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Baby Star Finds Happy -eBook

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Baby Star Finds Happy A Story About Parental Incarceration Finding a silver lining when a parent goes to prison or jail Extant One Publishing Inc Avon Hart Johnson Publications LLC

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Baby Star Finds “Happy” | Finding a Silver Lining When a Parent Goes to Prison or JailISBN: 978-0-9967410-7-1 | Copyright © 2019 by Avon Hart-Johnson, Ph.D. All rights reserved.is edition is published by DC Project Connect in arrangement with Extant-One Publishing, Inc. and Avon Hart-Johnson Publications, LLC. All rights reserved.9103 Woodmore Centre Drive, Lanham, MD 20706, | www.mystoryandme.comInternal Layout & Printed by Anointed Press Graphics, Inc. | 11191 Crain Highway| Cheltenham, MDis publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding that the author and publishers are not engaged in rendering psychological, nancial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or me-chanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author and publisher.Printed & Published in the United States of America. | First Paperback Edition/eBook EditionIllustrations by Shaifali BajadCover by Avon Hart-Johnson and Shaifali Bajad 1. Study Aids/Self Help2. Family & Relationships/ Parental Incarceration/Grief and Loss/Coping

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Baby Star Finds Happy A Story About Parental Incarceration Finding a silver lining when a parent goes to prison or jail Extant One Publishing Inc Avon Hart Johnson Publications LLC

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Baby Star Finds Happy A Story About Parental Incarceration Finding a silver lining when a parent goes to prison or jail Extant One Publishing Inc Avon Hart Johnson Publications LLC

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1111On the night Baby Star was born, hermom wished upon a bright star thattwinkled like diamonds. She wished thatBaby Star would always be happy.Momma Star oen said that Baby Star’seyes were like the twinkling lights in thenight sky – and, especially, like the starshe wished upon.

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1313Baby Star loved her family. Her brotherswere like twins. They spoke at the sametime and laughed at the same time, too.Bick, the youngest brother, was shorterthan Bell. Baby Star loved to touch theircurly, fuzzy hair.

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1515The Star children also loved to gather inthe kitchen with Daddy Star to listen tohis stories as he cooked theirfavorite stew.The smell of freshly baked cookies flowedfrom the oven through the house,promising the Star children that sweettaste of chocolate chip cookies fordessert aer dinner.

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1717Baby Star loved Momma Star’s big hugs.Whenever Baby Star missed her Momma,she would think of her hugs. MommaStar was always on the go. She seemed tobe busy mostly every day.

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1919Momma and Daddy Star loved each other very much.Daddy Star played hide-and-go seek and other fun games with the children even though he sometimes was very tired from working all day.

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2121Momma Star liked to make things. Sheonce made the children a toy box out ofa crate. She also made Baby Star a dresswith a big star embroidered on it.Sometimes, Momma Star le home anddid not come back for a few days. Thismade Baby Star sad. But when she was athome, Momma Star was fun.

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2323One day, Momma Star told Baby Star thatif she ever felt lonely, to think about herhugs and make a big wish on a four-leafclover –and her wish would come true.All Baby Star had to do was find thatspecial clover!Baby Star knew what she would wish for!She would wish that her family wouldalways be together and happy.

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2525One day, Baby Star asked Bick and Bell to goout in the yard with her to help her find a four-leaf clover so that she could make a wish thather family would always be together and happy.Once outside, they searched the backyard forclovers. They searched near the flowers. Theysearched near the fence. When they looked nearthe flowerpot, there was no clover, but therewas a bunny rabbit with the prettiest eyes, ever!The Star children rushed inside the housewith the bunny.

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2727Momma Star was concerned that thebunny was missing from his family. Shewent outside and tried to find therabbit’s family, with no luck. Baby Starasked, “May we keep him?”Momma Star said,” Yes.” She would helpher children build a bed for the rabbit sothat they could keep him safe and warm.

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2929Baby Star loved the rabbit and said she wantedto call him “Happy” because that’s how she feltwith her new bunny friend.Baby Star and Happy became best friends.When Happy was excited, he would jump upand down. His ears would flop, and his bellywould bounce. Baby Star would laugh. Bickand Bell laughed loudly, too. When Happylaughed, his belly would shake.Happy loved to eat long, crunchy carrots. Buthis big secret was that he loved four-leafclovers even more!

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3131When Momma Star did not come homeand Daddy Star had to work, GrandmaStar cared for the Star children.At night, when Baby Star was lonely forMomma Star’s warm hugs, Happy wasright there, like a fluffy pillow to hug tofall asleep.

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3333One night, Momma Star did not comehome for dinner. Daddy Star was worried.He did not talk much. In the morning,Momma Star was still not at home, butDaddy Star spoke with her on the phone.Later that day, Daddy Star said to the Starchildren, “Let’s go sit together on the couch,I want to talk with you about somethingimportant.

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3535“Sometimes grown-ups make bad decisionsand do something wrong. MommaStar is not home because she made a baddecision and did something wrong. Shebroke some rules. Nowshe is in a place called ‘jail.’”

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36Daddy Star said, “I know you miss Momma Star and feel sad. I miss Momma Star, too, and I want you to know that we both love you, and I am here to help you to get through this. Grandma Star will come to spend time with you, as well.”It was a sad time in the Star house. That night everyone cried. They missed Momma Star.

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3737Daddy Star told his children, “It is normal to be sad when you miss someone.” That night Baby Star hugged her bunny rabbit, Happy, and cried herself to sleep. .66hB6Daddy Star said that one day, soon, they were all going to visit Momma Star. He told the children to draw colorful pictures for Momma Star, and that would make her happy.Bick and Bell ran to get their crayons.

