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​Children’s Book Emphasizes the Power of a Mother’s Love

April 13, 2017

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When Dramatic Media Professor Shannon Ivey sat down to write a book for her newborn son Isaac back in 2009, she didn’t do it with the intention of ever publishing. Born with a hole in his lung, Isaac was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “Mama’s Kisses Are Magic embodied her feelings of how she wished she could literally kiss her son’s pain away and the book was only given to family and close friends.

Now, seven years later and faced with Texas legislative cuts to psychiatric treatment affecting her adopted son Calvin, Ivey returned to the document that had been dormant on her computer.

“These recent cuts deny services through Medicaid for foster children, including those who’ve been adopted out,” Ivey said. “Calvin is a five-year-old abuse victim and my husband and I had no choice but to add him to our own insurance. Anyone who knows anything about psychiatric services knows they’re very expensive. As I was trying to come up with ways to cover these costs, a friend of mine said, ‘What about that book you wrote?’ So I decided to self publish and sell it on Amazon to see if anyone would even buy it.”

She sold 1,000 units in the first week.

“I’ve been getting emails from moms all over the world,” Ivey said. “I’m very fortunate to have my art and that I was able to make something like this book. However, there are so many moms who don’t have that option. Not only are they trying to compensate for the rising cost of healthcare in general, they’re trying to compensate for what the cuts approved by the state legislature have done to their children.”

The Ivey family celebrating adoption day. Pictured (L to R): Ivey's mother Linda Jarrell, Isaac Ivey, Shannon Ivey, Calvin Ivey, Stephen Ivey, and Megan Ivey. Calvin and Megan are biological siblings.

Ivey said she hopes people educate themselves about what elected lawmakers are doing and whom it’s impacting.

“I feel like we’re broken as a society,” Ivey said. “There are so many suffering with mental and physical issues. I want people to vote for individuals who actually care about these children. This book is meant to unite mothers and acknowledge we’re in the same boat. There are things we all feel helpless about and every single one of us wishes we had the power to make what hurts our children go away. I am, like so many others, just a mom trying to help my kid.”