Inspired by the #AtoZ Blog Challenge April 2014
A Is For Adoption
The plethora of Adoption Books available to those considering adoption is astounding. The good news is that once you choose an agency, they will likely assign a number of books to you for your Hague Required Adoption Education hours. For instance, my husband and I were assigned “The Whole Life Adoption Book” and “Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections“. I recommend the latter mainly because it covered some very important issues in such a way that I still remember them, no small task I assure you. (It’s worth the $30 price tag which initially made me cringe.)
When you’re just getting started though, a much less dense read with no less lighter fair is what I recommend. Specifically, I recommend “Adoption As a Ministry, Adoption as a Blessing” by Michelle Gardner. The simple heart-felt stories of how her family choose to adopt from China, then from Russia, and yet again from India takes the reader straight behind the scenes of adoption. Her work helped us consider big questions like “Is this really what we want?” “Am I ready for this?” “How might this new member change our family for better or worse?”
I first read this book to myself, then I read it aloud to my husband discussing issues as we went. Once we adopted our first two sons and the queries began about the process, Gardner’s book is the one I loaned out, bought extra copies of to give, the one both our mother’s read, the one my mother-in-law six years later still buys to give to people asking her about the adoption process. My last copy is in the car at this moment to go to an acquaintance. I can’t recommend this book enough.
If you are not a church goer, don’t be turned off by the Christianity of the author. Instead embrace her perspective as a mother who now stands where you think you might like to go. Consider your own motivations as she discusses hers. Michelle Gardner is on a mission to educate prospective adoptive parents, and having met her a couple years after reading her book, I can tell you her heart is behind you and the future family of which you dream.
Caveats: the book is focused on international adoption, reads quickly and is over too soon, is not available in digital format, is followed by a second book that deals with the Gardner’s adoption from Ethiopia and where the focus is more on the day-to-day living issues to prepare for–that title also recommended and it is “After the Dream Comes True.”
Other worthwhile resources:
I Love You Rituals by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., Lifebooks by Beth O’Malley, M.Ed., Adoption Learning Partners (especially the online courses), Rainbow Kids (online to find agency by country and children in need)
Kristin King is an author, publisher and adoptive mother. The links highlighted in blue above go straight to Amazon (just like this one). All purchases made via these links benefit the nonprofit Future Hope Africa of which Kristin is co-founder and President.