Sunday, October 17, 2010

Best Adoption Books

Saturday we went to hear Seattle Women's Chorus sing all about families of every persuasion. They used video clips from Rosie O'Donnell's documentary about families, including a beautiful lesbian wedding that involved their two sons, and clips of kids talking about what families are. Basically I cried through the whole thing. Then we all, including two other single moms and their adopted kids, went out for Ethiopian food. Lately we have been talking about adoption a lot, and fortunately there have been natural opportunities to talk about Mareshet's birth mother and father, and her earliest memories. She can remember an older sister as well, who went to live with another relative. I think constantly about returning to Ethiopia to find more relations. All this prompted me to blog about our family's top 5 adoption books for kids. These are basically great for older children who remember finding their forever family, and life in their family of origin. First on our list (10 out of 10 according to Mareshet) is Star of the Week: A Story of Love, Adoption and Brownies with Sprinkles, by Darlene Friedman and Roger Roth. It is the story of their daughter's adoption from China as an infant, and how she decides to tell about herself when she is Star of the Week in kindergarten. Mareshet took this book to class when she was Star of the Week last year. With its colorful illustrations and straightforward language, it can help an older child with some of those questions that are sure to arise in school. I hear it is going out of print, so grab some copies quickly! Second place goes to The Best Family in the World, by Susana Lopez. This story is about little Carolta's dreaming for a family-- the most exciting family ever. Will they be tiger trainers, pastry chefs, astronauts? Find out how Carlota's dreams come true in this new book. Third place is Yaffi's Family, by Linda Pettit. Just off the press, this book with beautiful watercolor illustrations, touches on the grief adoptive kids feel at leaving family, friends, and caregivers, even as they find love in a new forever family. It speaks also to the openness of the adoptive family in honoring and loving a child's birth family. You can get this one at I have always loved Stallaluna, by Janell Cannon, one of the best books in exploring culture shock. Little Stellaluna the fruit bat baby is separated from her mother and taken in by a bird family. She learns that her ways are not welcomed by mother bird, and learns to adapt to fit in and get her basic needs met. Eventually she is reunited with her birth mother, and she learns how her special adaptations make sense in bat culture. Finally, we recommend God Found Us You, by Lisa Tawn Bergren. When Nur was born, I found another book by the author about how a baby comes into a bear family by birth. I always wished that she's write one about adoption-- and luck for us, she did! Baby fox doesn't look like his adoptive mother, but she reassures him that they were made for each other. She explains how much his birth mother cared for him by finding him a forever family. It is a very cute book and I am partial to it because the Mama Fox is likely a single mom. Mareshet and Nur often ask for each of "their" books to be read before bedtime. By the way, the girls think that we should do a Top 5 Ethiopian stories blog sometime. So stay tuned.

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