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From Boundless Love to Beautiful Dreams

Rose Lewis' book inspired by her daughter Ming

Rose Lewis' book inspired by her daughter Ming

Award-winning children’s book author Rose Lewis writes from the heart
Published in baystateparent magazine

When Rose Lewis traveled to China to meet her 7 1/2-month-old adoptive daughter Ming in 1996, she was excited and apprehensive. It was the culmination of a nine- month adoption process, a journey into parenting that Rose, an older single woman, had determined to embark upon. She knew that adopting a child from another country was, in her words, “a leap of faith.”

What she didn’t expect was the intense leap of love she’d immediately feel for her new daughter.

“I had been waiting to meet Ming even before she was born,” she says. “She was waiting for me, and I knew that I would love her, but I didn’t know that I would fall in love with her,” she says.

Lewis’ decision to adopt was fully supported by her entire family, a fact that she is grateful for. It was an emotional process that included paperwork, interviews, and unknowns like, “When’s this going to happen?” and “What’s this child going to be like?”

The moment she met Ming, her apprehensions melted away. “It was so extraordinary. I felt this incredible bond. She was there, just waiting for me, that’s all. I felt like I couldn’t imagine myself with any other child. How did someone a world away make this perfect match?”

The incredible love Rose had for her baby released a flood of emotions that are captured in her best-selling children’s book, I Love You Like Crazy Cakes.

The idea for the book began as an essay Rose wrote of her first-hand experience of love she felt as Ming’s adoptive mother. When the essay was rejected by prominent publications, Rose knew that her heartfelt sentiments needed a home, and decided to reframe her words into a children’s book. I Love You Like Crazy Cakes was born. Like the adoption process, it was not easy, filled with apprehension and doubt, but in the end, the essence of the message of the book became one that many readers over the years have fallen in love with.

Rose has since published three other children’s books: Every Year On Your Birthday, Orange Peel’s Pocket, and most recently, Sweet Dreams.

Rose describes her writing as emotional and from the heart. “I like writing children’s books, because I’ve seen firsthand how much books mean to children,” she says. “I know things are going digital, but I still know how much it means for parents or grandparents to physically hold a book and read to their children.” She wrote her latest book, Sweet Dreams because “I just wanted a nice, cuddling kind of book for kids and their parents.”

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, now in its 14th year of publication, is still Rose’s bestselling book. “People say they like it just for the love they feel in reading it,” she says.

Books, like children, are conceived, born and grow in their impact on the world in ways an author perhaps never imagined. Rose’s initial intent for the book was to write essentially a love letter to her daughter Ming, now nearly 18 years old. She’s found over the years that the book speaks to a much wider audience than she initially envisioned.

“I’ve had people say to me, ‘Before I read your book, I didn’t think that we could adopt. And then I read your book by accident, and that really changed my mind,’” she says.

The book resonates with not just adoptive parents, but also adults who were once adopted. Rose recalls one woman who approached her sobbing, and said, “I just read this and I’m adopted, too.  Now I really know how much my parents really loved me.”

Rose says she wrote her first book because “so many people feel that you can’t love a child you adopt the way you would love a biological child, and that’s just not true. You feel such an incredible bond that I don’t know how much stronger that could be. I never call Ming ‘my adopted daughter.’ She’s my daughter. And I’m her mother.”

Ming will be attending college in the fall and is possesses many talents and passions, including music. She recently performed with The International Jewish High School Choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Rose, who travelled years ago to China to bring her daughter home, now marvels at the places her daughter has taken her.

“To see how she’s blossomed – I’m so proud of her,” she says. “What a journey it’s been for her. And what a journey it’s been for me, too. She’s brought me places I never would have gone.”

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