When you strive to be a good parent, you seek information- from websites, from blogs, from books, from your Mom friends. But when you are an adoptive parent- I think you seek a little harder- you know that adoption parenting is a little more complicated- and you want to do your best. I am fortunate to belong to a great book club that is made up of adoptive Moms. Over the years we've read these books together and have engaged in long discussions on what we've taken away from each of them. I hope that you find these books on adoption parenting to be as valuable to you as they have been to me and my parenting of my large family.
8 Great Books About Adoption Parenting
Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections
This book Adoption Parenting: Toolkit Book isn't a how-to book, but a collection of essays, hand-selected to help prepare you for parenting an adopted child.
The cool thing about this book is that it was written by people who have been “in the trenches”, not by a bunch of so-called experts who have opinions about the complexities of parenting, but no first-hand knowledge! My one complaint is that it fell a little short on helping parents who have just returned home with their newly adopted child. In fact, most of the books on my list fell way short on that mark. (Hmm- perhaps I need to write a book “Parenting Your Newly Adopted Child- The First 3 months”!)
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
One of the best sources of information on adoption parenting is listening to the words of today's adult adoptees. Anyone who ignores the words of “those who have gone before” is just, well, narrow-minded. Let's learn from the kids who have come before our own- and this book 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew does a great job of letting you hear their words.
Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children
Cheri Register makes no bones about it, if you got into this adoption thing for the sainthood, you better keep on searching. In her book , she points out that our children come to us with unique needs, and although her stories and advice may be hard to hear at times, we need to pay attention.
The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adopted Child
Some adoptions present unique challenges, and welcoming these children into your family and addressing their special needs requires care, consideration, and compassion. This book was written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, and focusing on helping parents to build bonds of affection and trust with their adopted child, effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders, and talk about how to offer discipline with love without making him or her feel threatened.
Carried in Our Hearts: The Gift of Adoption: Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents
I have had the pleasure of attending several workshops over the years led by Jane Aronson, a pediatrician specializing in adoption medicine. She is an incredible resource to parents of internationally adopted children, and her book really speaks to the journeys that families take when they decide to adopt. I highly recommend this to all parents- adoptive or not!
In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends
Some of the strangest conversations I have had about adoption have occurred in the aisle of a grocery store. When someone has spotted me with my family and decides THAT is the moment they would like to have a full-blown discussion about adoption. There are times when I think I should have purchased multiple copies of this book to hand out to well-meaning strangers!
Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Okay- first off- this is not a book about adoption at all! It is a book that shares stories of parents who are raising children that are not at all like them- in some way. And how parenting a child that is very different from yourself, and perhaps also different from what your expectations were when you decided to have children- can be a very unique experience. There is so much to be learned here in this book about parenting in general- a very worthwhile read.
Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for Your Adopted Child
Many parents put together “baby books” for their children, but for adopted children, his or her life story often begins way before he or she joins your family. And it is important for that child to have a kind of “baby book” that reflects their whole life- not just the point when you were able to start capturing it in photos. This book helps to walk you through creating that lifebook for your child.
Adoption Parenting: An Ongoing Education
Beyond books on adoption, there are many web courses, lectures, and support groups that adoptive parents should seek out and become involved in both before and after the adoption of their children. I have used all of these learning experiences and they have been invaluable to me so far and will continue to be an important part of my parenting education.
Beyond just these books, if you are parenting a child from another country, it is also important to learn about the culture, customs, and history of their birth country, because building an understanding of their birth culture is an important tool in embracing your child's history.
Would you like to read more of my posts on adoption?
- Why We Decided to Grow Our Family Through Adoption
- How to Explain Adoption to Your Friends and Family
- I Am Quite Happy to Be the “Growing Up Mommy”
- 7 Steps to Managing the Adjustment Period When Adopting an Older Child
- Things I Wish People Didn't Feel Compelled to Ask
- How We Incorporate Birth Culture in Our Family Life
- Oversharing a Child's Story
- Is Parenting an Adopted Child that Same or Different Than Parenting a Biological Child?
What books on adoption do you feel have helped you the most in your parenting journey?