Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Essential Adoption Books For Children And Adults

As someone who has been blessed by adoption, I've read a lot of books on the topic and read plenty to my kids.  Here are 10 of my favorites: 

My FAVORITE book about adoption! 

5 Adoption Books For Children:

  • We Belong Together by Todd Parr – This is my very favorite book about adoption because it warmly describes the many ways families come together. The emphasis is on sharing a home and sharing love is what really makes a family a family. I especially love the fact that this book is full of colorful pictures showing multi-racial families. Written particularly for younger readers, I think it's a must-have for any adoptive family.

  • A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kasza – Choco, a little bird, is looking for a loving parent. At first he looks for someone who resembles him, but in the course of meeting other “adoptees,” he realizes that physical similarity is immaterial: it's the love that a parent has for a child that matters. Again, written for young readers but it's appeal is across all ages.

  • A great adoption book for siblings
    Over The Moon: An Adoption Tale by Karen Katz – This dreamy, heartwarming book tells the magical tale of one couple's journey to their “forever and always” child. The beautiful folk art illustrations tugged at my heart as one showed the woman who had given birth but “could not take care of you” sending the baby off to loving people who could. Sniff! Sniff! For elementary-aged kids, it still made me cry.

  • Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis – Told with gentle wit, this story of a little girl who, once again, wants to hear how she came home is perfect for reading while you cuddle and cradle your, again, elementary-school aged child.

  • Just Add One Chinese Sister by Patricia McMahon and Conor Clarke McCarthy – This book is great for siblings as it tells the tale of a brother's journey with his parents to pick up his new sister from China.

And 5 Books For Adults:

  • In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You to Know About Adoption: A Guide for Relatives and Friends by Elisabeth O'Toole –  I liked this easy-to-read, conversational book and I think it's essential reading for anyone touched by adoption. Among the topics covered: what it's like to be an adoptive family, how family/friends can support the newly-formed unit, what are appropriate things to ask and how, etc. Again, read it and then buy it for those in your support system.

  • The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming The Unforeseen Challenges Of Adoption by Karen J. Foli and John R. Thompson – Much has been heard about post-partum depression, but what happens when your adopted child comes home and it's not all rainbows and lollipops? What if the bonding isn't going as you'd dreamed or the child has special needs? This book, written by adoptive parents, addresses the issue of Post Adoption Stress Syndrome.

  • Becoming A Family: Promoting Healthy Attachments With Your Adopted Child by Lark Eshleman – When I was going through the process, I heard horror stories about kids who hadn't bonded properly with their new parents (kind of like the Rosemary's Baby stories people told me when I was pregnant). This book gives effective strategies for ensuring that an adopted child adjusts as quickly and seamlessly as possible plus tells what can be done if bonding isn't going as well as it should. An important work which gives you hope if you think there's an attachment problem.

  • Secret Thoughts Of An Adoptive Mom by Jana Wolff – This honest, often funny book addresses some of the thoughts I had before I met my daughter, including the biggie: What if she doesn't like me? Specifically geared toward the topic of interracial adoption.

  • The Complete Book Of International Adoption: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding Your Child by Dawn Davenport – This savvy book walks you through the process of adopting from another country. It also gives some interesting guidelines on how to choose a country and includes factors to consider (like the waiting times involved and the estimated costs for each of the top countries) with charts for easy comparison. I thought it was an easy, fascinating read.

If you had asked me twenty years ago whether I'd adopt a child, I would have said no.  Honestly, even during the early years of my marriage, I wasn't sure if I wanted kids.  Now I can't imagine my life without either child.

As for adoption, it brought me one of the most wonderful people I have ever known and I will always be grateful to our adoption agency, CCAI, and The People's Republic Of China for making my daughter's adoption possible. 

Thanks for reading!

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