When we adopted Jordan last January he left his second grade class in the middle of reading aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. One of the first things Jordan noticed in his new home was the set of Harry Potter books on the book shelf next to our fireplace. “Can I read that book?” he asked.
I gave him the book and he clung to it, always keeping it within his reach. It traveled between school and home. It went from bed to breakfast table. It sat next to the basketball goal and the Lego bricks. The cover became worn and the pages smudged.
It was the one constant from his life before to his life now. A book was his comfort.
We tried to read it together as a family, but the other kids weren’t interested. Jordan tried to talk them into reading it on their own, but they never made it more than a few pages in. Jordan wasn’t discouraged, though. He kept reading and rereading and moving on to book two. Then rereading The Sorcerer’s Stone over and over and over.
He’s been begging to watch the movie.
You can imagine how I’m a firm read-the-book-then-watch-the-movie sort of person. I didn’t want to watch the movie until everyone had read the book. I buried it in our Netflix queue. Then a few weeks ago on Sunday evening when Andy left early in the afternoon for a youth event and I knew my survival lied in the Sunday tradition of baths then a movie, I tore open the Netflix envelope and the disc dropped into Sam’s hands. He announced the title, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and Jordan went bonkers.
“YEEEESSSSS! Thank you Mom! Thank you Mom! Thank you Mom!” He boinged around the kitchen and hugged tight around my waist.
The other kids were excited about the movie too.
“You guys haven’t read the book!” I protested.
Four sets of eyes stared wide at me me and I knew I was outnumbered and a happy evening was endangered. “Okay, put it in,” I surrendered.
The cheers trailed off as they followed Jordan and the disc to the DVD player. Throughout the movie Jordan predicted what was going to happen next. The other kids turned a little testy. I defended Jordan. “I don’t want to hear it guys. You had the chance to read the book. This is what happens when you don’t read the book first. You miss out. You cheat yourself. Next time read the book before the movie.” They hushed and watched the movie.
Before the movie was over Sam had our copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in his lap. The next day both of the girls brought home a copy from school. Jordan reread parts of the story with each of them. Then he picked up Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The rest of them have all moved through book two ( and then watched the movie). They are waiting for Jordan to finish book three so they can crack it open.
They’ve made plans to dress up together for Halloween. Jordan is planning to be Harry. Stephanie is considering a Weasley. Hannah is Hermione. “Who can Sam be?” Stephanie asked.
“Dobby!” Sam said. “I just need some pointy ears.”
“I’m glad you guys are finally Harry Potter fans,” Jordan said tonight at dinner.
I am too. The power of books is unlimited. They can even help to bond a forever family.
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