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  • Books to Help Talk about Birthparents with Adopted Kids

    Talking with Your Kids About Birth Parents


      Mommy Far, Mommy Near

      Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story by Carol Peacock (ages 3-8). Great conversation starter to talk about birth mothers.

       

       

       

       

      A Family for Baby BearA Family for Baby Bear (The Baby Bear Series) by Kevin Fletcher-Velasco (ages 3-8). This is the story of a mommy polar bear looking for the best family to raise her baby bear. She looks far and wide and at many different families. I like that this book looks at adoption from the first parent’s perspective, and as such would be a great addition to your adoption library where your child’s birth mother made a decision to place. There are 3 books in the series, but we’ve only seen the first.

       

       

      The Rainbow Egg

      The Rainbow Egg, by Linda Hendricks (ages 4-8). While I’ve not read this book, I like that it tells the story from the birth mother’s perspective. I think this could be a valuable addition to your adoption book library.

       

       

       

      We See the Moon

      We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze (ages 4-8). Wonderful book to open the birthparent and adoption dialog between parent and child. This is a story written from the child’s perspective, asking the questions that dwell in their hearts about their birthparents. What do you look like? Where are you now? Do you think of me? It will help children use the moon as a private tool to connect with a family that is always with them in their hearts.

       

       

      Did My First Mother Love Me?: A Story for an Adopted ChildDid My First Mother Love Me?: A Story for an Adopted Child by Kathryn Miller (ages 4-8). Even though Morgan knows all about her adoption, the preschooler sometimes wonders about her “other mother.” When she asks, “Did my first mother love me?” her mother reads the letter her birthmother wrote to her. It relates the woman’s wishes to be the one to give her child a safe and happy home, but acknowledges sadly that this is not possible.

       

       

      The Best for You

      The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart (ages 4-8). Written from the perspective of a birth mother explain that adoption is about love for the child, not that the child was not wanted. She tells what she was thinking when she decided to adopt.

       

       

       

      Never Never Never Will She Stop Loving YouNever Never Never Will She Stop Loving You (ages 4-8) by Jolene Durrant. This revised edition combines the original children’s book with an eight page guide for adults, including adoptive parents, birth parents, and the general public. Written by an adoptive parent, this true story lovingly connects birth mom and child while stressing the importance of the adoptive parents. “…Wherever you are Annie’s Child, she loved you before you were born. She loves you now. Never, never, never will she stop loving you.”

       

       

      Megan's Birthday TreeMegan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears (ages 4-8) – When Megan was born, her birth mother Kendra planted a tree and sends a picture of the tree to Megan on her birthday. When Kendra moves, Megan is worried that her first mother will forget her without the tree, but her mother reassures her that she is loved, both by Kendra and her parents. Lears captures perfectly the child’s anxiety about being forgotten, as well as her delight when Kendra reveals that even though she does not need a reminder to keep Megan in her heart, she has dug up the tree to replant at her new home.

       

       

      Tell Me Again About the Night I Was BornTell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (ages 4-8) is the tale of an adoption framed as a well-loved and much-requested bedtime story. Both witty and open, the story addresses the logistics of adoption and the emotions of the family involved.

       

       

       

      The Tummy MummyThe Tummy Mummy by Michelle Madrid-Branch (ages 3-6). A wise owl guides the Tummy Mummy in a book that shows the love of both birth moms and adoptive parents for their shared child. It is written to explain adoption to an adopted child, but its focus on the birth mother makes it appropriate.

       

       

      A Place in My HeartA Place in My Heart by Mary Grossnickle  (ages 4-8). I love how this book covers the varied feeling of adoption from the child’s point of view. Charlie is a chipmunk adopted by a family of squirrels. He wrestles with feeling different. He also wonders about his birth parents. His mom supports his curiosity and helps him realize that he doesn’t have to choose one family over the other. She models for him that he is not being disloyal by loving his birth parents. Could be read to younger children, but the real message will hit home more for the 5-8 year old crowd. Some 8 year olds might think it is babyish.

       

       

      Three Names of Me

      Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings (ages 8-11) This is a sweet story told from the perspective of a girl adopted from China. The title derives from her explanation of why she has three names (one unknown from her birth parents, one from the orphanage, and one from her parents). The emphasis in on the love between parent and child, but it also addresses the love between birth mother/first mother and child.

