Pushing up the Sky: A Mother's Story

A Memoir by Terra Trevor

Terra Trevor’s ‘Pushing up the Sky’ is a revelation of the struggles and triumphs packed into the hyphens between Korean and Native American and American. From her, we learn that adoption can best be mutual, that the adoptive parent needs acculturation in the child’s ways. With unflinching honesty and unfailing love, Trevor details the risks and heartaches of taking in, the bittersweetness of letting go, and the everlasting bonds that grow between them all. With ‘Pushing up the Sky’, the ‘literature of adoption’ comes of age as literature, worthy of an honored place in the human story.

—Reviewed by Robert Bensen, Editor of Children of the Dragonfly: Native American Voices on Child Custody and Education, The University of Arizona Press. 

A mixed blood Native American, Terra Trevor and her white husband had one child before choosing to complete their family through adoption. They adopted from South Korea twice: an infant with medical needs, and an older child. There are two stories in Terra Trevor’s personal account. The first is about her oldest daughter experiencing difficulty adjusting to adoption and becoming the oldest child. The second story is about her son, also adopted from Korea, diagnosed with a brain tumor, and how this family, or any family, must endure crises and tragedy and still find a way to go on. This is a story of compromises and insights, profound joy, deep suffering, and terrific rewards. Parenting birth and adopted children, is one theme of this book. Most of all, it is a story on the meaning of family, and learning to let go of expectations and to forge a new identity.

The title ‘Pushing up the Sky,’ is from a Native American story about the power of people working together for a common good, this is the theme in Terra Trevor's memoir.

Hardcover: 230 pages
Publisher: KAAN; 1st edition (July 29, 2006)
Cover Art by Marcia Adams Ho
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0977604608
ISBN-13: 978-0977604609

Author’s Note 

Thank you. I'm honored that so many cared enough to read Pushing up the Sky and that reader interest continues. This memoir was my first book and it was published in 2006. In the years since I have learned a great many writing and motherhood lessons, which have allowed me to become a better writer, and a better mother. Within these pages I offer my humble beginnings. 

If I could be granted one wish I would ask not for rave reviews, only that this book might change a million hearts, and that it will be read for more decades, beyond my lifetime. While I will never know how many people have been touched, and perhaps changed, I do know that it has been passed steadily from the hands of many readers because I have received hundreds of emails with kind words. 

Two of my favorite reader stories are from a woman telling me that she was so engrossed in reading that she read well past her subway station. Another reader, a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, wrote saying that all of the nurses on her floor have read my book and everyone was deeply moved, inspired, and that my story shed a bright light of hope into dark corners. 

May my recent Goodreads giveaway of Pushing up the Sky be another step along that road.
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  • Writing, Reading and Living - For me, writing is a way of reaching out to others, to people I don't know. I sit alone, in silence, but all that time I’m out there, connecting with whoe...
  • - Terra Trevor is an essayist, memoirist and nonfiction writer of a diverse body of work. Her stories illuminate our humanity, remind us to be open, to conne...