Sunday, November 17, 2013

Best Adoption Books for Children

We've always been open in our dicussions with Jed about his adoption. We want him to ask questions and talk about it. We don't want it to be a mystery to him where he came from. We don't want him to 'remember the day' when his parents told him he was adopted. We want it to always be a part of him. In fact, we want him to be proud of it.

Storybooks are the perfect way to start a discussion about adoption, even before the child is old enough to understand the concept.

When Bob and I were involved in the adoption training classes the second time, we were given the assignment of finding and presenting to the class (other adoptive parent hopefuls) the best adoption storybooks for children. This was the perfect topic for us. Not only were we able to discover new adoption storybooks, but we were able to share our favorites with the class.

So in honor of November being National Adoption Month, I present our findings on the best adoption books for children.

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis. A little girl wishes to hear the story of her adoption and all the tiny details again and again. I'll start with this one because not only is it my favorite, but it's usually the first one people think of when it comes to adoption storybooks. It's so completely adorable!

Happy Adoption Day! by John McCutcheon. This one isn't so much a storybook as it is a type of celebratory tribute to adoption, complete with sheet music to a 'happy adoption day' song at the end. 

A Mother for Choco, by Keiko Kasza. A little yellow bird sets out to find his mother. He asks different animals but none of them look quite like him. He eventually finds a wonderfully diverse family with a mother bear. I was thrilled to find this one because it quickly became my second favorite.

The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale, by Grace Lin. A king and queen have a pain in their hearts so they follow an invisible red thread across the world to find their baby girl. In my little corner of the library as I read this, something about its sweetness made me weep. 

 I Wished for You: An Adoption Story, by Marianne Richmond. Mama and Barley Bear snuggle in their favorite spot and Mama tells Barley how he is a wish come true. My son loves this one and wants me to read it to him all the time. Of course we have to be snuggling when we read it--just like Mama and Barley.


We Belong Together, by Todd Parr. A sensitive, kid-friendly way of telling what it means to become a family through adoption. “We belong together because…you needed someone to say ‘I love you’ and we had love to give.” So cute! And it's non-specific about the type of adoption (foster care, infant adoption, interracial) if that's something you're looking for. Obviously the storybooks are going to be more specific.

God Found Us You, by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Mama Fox tells Little Fox about his adoption story and how it was worth the long wait. This one is very similar to I Wished for You except the stars are foxes instead of bears.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, by Rose Lewis. Based on the author’s true story of her journey to adopt a baby girl from China. It's so sweet! And the illustrations are gorgeous.

Superman comics. I'll be honest. I did most of the groundwork for this assignment. But Bob had some fine contributions. One of them being this Superman comic book. Superman was adopted, you know. Plus he's pretty cool with his super strength and x-ray vision. So Bob bought this and thought it would be fun to read it with Jed.
    Last but not least, I believe the best storybook is the one you write yourself. When Jed was first born I started writing his own unique story. I saved it on Shutterfly and worked on it when I could. It took me forever, but finally when he was four years old I finished it and gave it to him for Christmas. These days with Shutterfly, Snapfish, Mixbook, Tiny Prints, and so many others, it's so easy to create your own custom book. This will be something special he can keep to remember the awesome story about how he came to be part of our family.
    Let me know if I missed any great adoption books for children. I know there are other gems out there and I'm always looking to add to my collection. And most of all, happy National Adoption Month!