Category Archives: Adoption Books

NaBloPoMo 2007

This month marks one year since I began this little blogging spot for myself, with all sorts of goals and fresh-faced optimism at making her a living, breathing entity that would loosely chronicle my experiences as a first-time parent and as a mother and a wife touched by adoption, as well as serving as a place to go after all the mothering and wifering and employee-ing is done. A home for me to focus on clearing the cobwebs from my own mind and resuscitating the writing bug within.

As if all those expectations weren’t enough, it also was a way for me to ensure a written record for Maeve of our life together.

Since sticking my flag in cyberground last year, I’ve found myself continuing to question attitudes about adoption — including my own — and working to strengthen my own approach and confidence in advocating, on a daily basis, for openness in adoption, for ethics in adoption and for proper consideration of all those involved.

During that time I’ve taken on new projects and focuses like my quarterly column and other writing assignments, expanding my involvement in my local adoption group, tracking paid-family leave legislation in the Garden State and even the small-but-very-fun task of continuing to search out good adoption-related children’s books and share them here.

Surely some days, weeks and months at musings:mamahood&more have been more loquacious than others — and I do enjoy the more rather than the less — but here she is still humming one year later and here I am still perched at the keyboard at a very ridiculous hour in the dark of night, and so I figure the best way to celebrate that is by inflicting stringent demands on myself and my time.

That’s right, I’m hopping on the NaBloPoMo bandwagon. Even made myself a little geographic logo-link — a NaBloPoMo shingle, if you will — and hung it in my sidebar. (Don’t know NaBloPoMo? Click and ride.)

While the very idea of committing to write for 30 straight days is uber-exciting, I must admit that the very idea of committing to write for 30 straight days is uber-nerve-wracking.

While I don’t have a plan or theme (although now, as the very-long looking month looms before me it’s sounding like quite a useful idea), I’ll muddle my way through.

And hopefully you’ll continue to muddle along with me. And who knows — we might even find ourselves moving beyond muddling to … amusement! Forging further friendships! Continuing to work toward all our adoption- (and non-adoption) related goals!

And … gasp. Even partaking in some thought-provoking discourse!

Rrrright, I hear ya. Easy mamagigi, easy.

One cyberstep at a time.

NaBloPoMo Stats: 1 down, 29 to go.

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Books, Adoption Ethics, Adoption leave, Children, Closed Adoption, Discussing Adoption, Family Leave, Legislation, NaBloPoMo, Open Adoption, Paid Adoption Leave, Writing

Book-choosing

The agenda for this month’s meeting of my local adoption support group — where all parts of the triad are represented in the membership — is a book discussion.

I began attending more than a year ago and the group has hosted myriad writers and speakers touched by adoption with their own unique journey, a musician who is an adoptee, and a birthmother reunited with her son some 30 years after placement in a closed adoption flew in from the West Coast to discuss how the limited relationship with her son has affected her, her family, her other children. Fascinating conversations of open vs. closed adoption ensued (as often discussed here, including this post, my husband’s own adoption is closed and we committed to an open adoption with our daughter’s first mother, so it’s a topic near and dear to us).

The two book choices for the upcoming meeting? The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry by Mirah Riben and The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella, which examines orphanage life through one little girl’s experience.

I’m leaning toward Riben’s book. Anyone read either of ’em?

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Books, Birth parents, Open Adoption

April showers bring May’s … book winner!

April has come and gone, and thus has my first prize giveaway. As promised here and then here, anyone submitting at least one recommended title of a children’s book involving adoption by month’s end would be entered into a drawing. The recipient — handselected by baby Maeve — would receive a brand-new copy of one of the recommended reads.

Well, the 21-month-old lass has unknowingly made her selection from the bowl of names — also known as “The Winner Is The First Piece of Paper She Touches Game.”

Thanks to all who submitted titles — and, as promised, I’ve added to the list too. If you recommended a book, your blog link is duly noted. There were a few recommended titles I couldn’t locate in my local library or in online searches. If you don’t see your title here and can provide further information on it, please pass it along and I’ll gladly add it to the list.

