Mercedes Wadkins has crafted a fun and beautiful book. Bellasia: Once Upon a Tea is fairy tale whose main character Isabella is a princess, kind, curious and an adoptee. Mercedes is an adoptive mom and wrote the books as a love letter to her daughter. “Every day I am so grateful that I have this amazing little girl and I would do anything to put a smile on her face…even if that includes writing her her own fairy tale.” Which is exactly what Mercedes Wadkins has done, much to the delight of readers.
We talked about adoption in media and why Mercedes was inspired to write and adoption themed book.
“There are so many wonderful adoption books but my daughter and I love fairy tales! We watched movies like crazy and of course loved princesses. As she started to get older and understand adoption, even though we have told her from the beginning, she was starting to become sad that there weren’t any happily adopted princesses,” said Mercedes Wadkins.
How true this is! We do see instances of adoptive parents in princess stories, but they are almost always evil (think Mother Gothel, Lady Tremaine, the Evil Queen Regina Mills on TV’s Once Upon A Time). Mercedes continued, “They’re wonderful entertainment, but you never know what goes through a child’s head. So, we decided to make up our own fairy tale and wanted to share it with other children!”
In the story the beloved King and Queen are yearning to grow their family. All the cultures of the land come together to help create a baby, the fairies work with the wizard and the dragons. As she grows princess Isabella is a helpful, curious girl who tries her best to make others happy. My favorite part of this journey is that Isabella gets to explore and learn from the cultures that helped bring her to life. She has magic from the wizard that she learns to use, she learns to grow and create a beautiful garden from the fairies, and she helps a dragon find his fire again. I asked the author, Mercedes Wadkins, what she admires most about Princess Isabella and she said, “Isabella is loving, brave, and courageous, she never gives up and she accepts her family as her own. She brings love and light to everything she touches.”
I also enjoyed the relationship Isabella has with her mother the Queen. The Queen is encouraging, kind, and works hard to help Isabella. Mercedes said this of the Queen, “The Queen is very loving and completely grateful every day for having this amazing little girl in her life! Sometimes when you find your prince charming and think everything will fall into place, it doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that the happily ever after is flawed…I didn’t believe it at the time, but everything truly does happen for a reason and I’m sure the queen would not have changed one single thing for fear she would have never known this gift.”
As an adoptive mom, I can’t help but be thrilled to have this message out there for our loved ones.
I asked Mercedes what she hopes readers will learn from her book, she energetically responded, “I want readers to know that we make our own happily ever afters!!!” To learn more about Bellasia: Once Upon a Tea check out the Kickstarter here.