       

       

      Where Are My Birth ParentsWhere are My Birth Parents: A Guide for Teenage Adoptees, by K. Gravelle & S. Fischer (ages 13-18). A book about the logistical and emotional issues involved with searching for your birth parents. Includes a discussion of adoption reunions in international adoption. This book seems to focus more than I would want on the possibility of hurting the adoptive parents feelings by wanting to search. I certainly hope we are getting past that sentiment.

       

       

      Pieces of MePieces of Me: Who do I Want to Be by Robert L. Ballard. One of my pet peeves is that many discussions about adoption and adoptees box the adoption experience by “alls” and “shoulds”. All adoptees are ________ (take your pick: angry, happy, sad, confused). All adoptees should ________ (feel grateful, want to search for birth families, need therapy). Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be avoids that trap by including essays by adoptees that reflect the diversity of reality. Some adoptees are angry, some are content, some are confused, some need to search, and on and on. If being used with younger teens, I would suggest that parents read the essays with their teen.

       

       

      All About Adoption: How to Deal with the Questions of Your PastAll About Adoption: How to Deal with the Questions of Your Past by Anne Lanchon (ages 12-18). Written in an informal, conversational style with carton animations. Deals with all issues of being an adopted teen, including fear of abandonment, racist comments, and discussing birth parents with adoptive parents. Adopted teens do have “an extra layer to deal with,” Lanchon asserts, but many of their family situations and problems are “normal” for most young people. One message is that being adopted is not the cause of life’s every disappointment. “When all is said and done, you’re no weirder than anyone else. You’re adopted, your friends aren’t, so what?” Important note: It was originally written in French and the translation uses some outdated adoption language such as “natural parents” and “given away”.

       

       

      I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their ChildrenI Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children edited by Sara Dorow.

       

       

       

       

      Talking about birth parents

      Talking with Adopted Kids about Birth Parents – Great Creating a Family radio show on how adoptive parents talk with their children about their birth parents.  Lots of good information and book suggestions.

       

       

       

      Mommy Far, Mommy Near

      Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story by Carol Peacock (ages 3-8). Great conversation starter to talk about birth mothers.

       

       

       

       

      The Rainbow Egg

      The Rainbow Egg, by Linda Hendricks (ages 4-8). While I’ve not read this book, I like that it tells the story from the birth mother’s perspective. I think this could be a valuable addition to your adoption book library.       

       

       

       

      We See the Moon

      We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze (ages 4-8). Wonderful book to open the birthparent and adoption dialog between parent and child. This is a story written from the child’s perspective, asking the questions that dwell in their hearts about their birthparents. What do you look like? Where are you now? Do you think of me? It will help children use the moon as a private tool to connect with a family that is always with them in their hearts.

       

       

      Did My First Mother Love Me?: A Story for an Adopted ChildDid My First Mother Love Me?: A Story for an Adopted Child by Kathryn Miller (ages 4-8). Even though Morgan knows all about her adoption, the preschooler sometimes wonders about her “other mother.” When she asks, “Did my first mother love me?” her mother reads the letter her birthmother wrote to her. It relates the woman’s wishes to be the one to give her child a safe and happy home, but acknowledges sadly that this is not possible.

       

       

      The Best for You

      The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart (ages 4-8). Written from the perspective of a birth mother explain that adoption is about love for the child, not that the child was not wanted. She tells what she was thinking when she decided to adopt.

       

       

       

       

      Never, Never, Never Will SHe Stop Loving YouNever Never Never Will She Stop Loving You (ages 4-8) by Jolene Durrant. This revised edition combines the original children’s book with an eight page guide for adults, including adoptive parents, birth parents, and the general public. Written by an adoptive parent, this true story lovingly connects birth mom and child while stressing the importance of the adoptive parents. “…Wherever you are Annie’s Child, she loved you before you were born. She loves you now. Never, never, never will she stop loving you.”

