Registration is going on now for the inaugural Adoption Book Club: “Megan’s Birthday Tree,” a picture book about open adoption by Laurie Lears. Sign ups are open through February 21, so hop on over if you’re interested in participating.
I’d like to pick our reads for the next couple rounds together now, so that folks can know what’s coming and plan ahead. We’ll try alternating between children’s books and books for adults; the adult book rounds will include a forum discussion, so you can participate even if you don’t keep a blog.
Won’t you help select the books we should discuss? I’ve put up two polls, one for adult books and one for children’s books, with a few options of books addressing open adoption (those are the publishers’ book descriptions, not mine). But please also make your own suggestions, too!
Hospitious Adoption: How Hospitality Empowers Children and Transforms Adoption by James L. Gritter: Jim Gritter’s third book for CWLA examines the next step after open adoption. Building on his previous books, which promote the inclusion of birthparents, Gritter takes the approach that practicing goodwill, respect, and courage within the realm of adoption makes the process move smoother and enriches children’s lives.
Making Room in Our Hearts: Keeping Family Ties through Open Adoption by Micky Duxbury: Adopted persons face challenges their entire lives as they struggle to answer the most basic question: Who am I? The hope of open adoption is that adopted children will develop stronger identities if they have the opportunity to develop healthy ongoing relationships with their families of origin. Making Room in Our Hearts offers an intimate look at how these relationships evolve over time, with real-life stories from families who have experienced open adoption first-hand. This book helps both adoptive and birth parents address their fears and concerns, while offering them the support to put the child’s psychological and spiritual needs at the center of adoption. Based on interviews with more than one hundred adopted children, birth and adoptive parents, extended families, professionals and experts, the book is an effective and invaluable resource for those considering open adoption, those experiencing it, and professionals in the field. Openness has altered the landscape of adoption, and Making Room in Our Hearts will help us catch up to the reality that is open adoption today.
Chosen: A Novel by Chandra Hoffman: It all begins with a fantasy: the caseworker in her “signing paperwork” charcoal suit standing alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn, set against a fluorescent-lit delivery-room backdrop. It’s this blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of the Chosen Child’s domestic-adoption program, happy while juggling the high demands of her boss and the incessant needs of both adoptive and biological parents. But the very job that offers her refuge from her turbulent personal life and Portland’s winter rains soon becomes a battleground involving three very different couples: the Novas, well-off college sweethearts who suffered fertility problems but are now expecting their own baby; the McAdoos, a wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and Jason and Penny, an impoverished couple who have nothing—except the baby everyone wants. When a child goes missing, dreams dissolve into nightmares, and everyone is forced to examine what he or she really wants and where it all went wrong. Told from alternating points of view, Chosen reveals the desperate nature of desire across social backgrounds and how far people will go to get the one thing they think will be the answer.
Rain or Shine by Hilary Horder Hippely: Finn has a happy life with his mother and father. Every summer he looks forward to the birthday celebration that will reunite him with his rich extended family, particularly his birthmother, Lisa. But when clouds threaten, Finn wonders how his much-loved birthday traditions can continue.
Sam’s Sister by Juliet C. Bond: This is the first book that has been written for children of birthparents making an adoption plan for a younger sibling. Rosa, who is 6 years old, comes to understand her mother’s dilemma, learns about adoption, and is involved with the birth and placement of Sam with his new parents.
The Tummy Mummy by Michelle Madrid-Branch: The true love that inspires adoption is revealed as a birthmother opens her heart while adoptive parents open their arms for a child. The Tummy Mummy’s journey is guided by a wise and majestic owl who leads the reader along a path of deeper understanding, honoring all members of the adoption triad.