The list, thus far, is below, and you’ll see it also now has a permanent home at the top of musings:mamahood&more. It is by no means all-inclusive, nor is it static; I’ll continue to add titles as I find them. If you have or even stumble on a book you like but it’s not listed here, drop me a line so we can continue to build this resource. The last section of books are titles that some readers recommended in a list format, with no specific comments; some titles I’m aware of and own; as well as some titles I haven’t read myself but wanted to include in the interest of crafting both a comprehensive source and a jumping-off point for those interested in hunting down adoption-related titles. Of course, if you find that something listed here isn’t accurately represented or doesn’t mention an element to the story that others should know, please let me know that, too. If you discover something new here and find you love it, share that with us, too!

So, without further ado, the winner of my first-ever book giveaway is …. drum roll please ….  Heather! (Heather, please email me with your top three choices from the list below, and don’t forget to include your mailing address! It’s that simple, and presto — you’ve got another book to add to your library!)

Thanks again to all who contributed! It was nice to see some of my favorites are some of yours, too. And it’s even nicer to learn about so many I hadn’t known about. We’ll definitely be adding to our library for Maeve — and I hope this proves useful for you and yours.

And now, for The List:

Reader-Recommended Books (in no particular order):

“We See the Moon” by Carrie A. Kitze; recommended by Dawn: “Great chapter book about adoption from the perspective of the first family — specifically the little sister of the woman planning to place in an open adoption.” It’s “heart-wrenching” and “a positive view of a loving family and a loving first mom.”

“The Tummy Mummy” by Michelle Madrid-Branch; recommended by Jenna 

“A Mother For Choco” by Keiko Kasza; recommended by Susan, Amanda, and Diane, who also recommends (as do I!) New Jersey’s Tapestry Books, an independent bookshop (no big corporation here, thankyouverymuch!) that focuses on adoption.

“Pugnose Has Two Special Families” by Karis Kruzel (Mouse; open adoption) recommended by  Poor_Statue and Heather

“Twice Upon A Time: Born and Adopted” by Eleanora Patterson; recommended by Susan: “It’s nice because it deals with an older child getting adopted and also discusses foster adoption.”

“I Don’t Have Your Eyes” by Carrie Kitze; recommended by Susan: “Very good — each two-page spread focuses on how connections can be biological or not. (I don’t have your eyes … but I do have your way of looking at the world.)

“Happy Adoption Day” by John McCutcheon; recommended by Heather

“The Day We Met You” by Phoebe Koehler; recommended by mamagigi (“You Felt Like the Sun Shining Inside Us”), Heather

“How I was Adopted” by Joanna Cole; also recommended by Heather

“Little Miss Spider” by David Kirk; recommended by Susan; (Spider can’t find her mother, and Beetle Betty helps to look for her, to no avail. Spider realizes Betty is the one taking care of her all along and she’s the mom she needed.)

“The Colors of Us” by Karen Kaz; “The Red Blanket” by Eliza Thomas; recommended by trixieintransit

Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story About Open Adoption by Laurie Lears; recommended by Dawn 

“The Three Names of Me,” by Mary Cummings; recommended by Sara: This is “one of my favorites — and one that is very respectful of first families.”

“Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis; recommended by Amanda and Susan

Families Are Different” by Nina Pellegrini; “On The Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier: The latter is not an adoption book, per se, but beautifully shares what happened on the earth the day a child was born. (While you waited in darkness, tiny knees curled to chin, the Earth and her creatures with the Sun and the Moon all moved in their places, each ready to greet you the very first moment of the very first day you arrived.)
recommended by Alice-Anne; mamagigi, too — I often give this as a new baby book.

***

Additional Adoption Books For Children
(Some suggested by readers, others I knew, and even others
I culled by searches and cannot personally vouch for.
But check them out and keep in touch with your feedback!) 

“Pablo’s Tree” by Pat Mora (Granfather buys a tree when he learns his daughter is adopting, and waits to plant it until his grandson arrives. Each year, his grandson spends his birthday with grandpa, who decorates the tree each year in a special theme and re-tells the story of how he came to the family.)

 “Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story” by Carol Anotoinette Peacock (told from the adopted child’s perspective; China)

“All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It” by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annunziata (mamagigi: Discusses for children — in a gentle way — birthparents and adoptive parents, their concerns and feelings, the process and how ultimately their paths cross, as well as acknowledging the varied thoughts, fears and feelings kids have at different ages. The book includes a Notes For Parents at the end with challenges, tips and guidelines for discussion.)

“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Two male penguins raising daughter, Tango)

“Horace” by Holly Keller (Animal story: Horace is spotted, his family is striped. He sets off to find others who look more like him. In the end, he realizes family isn’t about matching.)

