Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Adoption Book List

This article is taken from the Baxter Bulletin.

Books to help discuss adoption

May 30, 2008

While looking at Baxter County library for books to review, the children's librarian suggested some new books on adoption.

So many children enter families through the doors of adoption, and their stories all are unique, but they share common questions and feelings. Books are an excellent way to explore these feelings and questions. Often, these stories become treasured memories for adoptive children and parents.

An old standby is "The Chosen Baby" (Harper, 1977) by Valentina P. Wasson. First published in 1939, it was updated in 1950 and then again in 1977. For adoptive children who now are parents and grandparents, this often was a treasured read during childhood. The concept that the adopted child is "chosen" is one that helps to explain a complicated process in a way very young children can understand.

No mention is made of birth parents, which is a drawback to the book in this age of open adoptions. But it is a good introduction to the subject of adoption and certainly conveys the passion and sheer joy of the adoptive parents. The pen-and-ink illustrations, with warm tone washes by Glo Coalson, add vitality to the story.

"Forever Fingerprints: an Amazing Discovery for Adopted Children" (EMK Press) is a very innovative and imaginative book by Sherrie Eldridge. She uses the pregnancy of an aunt to introduce the birth process to the adoptive child, Lucie. It is a gentle, nondetailed talk about the facts of life with the parents that leads to the concept of our uniqueness as illustrated by fingerprints.

As Lucie feels the fluttering sensation of the baby when she touches her aunt's tummy, she imagines her birth mother's fingertips fluttering across her when she was in the womb. This helps her to feel connected to a birth mother she never knew. It is a wonderful way to honor biological roots and to create openings for discussions and questions that may be troubling the child. The book contains two pages of tools and activities for parents in the back of the book as well as information about fingerprints.

"Hope-so Too" (Trisan, 2004), by Jodi Hill is a story told in verse. Hope-so (so named because her parents hoped so much for a child to love) loves to hear her parents tell her the story of her adoption. Their story of the hopes and dreams they shared and how they came true, lead Hope-so to thinking of her own wish for a puppy. Her parents assure her that dreams do come true, and of course, they do.

Hope-so finds the perfect puppy to adopt, the puppy who is waiting and hoping for just the right child to give him a home. The illustrations by Barb Bjornson are bright and stunning.

Two books deal with the adoption of a child from China. "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes" (Little, Brown & Co., 2000), is a short, heartwarming story by Rose Lewis destined to become a bedtime classic for adoptive children. A mother tells her daughter how she traveled to China to bring her home. She shares her emotions as she held her for the first time and shed tears of joy as well as tears of sorrow for the Chinese mother who could not keep her.

The appreciation for the birth mother is a stong point of the book. No father is mentioned, just extended family — helpful in our society when it is not uncommon for a single woman to adopt a child. The illustrations are charming watercolors by Jane Dyer.

"The Red Thread" (Albert Whitman Co. 2007), by Grace Lin, is a fairy tale about adoption. It uses the ancient Chinese belief that those who are destined to be together are bound by an invisible, unbreakable red thread. In this tale, a king and queen have a perfect kingdom, except they both have an ache in their hearts for which no doctor can find a cure. When a peddler gives them special glasses, they can see the red thread that is pulling at their hearts. They must follow the thread to find who or what is at the other end. Their long, difficult journey takes them to the far away land of China where the red thread is tied to the ankles of a baby girl. So, of course, this is the baby they are destined to adopt and this is the answer to the ache in their hearts. This is a beautiful story, beautifully illustrated by the author.

Joanne Ragsdale is a former children's librarian living in the Twin Lakes Area.

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