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Why My Family Is So Excited About a Cartoon Girl's New Sibling

Photograph by Getty Images

In a five-episode story arch, Disney Junior's popular Doc McStuffins show will welcome a brand new baby to the family through adoption. As an adoptive mom with a young toddler who loves himself some Disney Junior, I am excited to watch along with my young sons.

Better yet is that the story arc follows the McStuffins' family decision to adopt after already having two biological children—the exact same path my own family took. It is a unique path, to be sure, one that gives a truly full range of parenting experiences.

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Disney hired two experts in the adoption field to act as consultants for the storyline. Adam Pertman, president and founder of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of "Adoption Nation," and David Brodzinsky, director of research for the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, and professor emeritus of clinical and developmental psychology at Rutgers University, lent their expert voices to the project.

The storyline has been airing all month. It will also be made available through Disney Junior On Demand. Here is the breakdown of episodes:

March 4, Episode 1, "Baby McStuffins": Mom and Dad McStuffins announce to Doc and her brother Donny that they will soon be welcoming a new baby into their family, and that the baby will come to them through adoption and become part of their "forever family."

March 11, Episode 2, "Runaway Love": In this episode, Doc's little brother, soon to be new big brother, Donny, worries that the addition of a baby means he will be forgotten and replaced within his family. He plans to make a new life for himself and run away.

March 18, Episode 3, "Hooty's Duty": We all know that with a new baby comes lots and lots of new toys. Doc realizes this, too, and begins to prepare her own toy menagerie for all the new toys that will be welcomed into the McStuffins home.

March 25, Episode 4, "Bringing Home Baby": The gender reveal episode! Will the family be welcoming home a brand new baby boy or girl? All will be known in this episode. A second new character will be introduced into the show with this episode, too—Grandma McStuffins, who will care for Doc and Donny while Mom and Dad are away welcoming the new baby.

April 1, Episode 5, "Baby Names": The final episode of the special adoption storyline covers choosing a new name for Baby McStuffins.

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The purpose of this new storyline is to help normalize adoption while also providing a way for younger children to express their feelings when a new baby is welcomed into the home and family. I am grateful that my youngest son will grow up in a culture where adoption is no longer in the shadows.

Normalizing his experience and confirming for children, in a way that is easy to understand, that family might not all look alike but are still related, is a welcome message for all families who are created and grown through the gift of adoption, including mine.

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