions was, "If you could ask the author anything about the book, what would you ask?"

I was surprised by what Cava would ask, "Why would you make Harry an orphan?"

Most children his age would ask her about magic or Hogwarts or about the wonderous creatures, but not Cava.  So I asked him why he would ask J. K. Rowling this question.  He replied, "Because it's so hard being an orphan, I would never make anyone one." Neither would I, Cava, neither would I.  (On a sidenote, Rowling herself penned a piece for The Guardian entitled: Isn't It Time We Left Orphanages To Fairy Tales?)

Since he was having a hard time reading the books, Danelle and I began taking turns reading a chapter a night to him.  He enjoyed when I would do different voices for each of the characters to help bring the story to life.  I loved seeing him get caught up in the marvelously, imaginative world that J. K. Rowling created. As magical as reading The Chronicles of Narnia was for me as a child, it has become even more magical for me to read that series, as well as the Harry Potter one to my sons.  I love watching them want to know what was going to happen next.

Once October rolled around, Cava began to look in the stores for what he wanted to be for Halloween.  For awhile, another orphan, Superman was the frontrunner. When I asked Cava why he wanted to be Harry Potter for Halloween, he replied, "Because we're both orphans and we both overcome obstacles."  He couldn't have been more correct.  He smiled before adding, "And he has a bird of prey for a pet and I want one."

It's interesting to read the Harry Potter books with Cava because it brings a new, deeper level to the story as Harry struggles with many of the issues that adoptive children face: anger, loneliness, struggles with identity and self-worth, and longing to know more about his parents (something that has begun to pop up with Cava recently) and to have some connection to them, and wrestling, and a longing for a family and to be truly loved.  

I can't help but wonder how much of Cava tries to understand his own narrative as we read about Harry's. We talk about how Harry deals with the situtations in his life and we let Cava talk about whatever he wants to discuss: about the story, his own past, about his own issues, about school, whatever.  It's amazing how this series is allowing us the opportunity to understand more about this little boy that we love so much and who astounds us every day with who he's becoming.  While both will always have the ache of loss in their lives, like Harry, Cava has worked so hard and come so far to have a meaningful life.  It truly is magical.

To go to Lumos, mentioned in the article, go to; 

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