WESLEY CHAPEL – Fifteen-year-old Molly Roth will always remember the day her parents brought her little brother, Micah, home from South Korea. He cried a lot.
Fast forward a few years and Molly has used that memory as inspiration for a webcomic called “We Adopted A Superhero.” It tells the story of a family who unknowingly adopts a little boy with superpowers, Luke, and his relationship with his older sister, Sarah.
Luke has the ability to control the weather with his emotions. Whenever Luke cries, it rains. His tears of joy make it snow in the winter and create a rainbow in the summer. He can even change the path of a hurricane just by being happy.
“When you’re younger, your emotions are a lot more varied and so I thought it would be interesting if your emotions could change the weather,” Molly said.
Molly started drawing “We Adopted A Superhero” at the beginning of March for her Girl Scout Gold Award project. According to the Girl Scouts website, girls who earn Gold Awards “tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond.”
After talking with her mom, Molly realized a lot has been written to help adoptive parents and children with the challenge of adjusting to a new environment, but there is less available to help existing children with their feelings about new adopted siblings.
Children already part of the family can have trouble adjusting to an adoption, especially if their expectations are not properly set, Molly said. Adopted siblings require more attention at first and sometimes that can create resentment in older siblings, which can also lead to feelings of guilt.
“We Adopted A Superhero” addresses these issues in a lighthearted way that’s easy to understand and aims to help new adoptive siblings communicate their feelings.
“It’s important for them to know their feelings are valid and they should work through them instead of letting it pile up,” Molly said. “It’s a way for them to know they’re not alone so they can form proper bonds with their adoptive siblings. I know it feels pretty great to have a good relationship with your sibling.”
New comics are published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at www.weadoptedasuperhero.com. A complete book of comic strips will be published in June and distributed to adoption agencies in North Carolina.
The website also contains resources to help parents prepare their child to expand their family through adoption and for kids struggling to adapt to a new sibling. Veteran adoptive siblings can share their own experiences on the Siblings Story page. Molly sometimes incorporates the experiences from others to write new strips.
She also takes from her own life, too.
Molly said Luke is very similar to her real brother, Micah. They’re both energetic and love sports, watching YouTube and asking to have playtime.
“You’ll find some of the strips are true stories,” Molly said.
Molly hopes the big takeaway from her project is the importance of communication for adoptive siblings.
“The sooner you talk about your feelings, it will help repair relationships and make them stronger,” she said.