Betterton town manager pens adoption story

Johnathan Greenwell is with his mother, Elizabeth, who recently published a children’s book about adoptions. Elizabeth Greenwell adopted Johnathan from the foster system when he was a teenager.

BETTERTON — Elizabeth Greenwell was frustrated with the lack of educational children’s resources about adoption. So she authored a picture book about it.

Greenwell, who is the town manager of Betterton, published “Joseph’s Unique Family Tree” on June 22. The 24-page paperback features illustrations by A. Chaudhary.

A book launch and signing will be held at the Chestertown branch of the Kent County Public Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20, when copies of the book can be purchased. Refreshments and door prizes will be offered.

“Joseph’s Unique Family Tree” tells the story of Joseph, an adopted child who struggles with a class assignment to make a family tree.

“The story celebrates diverse families and is an important book for adoption professionals, adoptive parents and adoptees to have on their bookshelves,” Greenwell said.

Greenwell, who said she loves to write, noticed a lack of children’s resources for open adoptions.

“In a time when many adoptions are open or semi-open, it is important for adoptees to feel like their voice is represented in the literature,” Greenwell said.

According to the book’s description on Amazon, “With so few resources available for children to understand open adoption, ‘Joseph’s Unique Family Tree’ provides a beautiful, easy-to-understand story validating the roles of the adoptee, birth family, and adoptive family.”

Greenwell has a personal connection to the subject. She was a foster parent for 10 years, and she adopted her oldest son Johnathan from the foster system when he was a teenager.

“My master’s degree is in counseling, and I have a strong interest in writing about all three sides of the adoption triad. We are no longer in a time period when adoptions are kept a secret,” Greenwell said in an email.

“Joseph’s Unique Family Tree” will be a part of a series educating children about adoption of different kinds. They will include stories about private infant, foster care, international and transracial adoptions and will address open and closed adoptions, as well, she said.

“Joseph” is a story of an open adoption.

Greenwell already is working on the second book, “My Name Is Nadir,” which features a character introduced in the “Joseph” book. She has plans for a third book in the series.

This is Greenwell’s second publication. She also published a Community Helpers activity book last year, available from Amazon or from Greenwell directly. Both books were published by Grains of Sand Publications, an educational publisher that “is dedicated to providing quality curriculum and great customer service to homeschool families and private schools around the country,” according to its website.

“Joseph’s Unique Family Tree” is available on Amazon; paperback copies are $12.99. The e-book version is 99 cents during July, and after that, it will cost $2.99.

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