Penn State alumna's children's book focuses on adoption, family support

February 25, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State alumna’s personal experience inspired her to write a children’s picture book about adoption, family support and love.

Iris (Peters) Keen, an analyst at Proactive Worldwide, earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 2013.

Keen said the book, “Adopting Posie,” which centers around a fox adopted by and attending a school predominantly attended by tigers, was designed to help tell the story of adoption for elementary school students. Posie moves through the growing pains of trying to make friends and fit in at school until one day she has the opportunity to celebrate her differences with her classmates, which is primarily the result the love and support of her adoptive parents.

Keen was born in South Korea and raised in Frederick, Maryland, by her adoptive parents. She realized she was different from many other children when she went to school for the first time — and how her parents embraced and shared her story was important.

“The importance of Posie’s story is discussing those differences and spreading awareness about adoption,” Keen said. “I grew up with two amazing parents who never made adoption seem like a big deal. They celebrated my and my brother’s ‘Gotcha Days’ every year and made the celebrations well known at school.

“A lot of times, you don’t get that in the news and stories centering around adoption. It always focuses on the biological aspect. When people ask me if I want to find my real parents, I respond, ‘They are my real parents.’ Real doesn’t equate to biological in my book. That’s the other side of it, and I think it happens a lot more than we see.”

Keen’s goal in writing “Adopting Posie” is to spread awareness around the idea that there are many narratives still to be explored around adoption, and that awareness begins in the formative years of childhood.

“I want kids to know that it’s OK to look and be different,” Keen said. “It is important to understand and celebrate what makes us each unique.”

“Adopting Posie” is scheduled to be available in late March 2021.

  • Iris Keen, children's book

    "Adopting Posie" centers around a fox adopted by and attending a school predominantly attended by tigers.

    IMAGE: Photo Provided
Last Updated June 02, 2021