Gabrielle Union Wrote a Children's Book Inspired by Her Daughter Kaavia James

The Editors

From Oprah Magazine

  • Gabrielle Union has written a children's book called Welcome to the Party celebrating non-traditional families.

  • Union had her daughter, Kaavia James, via surrogate in 2018.

When Gabrielle Union's daughter, Kaavia James, was born via surrogate in November 2018, Union realized there weren't many children's books that addressed non-traditional births. That inspired her to write her own, Welcome to the Party. Union appeared on The Today Show to discuss the book, released on May 5, and family life in quarantine.

Host Hoda Kotb asked Union about the meaning of the book's inscription, which reads, "To my daughter, Kaavia James, and every family whose journey to baby might have taken a bit longer than expected. Welcome to the party, you are right on time." Union explained that it was based on the challenges of her own fertility issues, which ultimately led her to seek out a surrogate. It was also a message of support to people with non-traditional families, including her own mother, who adopted her first child at 60.

"I know I'm definitely not alone in that our journey was just paved with a lot of heartbreak and pain," she said. "By the time she arrived, there was so much anticipation in our family, our larger family, and our community. We just wanted to have a celebration."

Union said there's a lack of literature speaking to unconventional families in general, and that she wanted children in those circumstances to feel "loved and welcomed and wanted and celebrated." Though Union and her husband, Dwyane Wade share four children, Kaavia is the first they had together.

Union also recently appeared on The View, where she was asked about raising her transgender daughter Zaya, 12, who she and Wade have made a point of supporting and praising in the media.

Her advice to other parents? "To love your child, listen to your child, accept your child...reject the notion that your children are disposable if they’re not mini versions of you," she said on the daytime show.

View this post on Instagram

πŸ–€πŸ–€ @zayawade

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:57am PDT

"Allow them to be exactly who they are, and loving them, and supporting them, and guiding them to be a loving and compassionate global citizen should be the goal," she added. "We just want to remind people that loving your kid is actually an option. Love them in a way that reminds them that they’re heard and seen and loved exactly as they are."

Welcome to the Party is Union's second book, following her 2017 memoir, We're Going to Need More Wine.

For more ways to live your best life plus all things Oprah, sign up for our newsletter!