“Lucy’s Family Tree” by Karen Halvorsen Schreck (Mexico adoption; Lucy’s homework assignment to make a family tree teaches her that all families are unique.)

“The Mulberry Bird” by Anne Braff Brodzinsky (Mother bird trying to ensure the best care for her baby. Author updated the 1986 edition 10 years later to better reflect open adoption and birthfamilies.)

“Place in My Heart” by Mary Grossnickle (Animal story; Charlie wonders if he looks like his birthparents, if they think about him. He learns there’s room in his heart for everyone he cares about.)

“Sam’s Sister” by Juliet C. Bond (When younger sibling is placed for adoption.)

“We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo” by Linda Walvoord Girard

“A Koala For Katie” by Jonathan London (After a visit to the zoo, Katie worries about the baby koala if mama koala can’t take care of it. She “adopts” a stuffed koala, like her parents adopted her, and cares for it.)

“Did My First Mother Love Me” by Kathryn Miller

“The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adopted” by Mary Zisk

“I Love You Like Crazy Cakes” by Rose Lewis

“Every Year on Your Birthday” by Rose Lewis (sequel to Crazy Cakes)

“Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale” by Karen Katz; (According to Susan, listed above, this book “kind of elides the first parents all together, which is hugely irritating, but we stop and talk through things as we read.”)

“Rosie’s Family: An Adoption Story” by Lori Rosove (A beagle adopted by schnauzers, with questions about fitting in.)

“Let’s Talk ABout It: Adoption” by Mr. Rogers

“Mama’s Wish/Daughter’s Wish” by Debbie and Brynne Blackington; (China; both mother and daughter contribute to story)

“Giant Jack” by Birte Muller (Story of mouse who is different than his siblings; his mom explains why and how he is special)

“Oliver” by Lois Wickstrom (Animal story of alligator thinking about his birthparents; winner of ReadAmerica! collection)

“Our Twitchy” by Kes Gray (bunny family)

“Beginnings: How Families Come To Be” by Virginia Kroll (Myriad examples of ways families are created: international, foster, birth, etc.)

“Anthony’s Surprise” by Roz Grace (Bi-racial adoption)

“Is That Your Sister?” by Catherine and Sherry Bunin (Multi-racial)

“Brown Like Me” by Noelle Lamperti (African-American girl, Caucasian parents — child looking for all things brown in her life so she can celebrate her favorite color.)

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Books, Adoption Websites, Birth parents, Children, Children's books, For fun, Maeve, Open Adoption, Parenting, Products

Win a children’s book! (Or, ‘I’ll show you mine if …’)

As I first noted here, I’m looking for your favorite children’s book with an adoption angle. I’ve gotten some good responses, but know there are plenty more out there that folks must be reading to their children (adopted or not).

I’m upping the ante a bit. For everyone that submits a book before the end of April — that’s four weeks folks! — I’ll drop your name into a bowl and let Maeve draw the winner. Before she tries to eat the little paper bit, I’ll read who won and send them a brand-new copy of one of the recommended books. Now that’s a sweet deal, yes? (Those who previously submitted a title please consider yourselves entered.)

There are no parameters for this other than the book being for children and include adoption.

As I explained in my first post, I’m planning a page here just for children’s adoption books and I’m more than happy to include your name, your blog if you have one, and any comments you have on the book you recommend. I’ve got some I love, and will add them very, very soon as I create the page itself. I’m just hoping to see what you folks have in your arsenal first. Kind of like, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Well, sort of like that. Get your mind out of the gutter. Yeesh.

I’ve also got a few to add that aren’t specifically adoption books, but very clearly avoid mention of a precise way the family was created. They can surely be read as adoption-friendly. These also are good, I think, for using as a springboard for talking about one’s adoption.

So, just drop me a quick comment with a book or two or three you love and love to share — and any comments on the book you’d like to run with it. I’d like this to be a useful resource for anyone, personally touched by adoption or not, looking to add to their library and broaden their kids’ exposure.

Now that I’ve bribed you with a brand-new children’s book — the winner being oh-so-carefully selected by 20-month-old Maeve, and lil ol’ me carefully packaging and lovingly sending it to your door — I ask you: What have you got to lose?

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Filed under Adoption, Adoption Books, Children's books, Maeve, Open Adoption, Parenting