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“It’s not in our sameness that we find ourselves, but in our differences”
Our Programs
  • Diversity Today

    Enjoy diversity and provide more hope to the future

  • Inspirational Quote

    "It helps to accept others if we can first accept ourselves"

  • Welcome

    Susan Von Tobel
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Welcomes you to her site

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Forever Families of Diversity

Families come together in many different ways. Some Children come into a family by birth, some by adoption, and some through foster care, or, at times, through abandonment. When families come together, there are many differences. There can be personality differences in biological families, or cultural differences in families of adoption. We are all different and often that is scary to realize. Accepting differences, honoring them, and learning to enjoy them, is what will help a family adapt, a culture to unite and a world to live in peace.

WELCOME!

I am so glad to have you stop by my website. This site is all about Families of Diversity! It is about all of us who have felt different at some time in our life. Can you remember how hard you tried to fit in, to be like everyone else?

Well, this site is not about fitting in! It is about accepting differences. Here you can find information on how to accept differences in others. There is PARENT information that will AID parents in helping their children be more accepting of others. There is also a KIDS page that will address them directly, so feel free to let your child log on. I will read a story to them, and there will be activities for them. This site is meant to be interactive, so I also have a BLOG page where we can discuss issues and get feedback from each other.

Most importantly, there is a page for my children’s BOOKS where you can view and buy my books. These books help children to learn about others in a curious way, and it helps them to see that diverse families can come together and love each other.

I welcome you and I look forward to getting to know you better!


About Susan Von Tobel

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I would like to tell you a little about my children’s books and myself. By education, I am an educator, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Spiritual Director. My first love is writing.

In 1999 as a single woman, I adopted my daughter from China. I realized, at the time, that there were no books that addressed her experience. I was searching for books that I could read to her, that would explain her situation and why she was now in another country, with a woman she did not know, and who did not look at all like her! I wrote several children’s stories but had difficulty getting an illustrator for my books. Recently, I was fortunate to find Regina Atwood who paints in watercolors, and she has done three of my books so far. Her work is beautiful and really brings my characters to life.

My first children’s book, Mei-Ling’s Forever Mommy, is a story of my daughter, Mia, and I, finding each other. Mia, now age 15, has written a poem in the back of the book that is just beautiful and touching. I realized that the timing of the book was perfect, as she was old enough now to participate.

My second children’s book, Timmy’s Journey, is about a little bunny that loses his way, and after much difficulty, finds a porcupine family who adopts him. They are a family of many different animals– bunnies, hedgehogs, a dog, and a porcupine. They are all different, but that is what makes “their family the best.”

My third children’s book, Mei-Mei’s New Home, is an animated version of my first book, which describes a dog that lives in a large apartment building. One day, the owner comes to them and says they can only have ONE pet, that there are too many pets and not enough room. This idea is a reference to the One Child Policy in China. This book was done to compliment the Mei-Ling story because I felt the REAL story of adoption might be too emotional for some children. In the end, Mei-Mei does find a family.

About the Illustrator

photo of Reggie
REGINA ATWOOD is an artist who lives with her husband in Lake Oswego, Oregon. This is her third book illustration work. She has been painting in the watercolor medium since 2003 and is affiliated with the distinguished Watercolor Society of Oregon, the Oregon Society of Artists and the Painters Showcase. You can see more of her art at www.atwoodart.com