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Fun/Inspirational Reads

  • Sailing to Jessica by Kelly Watts- Sailing to Jessica is more of a sailing adventure book bookended by infertility and adoption. I love this rollicking book so much that I devoted a full blog post to my review.
  • The Eye of Adoption: The True Story of My Turbulent Wait for a Baby by Jody Cantrell Dyer- This memoir chronicles one woman's journey through domestic adoption after suffering from secondary infertility. It includes an interview with her child's birth mother.
  • Carried in Our Hearts: The Gift of Adoption, Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents by Dr. Jane Aronson- This is simply a delightful book consisting of 75 essays by adoptive parents--some famous and some just famous to their kids. It coverers all aspects of the adoption journey and all types of adoption, although perhaps slightly weighted towards international. You can easily devour it in one sitting, which I'll admit is what I did, but better yet would be to stretch out the enjoyment by reading one essay a day or whenever you're feeling in need of a little inspiration. And yes, you're allowed to skip around and can sneak read the essays by "famous" adoptive parents.
  • The Russian Word for Snow: A True Story of Adoption by Janis Cooke Newman- Review written by Camille M. from the Creating a Family Facebook group: "This book is about a family who comes to realize that they are destined to adopt as they fall in love with a little boy's video. He is in Russia and all the Dr.s say they shouldn't move forward, but in their gut they know the DR.s are wrong. Finally they meet a Dr. who takes his environment into account and that gives them the confidence to move forward. Much of the book takes place in Russia and during the process. This was in the '90s when adoptions from Russia were just starting out. It is wonderfully written, you feel like you are actually in Russia when you are reading it. It is definitely a MUST READ adoption story."
  • Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos- In this memoir, actress Nia Vardalos chronicles her journey through infertility and foster care adoption. Nia was interviewed on the Creating a Family radio show, and her story was discussed on the Creating a Family blog.
  • March Into My Heart: A Memoir of Mothers, Daughters, and Adoption by Patty Lazarus- A mother of two biological sons who decides to adopt a daughter after her own mother's death. This memoir chronicles that four-year journey through the domestic infant adoption process.
  • Becoming Patrick: A Memoir by Patrick McMahon- is the story of McMahon's search for his first mother. After he overcomes the challenges of existential angst, bureaucratic roadblocks, and unemployment, the phone call to his first mother releases a torrent of long-buried feelings. During a sometimes turbulent long-distance unfolding, he absorbs her shocking revelations and comes out as gay once again. Their eventual reunion creates a profound bond, even as he navigates waves of conflicting emotions, merges past with present, and embarks on a new future rooted in truth and insights into the universal quest for identity and human connection.
  • The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir by Victoria Rowell- The author spent her life in foster care. This book is a tribute to the women who raised and mentored her, including her mentally ill birth mother. This book highlights how love triumphs biology every time. Ms. Rowell has succeeded as a well known TV actress ("Diagnosis Murder" and "The Young and The Restless") and founded a non profit to help children in foster care.
  • Love's Journey 2: The Red Thread is the second volume in the Love Without Boundaries coffee table-style book series about the Chinese adoption experience. LJ2 is a full color book, filled with over 250 pages of beautiful photos and moving essays about adopting from China. 100% of the proceeds will go to help children in China.
  • A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China edited by Amy Klatzkin- A really nice collection of essays (about 100) that cover the Chinese adoption process from first thought to parenthood. Would be a fun collection to read while you wait.
  • Pushing Up the Sky - A Mother's Journey by Terra Trevor- A memoir written by the mother of several internationally adopted and birth kids. Among other things, the author talks about how families adjust when an older child is adopted out of birth order.
  • There is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children by Melissa Fay Greene- I loved this book about the AIDs orphans of Ethiopia. Although Greene acknowledges that international adoption is not the perfect nor final solution, she does address it as one solution for the children currently in need of homes. I agree. She's also a great author and an adoptive mom.
  • Two great documentaries follow an Australian family that adopts a sibling group from Ethiopia.
    • Little Brother, Little Sister 1998, 52 Minutes- Little Brother, Little Sister explores why Australian family, the Lows, choose to adopt orphan Ethiopian sister and brother, Eleni and Sisay, and how they are transformed by the experience. Filmed over a two-year period and using an observational style, it also shows how Eleni, aged five, and Sisay, aged seven, deal with the profound changes to their lives. They bring with them memories of a tragic personal history but they also bring their own vibrant sense of family, friendship and community. They have an older brother and sister in Ethiopia and the Low family feels compelled to do something about them too.
    • Growing Up and Going Home 2007 52 minutes- Alemayehu, Sisay and Eleni are three young Ethiopians who were adopted by an extended Australian family in the mid 1990s. Ten years on, the two brothers (aged 19 and 16) and their 14-year-old sister are returning to their homeland - with their adoptive parents and siblings - to reconnect with the family, friends and culture they left behind. Exploring contemporary issues surrounding inter-racial adoption and immigration, this is a poignant story of identity and belonging, as the teenagers discover whether it is possible to find a place in two different worlds.
  • China Ghosts by Jeff Gammage- One family's adoption journey to China.
  • Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited by Paula Berstein and Elyse Schien
  • Daughter of the Ganges by Asha Miro- The author was born in India and adopted into a loving home in Spain as an almost 7 year old. She returns to India in search for the missing pieces of her early life and ultimately a search for biological family.
  • Dim Sum, Bagels and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families by Myra Alperson- Alperson adopted her daughter from China as a single mom. I like this book for many reasons, mostly the voice and the the fact that she includes the stories of adult transracial adoptees. Great book if you are considering adopting across racial lines.
  • Swimming Up the Sun: A Memoir of Adoption by Nicole J Burton- This memoir of an adult adoptees search for her birth family. This is a good book to read it you aren't certain why an adopted person would want to search. Interesting and well written.
  • I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children edited by Sara Dorow
  • Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans
  • Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming America by Adam Pertman
  • Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China by Kay Ann Johnson- Kay is a researcher in the field of how the Chinese view adoption and an adoptive parent of daughter from China. Both her roles influenced this book. I loved it and highly recommend it.
  • Mei Mei Little Sister: Portraits from a Chinese Orphanage by Richard Bowen- A collection of portraits of children growing up in Chinese orphanages. Proceeds go to support the Half the Sky Foundation if bought through their web site. These are truly stunning and touching pictures
  • Love in The Driest Season: A Family Memoir by Neely Tucker- This is just a plain old fashioned good read that happens to be about adoption. It is the true story of the Tucker's adoption of a daughter from Zimbabwe. They were living in Zimbabwe at the time so the adoption was not a typical international adoption, but the intense love of these parents is typical. This is a great book to read while you wait for your child.
  • Welcome Home! An International and Nontraditional Adoption Reader edited by Lisa Schwartz and Florence Kaslow
  • Moving Heaven and Earth: A Personal Journey into International Adoption by Barbara Birdsey
  • Love Like No Other: Stories from Adoptive Parents edited by Pamela Kruger and Jill Smolowe
  • The Exact Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family by Jeanne Marie Laskas- A very fun read by a gifted author and mother to of two girls from China. It is uplifting, but also very real. I love her writing style.
  • Daughter from Afar: A Family’s International Adoption Story by Sarah L Woodard
  • The Waiting Child: How the Faith and Love of One Orphan Saved the Life of Another by Cindy Champnella
  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch- This is a children’s book, but it always struck me as more for the parents than the kids. My kids hate this book because it always makes me cry, but I love it.
  • China’s Lost Girls- a DVD by National Geographic
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