2020 International Award
The MADA INTERNATIONAL award is presented to an individual who has displayed outstanding dedication or has been responsible for outstanding accomplishments of international significance in multiple births issues around the world.
The 2020 International MADA was presented to Kari Ertresvåg.
Kari Ertresvåg is a 37-year-old monozygotic Norwegian triplet who has written a unique and wonderful book on growing up as a multiple entitled Parent like a Triplet (http://parentlikeatriplet.com/).
While I devoured every book I could find on raising multiples, I would have loved to have had this book available with its detailed view of BEING a multiple. It would have been an enormous help, and I think we would have been better prepared to support our multiples as they faced the challenges as a result of the nature of their births.
This book fills a large resource gap not only for parents, but also for the multiples themselves.
Kari shares real-life stories about growing up beside two others who looked just like her and she like them.
She addresses the challenge of telling who is who in photos
Kari shares how they were constantly seen as THREE, rather than any of the ONEs who made up the THREE.
There was a constant need to be first to answer, for example, ‘How was your day at school? so that at least the first gets to speak, and interest is lost in what the second says, and even more so for the third to share because it is the same story. Being first became important.
There is so much in Kari’s book that needs to be heard by parents so that they can encourage their children to be proud of their identities not only as individuals, but also of their unique birth situation.
So many parents are afraid to separate their multiples, even to their own rooms, and Kari explains that multiples can actually benefit from having their own personal space/room and time to each make their own friends, discoveries, stories and adventures.
Kari shares that she and her sisters, in order to find their place in the world, left their hometown for some schooling and jobs, one across the Atlantic, in order to cement their own identity, challenges and experience the uniqueness of being ONE. Interestingly, in doing so, each of them found their separation strengthened their triplet relationship rather than broke it up.
Kari’s book has been well received around the world. Monica Rankin at the International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations says: it’s a book you should “keep on your bookshelf, because you will find yourself going back to it many times as your multiples grow and develop into adults”.
It has been endorsed by many leading multiple-birth organizations and advocates including:
Dr. Joan A. Friedman from the USA,
Keith Reed of Twins Trust UK, Pat Preedy in the UK,
Kirsty Saxon at Multiples NZ,
and Lynda P. Haddon, past chair of Multiple Births Canada
In gratitude for Kari’s careful research, honest sharing of family stories, and powerful voice of lived experience, we would like to extend our congratulations to Kari as the MADA International Award Winner.
We hope her book will find many more readers, and that it will continue to help individuals in multiple-birth families to live well-supported and fulfilling lives.