Megan’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 every year she 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.
How I Wonder Where You Are by Anna Maria DiDio (ages 4-8) — Every adoptee wonders about their birth parents and family roots, and Carla, the main character of this children’s book, is no exception. When asked at school to create a family tree, she has lots of questions and experiences ambiguous grief as she explores her past. Carla’s adoptive parents make space for her emotions, cultivating openness, curiosity, and trust so they can walk along beside her. The author’s second book in her “L.I.F.E.” series. (Love Inspires Families Everywhere)
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (ages 3-7) — A picture book in which a mother tells her two children that we are all connected by an invisible string–an invisible string of love. “The Invisible String” is the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. It delivers the message that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, love is the unending connection that binds us all. Available in Spanish, with other titles by the same author, including a workbook of therapeutic activities and a story dealing with the loss of a pet. Ages 3-7.
Our Wish for You by Dano Moreno (ages 4-8) — This is a sweet, gentle story about all the hopes, dreams, and wishes that all parents, whether by birth or by adoption, have for their children to live happy lives. The author drew on the experiences of his and his husband’s adoption of their son to craft this beautifully illustrated book. It contains a positive message for all about the importance of honoring a child’s connection with their birth family and how that connection can multiply the love in an adopted child’s life.
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Image credit: Seokwon Yang