Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe


Lori Jakiela - 2015
    She told Lori, “We all have two lives and we carry the maps of those lives with us. Our left hands mark the lives we’re born with. Our right hands mark the lives we make for ourselves.”Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe is a book about mapping those lives – the lives we are born with and the lives we are allowed – and lucky enough – to make for ourselves.Belief is part adoption narrative and part meditation on family, motherhood, nature vs. nurture, and what it means to make our own authentic human connections. It extends the possibilities of creative nonfiction at a time when many people are talking about what exactly truth-in-memoir means. The book’s patchwork form mirrors the fragmented experience of being an adoptee confronting — and trying to heal — her roots.Belief is the story of one woman’s search for her birth mother coupled with the parallel story of her own motherhood and her own re-making. It’s about what it means to be a mother, what it’s like to have two very different blood connections, and what it means to form a family.Belief is about searching for roots and what that means, exactly. It’s about finding a balance between the families we’re born into and the ones we make ourselves.

Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir of Being Found


Sarah Saffian - 1998
    I think I'm your birth mother."The phone call, wholly unexpected, instantly turned Sarah Saffian's world upside-down, threatening her sense of family, identity, self. Adopted as an infant twenty-three years before, living happily in New York, Sarah had been "found" by her biological parents despite her reluctance to embrace them.In this searing, lyrical memoir, Sarah chronicles her painful journey from confusion and anger to acceptance and, finally, reunion--but not until three soul-searching years had passed. In spare, luminous prose, Sarah Saffian crafts a powerful story of self-discovery and belonging--a deeply personal memoir told with grace, eloquence, and compassion. At once heartbreaking and profoundly uplifting, Ithaka is sure to touch anyone who has grappled with who they are.

A Love Like No Other: Stories from Adoptive Parents


Pamela Kruger - 2005
    Featuring: Marcelle Clements, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Christina Frank, Jesse Green, Melissa Fay Greene, Doug Hood, Pamela Kruger, Jenifer Levin, Antoinette Martin, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Adam Pertman, Emily Prager, Amy Rackear, Bonnie Miller Rubin, Dan Savage, Bob Shacocchis, Jill Smolowe, Sheila Steinbeck, Joe Treen, and Jana Wolf.

Open Adoption Experience: Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families - From Making the Decision Throug


Lois Ruskai Melina - 1993
    Two leading experts provide an authoritative and reassuring guide to the issues and concerns of adoptive and birth families through all stages of the open adoption relationship.

Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother's Courage, a Race to Freedom


Kim De Blecourt - 2012
    Nothing, however, could have prepared de Blecourt for the twisted nightmare she would endure. During her year-long struggle to extricate her newly adopted little boy from that post-Soviet country's corrupt social service and judicial systems, de Blecourt was insulted, physically assaulted, and arrested. Worse, her months of loneliness, worry, and fear drove her to the brink of spiritual despair. But God had no intention of abandoning de Blecourt or her family. Her amazing story-culminating in a spine-chilling race to freedom-offers dramatic proof that God's light shines on even in the deepest darkness.

The Russian Word for Snow: A True Story of Adoption


Janis Cooke Newman - 2001
    He was 10 months old and naked, lying on a metal changing table while a woman in a white lab coat and a babushka tried to make him smile for the camera.Four months later, the Newmans traveled to Moscow to get their son. Russia was facing its first democratic election, and the front-runner was an anti-American Communist who they feared would block adoptions.For nearly a month, the Newmans spent every day at the orphanage with the child they'd named Alex, waiting for his adoption to be approved. As Russia struggled with internal conflict, the metro line they used was bombed, and another night, the man who was to sign their papers was injured in a car-bombing.Finally, when the Newmans had begun to consider kidnapping, their adoption coordinator, through the fog of a hangover, made the call: Alex was theirs.Written with a keen sense of humor, The Russian Word for Snow is a clear-eyed look at the experience of making a family through adoption.

I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World


Marguerite A. Wright - 1998
    Parents and educators alike have long struggled to understand what meanings race might have for the very young, and for ways to insure that every child grows up with a healthy sense of self. Marguerite Wright handles sensitive issues with consummate clarity, practicality, and hope. Here we have an indispensable guide that will doubtless prove a classic. --Edward Zigler, sterling professor of psychology and director, Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy A child's concept of race is quite different from that of an adult. Young children perceive skin color as magical--even changeable--and unlike adults, are incapable of understanding adult predjudices surrounding race and racism. Just as children learn to walk and talk, they likewise come to understand race in a series of predictable stages. Based on Marguerite A. Wright's research and clinical experience, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla teaches us that the color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order to guide the positive development of a child's self-esteem. Wright answers some fundamental questions about children and race including: * What do children know and understand about the color of their skin? * When do children understand the concept of race? * Are there warning signs that a child is being adversely affected by racial prejudice? * How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negative perceptions and prejudices? * What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome the racism they are likely to encounter? * How can schools lessen the impact of racism? With wisdom and compassion, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla spells out how to educate black and biracial children about race, while preserving their innate resilience and optimism--the birthright of all children.

