Saturday, June 16, 2012

Adoption Book Reviews

Our agency has a great book list on their resource page.  They list books about adoption, kids books about adoption, parenting books, magazines, and books about racial issues.  Check it out here:

Here are the ones I've read so far:

Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

This book is the one required by our agency.  It was the first book about adoption that I read and it was informative since I knew so little.  I skimmed through it and skipped a large section about international adoption since we didn't go that route.  It made me a little weary of continuing with adoption since this book like so many others seemed to focus on the negative aspects of adoption.  I'd consider this one average, there is some good info in it but I feel like I could have learned the same thing in other books. 

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

HATED this book!  In its defense I will say it is outdated but I could not stand the negativity of it.  It was all about how messed up adoptive kids are and really made me feel like we would be ruining this child's life by adopting him because he will have issues that can never be overcome.  I felt it was a little slanted towards saying that all kids are better off with their birthparents.  She did say that children in open adoption have fewer issues but its still really hard on them.  I thought this would be a good book because it was written by someone who was adopted but it really wasn't.  It only feeds the stereotype that adopted kids can't grow up healthy and happy.

Dear Birthmother: Thank you for Our Baby by Kathleen Silber

This one was a huge improvement over the last one.  Again this one is outdated too and focuses mostly on semi-open adoptions and the letters that are passed back and forth through an agency.  It was great to see real examples of the letters to/from birthparents, adoptive parents and adopted children.  It was more positive and showed how even though adoption is still emotional, all parties involved can be happy with their lives.  This one I would totally recommend.

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell Moore and C.J. Mahaney

The BEST so far.  Written in 2009 it is more relevant and was written by a Pastor who adopted from Russia.  This one was positive and focused on how we are all adopted by God through Christ and that adoption can be a wonderful experience for everyone.  While Twenty Things focused on the negative of how adopted kids will always wonder who they are and where they came from, this one says adopted kids are no different because we all are searching for the answer to those questions.  And the answer is the same for everyone, we all came from Adam, we're all sinners and Jesus saved us all.  I always thought that if we raise our adopted son to know Jesus that he won't end up with all those sterotypical adoption issues and this book affirmed that.  Our little boy can grow up and be a stable adult, he is not doomed to be unhappy and confused.  The chapter on infertility and adoption about made me cry, it was so true of our journey. 

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

This is not an adoption related book but it is a great parenting strategy that was echoed in some of the other adoption books.  The main idea I got from this one is that parenting can be fun.  The author said he feels guilty for enjoying parenting so much because all his friends only complain about how much work it is and how stressed out and miserable they are.  I hope that we can apply his techniques to our parenting style. 

Still on my to read list: The Connected Child by Karen Purvis

I've also bought a few kids books about adoption. 

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