Books & Other Material
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A highly recommended book for preadoptive families, adoptive families, and any one interested in better understanding adoption from a biblical worldview. Russell Moore helps readers understand that is the gospel that calls us to adopt as well as teaches us how to understand adoption. In fact, “as we become more adoption-friendly, we’ll be better able to understand the gospel.” If you want one book to give to family members to help them understand your call to adopt, this is the one. Read it first then give copies to them and allow it to open up significant dialogue about the Lord’s call to care for the fatherless as well as our standing as adopted into the family of God.
A great resource to keep on your shelf for those times you just have a question about a particular topic and know that asking your friends who do not understand the impact of adoption may not be 100% helpful. Over 100 contributors discuss topics including sleep, attachment, language, food, baggage, discipline, loss and grief, transitions, siblings, narratives, learning, school, race, older child adoption, challenges, support, and therapy among many others.
Kindle version – Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope
Mary Beth Chapman’s compelling journal of love, faith, loss and healing. The authentic, sometimes blunt, manner in which she relates personal stories from her famous family make the reader feel validated for their own disfunctions and struggles. She also describes the deep pit of sadness that the tragic loss of their youngest daughter has thrown her and the family into, all the while proclaiming the truths their family has anchored onto in order to survive it. Throughout the book, her husband’s lyrics are quoted as if they themselves were written to chronical the family’s journey and serve to share Steven’s heart for his dear wife and children. It seems that the Chapman’s hope is that others will “choose to see” that there is a God who is in the business of making beauty from ashes and though the winter may be hard and long, they would have us move forward day by day looking out for the signs of spring.
Kindle version – The Connected Child : Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family
Said to be a must read for adoptive families. Though this book is not explicitly a Christian book, Dr. Karyn Purvis, a former foster parent, is a believer devoted to developing research-based interventions for at-risk children, children from “hard places” in her terms. When asked what role her faith plays in her work, she answered, “Knowing His love and grace is central to how we approach this work with at-risk children. My prayer in working with children is that when they look into our eyes, they will see the adoring love of our Heavenly Father.” Furthermore, Created to Connect: A Christian’s Guide to The Connected Child, by Dr. Karyn Purvis with Michael and Amy Monroe, was written to help illuminate the biblical principles that serve as the foundation for the philosophy and interventions detailed in The Connected Child. Download the study guide free here to go along with the text.
A good workbook to go through as a couple or as a small group–and very inexpensive as well. Includes 5 different studies designed to go through weekly and aimed at helping couples discern if God is calling them to adopt.
Kindle version – I Love You Rituals
Dr. Becky Bailey put together this great book of ideas of fingerplays, nursery rhymes, songs, and games to play with children. Though not designed specifically for adopted children, there are great ideas in here for attachment activities that are fun, nonthreatening to the child or parent, and easy to do. Great resource for before you unite with your child and for the first 6 months together–regardless of the age of your child.
Written by Jason Weber, on staff with Hope for Orphans, a ministry of FamilyLife. He has adopted 4 children himself from the U.S. foster care system. This easy step-by-step guide gives the principles and practical tools needed to launch an effective orphans ministry in your church. It includes a vision-casting DVD hosted by FamilyLife president, Dennis Rainey, that will introduce you and your church’s leaders to existing church ministries to orphans around the country.
Kindle version – Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother
At times difficult to read, this is still an excellent book to help adoptive parents of Chinese children understand the Chinese culture and the pressure on families to have sons. Though some have suggested giving teenage adopted girls this book as they deal with wanting to know more about their heritage, parents should read it in its entirety first to determine if their child can handle it.
Lois Melina has been an adoption advocate, writer, and lecturer for over 20 years and currently works as a columnist for Adoptive Families magazine. She also has two grown children, a son and a daughter, both adopted from Korea. This book is recommended by Christian agencies and is the go-to manual covering topics from attachment, transracial adoption, international adoption, open adoption, etc.
Kindle version – Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft
Mary Hopkins-Best, a child development expert and experienced mother of two (one by birth and one adopted as a toddler), wrote an excellent book focusing on understanding the developmental and emotional issues involved in adopting a child aged 1-3. This book applies to adoption at later ages as well as for foster families wanting to help their foster children transition well to their forever families. Though not explicitly Christian, this is a must-read book for adoptive families whether adopting domestically or internationally.
In this book, the author points out that though parent and child have physical differences, the things they share inside are of more significance. Has a subtle religious tone–”I don’t have your knees…but I have learned your way of giving thanks on mine.” Good tool for your toolbox in handling conversations with your child–whether adopted from China, Africa, South America, or domestically or fostered–about being different. There is a classroom activity that goes along with this book available for download here.
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis
From Rose Lewis, author of I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, this is a cute story nicely illustrated. The book tells the story of a little girl asked in class about China, the country where she was born. Realizing she doesn’t know much about China, she and her caucasian mother set out to visit local Chinese people to tell them a little bit about the country. She learns about silk, calligraphy, the landscapes of China, flowers, noodles, and red knots. She then takes what she learns back to school and proudly tells her schoolmates about the place where she was born. It doesn’t ever explicitly talk about adoption–something that we actually really appreciated. It’s just a neat book and a sweet way to open up conversation with your child about his or her home country and culture in an adoption-friendly way.
A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza. A little bird searches for a mommy who looks just like him. When he can’t find one, he comes across Mrs. Bear who does all the things a mother would do, and a family they become. Particularly good for transracial adoptive families with children who do not physically look like their parents.
Valerie Westfall’s debut picture book, Searching for the You We Adore, leaves families desiring a sequel and then some. General enough to read to children adopted domestically or internationally, and specific enough to lead them to believe it was written just for them. Invite your child to follow the red ribbon as it travels around the globe until your child comes home to you. A story of a family’s journey and unconditional love, and a must have for every adoptive family. *Note* Coloring and Activity book as well as free translation downloads (Chinese, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese) to go along with the book available on the book’s website.
In classic Big Idea style, Veggie Tales: The Penniless Princess tells the story of the old Shirley Temple movie The Little Princess but brings in the gospel message, specifically that we are valuable because He loves us, that we are never alone because He is with us, and that we can serve others because of who He is for us. Veggie Tales manages well the difficult story of the little girl becoming an orphan (due to her father’s death) and her adoption by her father’s friend. Some sensitive hearts may feel a little scared by the stern boarding school mistress and how she banishes Sara to the attic, but Veggie Tales only brings the sternness is briefly and cushions it well with their veggie characters and hopeful messages.