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38Baby Star sat quietly, thinking it was her fault that Momma Star was in jail. Baby Star did not make her big wish. “I should have made my big wishi6she cried!With all the excitement about creating drawings for Momma Star, everyone forgot all about Happy. They looked around, inside and outside, but Happy was nowhere to be seen.

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3939Everyone called for Happy. “Happy, where are you?” called Baby Star, wiping away her tears. They looked in the kitchen–no Happy.Daddy Star joined the search. They looked under the bed, too, but Happy was not there. Oh, “I know,” said Baby Star. “Let’s search near the flower-pots.” And sure enough, when Baby Star checked near the flowerpots, there was Happy. She yelled, “I found Happy!”

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4141Happy was holding a great bigfour-leaf clover! Baby Star said, “Now that I have my four-leaf clover and Happy, I can make my big wish!”“Happy, you are the cutest rabbit ever,” said Baby Star.“I love you, Happy!”

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42Baby Star, Happy, and the other Star children all rushed back into the house.Baby Star said, “Daddy, we found Happy and the four-leaf clover! Now I will make my big wish! I wish that our family will always be together and that we will always be happy.”

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4343At that moment, the phone rang. It was Momma Star!

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4545“I want to speak to Momma,” yelled Bic and Bellat the same time. They both raced towards thephone and spoke with Momma Star. At first, they were scared for Momma Star, but later they all relaxed.

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4747Baby Star’s eyes became as bright as stars! Daddy Star smiled and asked Baby Star if she wanted to speak to Momma Star, too. Baby Star said, “Yes!” With a big smile, she jumped up and took the phone receiver. Even bunny, Happy was jumping up and down, hopping all around the kitchen, but with his eyes focused on the four-leaf clover!

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48Baby Star told Momma Star that she missed her. She said that she was so glad that Happy found the big four-leaf clover and that she had made a wish that their family would always be happy. Momma Star said to Baby Star, “I love you. I am away for a little while, but please know that when I am not there with you, I am always thinking about you. I am sorry for not being there with you. Even if you didn’t make a wish, I still would love you. We might not be together in the same room,

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4949but in my heart, I am always thinking of you. It is not your fault that I am here. I made the wrong decisions and now I am going to work hard to do the right thing. Do you forgive me?”Baby Star said, “Yes, Momma Star. I love you and I forgive you. Sometimes, I know I do things that are wrong, too.” When it was time to end the call, Baby Star said, “Momma Star, I love you so much!” Baby star felt happy knowing that even though Momma Star was not at home, she was loved. She also had Daddy Star, Bick and Bell Star, and Grandma Star, and she also had her very best friend, Happy!

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5151Baby Star finished talking with her mom. She noticed that Happy was very hungry! Happy then jumped really high to reach the 4-leaf clover on the table, gripping it between his teeth. He quickly gulped down the tasty green clover in one bite. Baby Star said to her bunny friend: “I forgot to feed you. I am sorry. I too made a mistake. Happy do you forgive me?” Happy answered yes, by bouncing up and down. Baby Star said, “Happy even with the clover gone, you will always be a reminder of love, family, friendship, and a little luck.”

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5353The End

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55Stories as InterventionStories have been used for hundreds of years to help children make meaning of their experiences. Baby Star nds “Happy” is designed to assist parents who care for children with an incarcerated parent to have tools to help their little ones to understand the process, emotions, and family dynamics during this stressful time. Children who are aected by the traumatizing experience of parental incarceration may not be able to articulate their feelings associated with separation and loss. In their minds, they may have lost a parent and so much more. They may not be fully equipped developmentally to express their feelings. The activities designed as companion resources for this book can be used to help children externalize their feelings. These resources can be used to help children give voice through nonverbal activities such as drawing, engaging in a scavenger hunt, and using other creative activities oered in the companion resources link on our website:

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56Remember to always consult with a helping professional if you think that your child is in need of psychiatric or mental-health support.We hope that when parents use this book to read and discuss with their children, it may lead to young kids learning to see life events as they are and not a problem that they have created themselves. We hope that they then can begin to make meaning of their lives and develop resilience. Respectfully,Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson and the Storybook Research TeamDr. Georey Johnson and Dr. Renata Hedrington-Jones

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57About the AuthorDr. Avon Hart-Johnson is the president and co-founder of DC Project Connect (DCPC), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprot 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis support, advocacy, and psychoeducational services for families aected by incarceration. A published author, Dr. Hart-Johnson has lectured both nationally and abroad on topics related to her journal articles, books, and other publications. Her most recent book is “African American Women with Incarcerated Mates: The Psychological and Social Impacts of Mass Incarceration.” Her research in the United Kingdom has led to collaborations with other authors in the anthology “Contemporary Research and Analysis on the Children of Prisoners: Invisible Children.” She has written a children’s book on parental incarceration and prison visits, “Jamie’s Big Visit.” This current publication, Baby Star Finds ‘Happy’ is sure to

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58benet millions of children around the world whose parents are or have been incarcerated. Dr. Hart-Johnson is the U.S. representative on the board of directors of the International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents, a global consortium that supports the well-being of children of prisoners. She is currently leading a project that focuses on the use of storytelling as an intervention for parents and caregivers when discussing parental incarceration with children. Dr. Hart-Johnson is an international keynote speaker, a researcher, and wife of Georey Johnson and mother of a blended family (Charles, Jr., Isaiah, Loren, Marcel, and Shaniece).