       

       

      A Place in My HeartA Place in My Heart by Mary Grossnickle  (ages 4-8). I love how this book covers the varied feeling of adoption from the child’s point of view. Charlie is a chipmunk adopted by a family of squirrels. He wrestles with feeling different. He also wonders about his birth parents. His mom supports his curiosity and helps him realize that he doesn’t have to choose one family over the other. She models for him that he is not being disloyal by loving his birth parents. Could be read to younger children, but the real message will hit home more for the 5-8 year old crowd. Some 8 year olds might think it is babyish.

       

       

      A Family for Baby BearA Family for Baby Bear (The Baby Bear Series) by Kevin Fletcher-Velasco (ages 3-8). This is the story of a mommy polar bear looking for the best family to raise her baby bear. She looks far and wide and at many different families. I like that this book looks at adoption from the first parent’s perspective, and as such would be a great addition to your adoption library where your child’s birth mother made a decision to place. There are 3 books in the series, but we’ve only seen the first.

       

       

       

      Megan's Birthday TreeMegan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears (ages 4-8) – When Megan was born, her birth mother Kendra planted a tree and sends a picture of the tree to Megan on her birthday. When Kendra moves, Megan is worried that her first mother will forget her without the tree, but her mother reassures her that she is loved, both by Kendra and her parents. Lears captures perfectly the child’s anxiety about being forgotten, as well as her delight when Kendra reveals that even though she does not need a reminder to keep Megan in her heart, she has dug up the tree to replant at her new home.

       

       

      Tell Me Again About the Night I Was BornTell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (ages 4-8) is the tale of an adoption framed as a well-loved and much-requested bedtime story. Both witty and open, the story addresses the logistics of adoption and the emotions of the family involved.

       

       

       

      The Tummy MummyThe Tummy Mummy by Michelle Madrid-Branch (ages 3-6). A wise owl guides the Tummy Mummy in a book that shows the love of both birth moms and adoptive parents for their shared child. It is written to explain adoption to an adopted child, but its focus on the birth mother makes it appropriate.

       

      Three Names of Me

      Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings (ages 8-11) This is a sweet story told from the perspective of a girl adopted from China. The title derives from her explanation of why she has three names (one unknown from her birth parents, one from the orphanage, and one from her parents). The emphasis in on the love between parent and child, but it also addresses the love between birth mother/first mother and child.

       

       

      Where Are My Birth ParentsWhere are My Birth Parents: A Guide for Teenage Adoptees, by K. Gravelle & S. Fischer (ages 13-18). A book about the logistical and emotional issues involved with searching for your birth parents. Includes a discussion of adoption reunions in international adoption. This book seems to focus more than I would want on the possibility of hurting the adoptive parents feelings by wanting to search. I certainly hope we are getting past that sentiment.     

       

       

      Pieces of MePieces of Me: Who do I Want to Be by Robert L. Ballard. One of my pet peeves is that many discussions about adoption and adoptees box the adoption experience by “alls” and “shoulds”. All adoptees are ________ (take your pick: angry, happy, sad, confused). All adoptees should ________ (feel grateful, want to search for birth families, need therapy). Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be avoids that trap by including essays by adoptees that reflect the diversity of reality. Some adoptees are angry, some are content, some are confused, some need to search, and on and on. If being used with younger teens, I would suggest that parents read the essays with their teen.

       

       

      All About Adoption: How to Deal with the Questions of Your PastAll About Adoption: How to Deal with the Questions of Your Past by Anne Lanchon (ages 12-18). Written in an informal, conversational style with carton animations. Deals with all issues of being an adopted teen, including fear of abandonment, racist comments, and discussing birth parents with adoptive parents. Adopted teens do have “an extra layer to deal with,” Lanchon asserts, but many of their family situations and problems are “normal” for most young people. One message is that being adopted is not the cause of life’s every disappointment. “When all is said and done, you’re no weirder than anyone else. You’re adopted, your friends aren’t, so what?” Important note: It was originally written in French and the translation uses some outdated adoption language such as “natural parents” and “given away”.

       

       

      I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children

      I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children edited by Sara Dorow.

       

       

       

      Talking about birth parents

      Talking with Adopted Kids about Birth Parents – Great Creating a Family radio show on how adoptive parents talk with their children about their birth parents.  Lots of good information and book suggestions.

       

       

      Image credit: Steve Depolo

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