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft


Mary Hopkins-Best - 1997
    When a child aged is adopted between the ages of 12 to 36 months, they often show signs of cognitive and emotional immaturity, which can cause behavioral and relational issues. This book offers support and practical tools to help parents prepare for and support the toddler's transition between the familiar environment of their biological parent's home or foster home to a new and unfamiliar one, and considers the issues that arise at different developmental stages. It highlights the challenges that parents are likely to encounter, but also gives positive guidance on how to overcome them. Written by a specialist in children's development who is also an adoptive parent herself, this fully revised and updated edition of the go-to-source on adopting toddlers is essential reading for both parents and professionals working with adoptive families.

Raising Abel


Carolyn Nash - 2011
    At 38, Carolyn Nash had a good job, no apparent struggles and few conscious regrets—save, perhaps, her weight and her childlessness. She remedies the latter by fostering and then adopting 3-year-old Abel, a victim of unspeakable parental abuse, most of it sexual. The consequences are predictable and agonizing. Abel is charmingly innocent yet uncontrollably violent, and as he grows, so do his PTSD symptoms. He refuses to bathe, he fails in school. Thrown toys become thrown punches, then smashed windshields. Psychiatrists are consulted, police called. Special education, home-schooling, hospitalizations, meds—all resources are tried and exhausted. Yet Nash remains indefatigable, wrestling with her son (literally) and with her inner demons and repressed memories, haltingly revealed in sessions with her therapist. Through the lens of Abel's trauma, Nash peers into her own nightmares—she too feels deformed and unlovable—and learns their sick source. The book is structured almost entirely in short, dramatic episodes, a technique Nash uses skillfully, though the dialogue at times grows repetitive and similar scenes tend to pile up. A bit of condensing and narrative summarizing would have propelled events more quickly and provided perspective on this 18-year saga. And although Nash faithfully records Abel's words and behavior, for much of the book he remains a cipher. Only late in the story, when the troubled teen turns violently on Nash herself, do we get a penetrating glimpse into Abel's beating heart, where his triggers, his alienation and his lifelong struggle come into searing focus. Here Nash gives us Abel in full, and we see with our own eyes how the measure of this young man is also the measure of the woman who raised him—with pure, dogged, unrelenting, overwhelming, at times selfish, often desperate, boundless, evergreen love. This was her treatment and her cure. We know it by its common term—mothering.A sobering but uplifting tale of love that never gives up; dramatically told, ultimately rewarding.

The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole


Lori Holden - 2013
    In 2011, 90% or more of adoption agencies are recommending open adoption. Yet these agencies do not often or adequately prepare either adopting parents or birth parents for the road ahead of them! The adult parties in open adoptions are left floundering. There are many resources on why to do open adoption, but what about how? Open adoption isn't just something parents do when they exchange photos, send emails, share a visit. It's a lifestyle that may intrude at times, be difficult or inconvenient at other times. Tensions can arise even in the best of situations. But knowing how to handle these situations and how to continue to make arrangements work for the children involved is paramount. This book offers readers the tools and the insight to do just that. It covers common open-adoption situations and how real families have navigated common issues successfully. Like all useful parenting books, it provides parents with the tools to come to answers on their own, and answers questions that might not yet have come up. Through their own stories and those of other families of open adoption, they review the secrets to success, the pitfalls and challenges, the joys and triumphs. By putting the adopted children first, families can come to enjoy the benefits of open adoption and mitigate the challenges that may arise. More than a how-to, this book shares a mindset, a heartset, that can be learned and internalized, so parents can learn to act out of love and honesty.

Make Me a Mother: A Memoir


Susanne Paola Antonetta - 2014
    After meeting their six-month-old son, Jin, at the airport—an incident made memorable when Susanne, so eager to meet her son, is chased down by security—Susanne and her husband learn lessons common to all parents, such as the lack of sleep and the worry and joy of loving a child. They also learn lessons particular to their own family: not just how another being can take over your life but how to let an entire culture in, how to discuss birth parents who gave up a child, and the tricky steps required to navigate race in America.In the end, her relationship with her son teaches Susanne to understand her own troubled childhood and to forgive and care for her own aging parents. Susanne comes to realize how, time and time again, all families have to learn to adopt one another.

Lost Found: The Adoption Experience


Betty Jean Lifton - 1979
    Betty Jean Lifton, herself an adoptee, draws upon her own experience and her extensive work with adoptees, birth mothers and fathers, and adoptive parents to explore the harmful effects of secrecy on the identity of a child and the liberating possibilities of openness. A new Preface links the psychology of the adopted to that of babies born of surrogacy and other reproductive technologies. And a new Afterword explores the most recent developments in the adoption field, such as post-adoption counseling, open adoption, and the controversy around the adoption syndrome. The author concludes with a code of rights and responsibilities for everyone in the adoption circle, along with an updated list of support groups and counseling clinics for the adoption triad in the United States and Canada.

Adoption is a Family Affair!: What Relatives and Friends Must Know


Patricia Irwin Johnston - 2001
    After all, unless you have personally experienced adoption, you may know very little about how adoption works and what it means. Are you worried that your loved one may face disappointment? Do you find yourself wondering exactly what your role is going to be in the child's life? Does the term "open adoption" confuse and concern you? Just what are the privacy boundaries for families built by adoption: what is okay to ask about? "Adoption Is a Family Affair!" will answer all of these questions and more, offering you information about who can adopt, why people consider adopting, how kids understand adoption as they grow up, and more. This short book is crammed full of the 'need to know' information for friends and families that will help to encourage informed, happy and healthy family relationships.

In on It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You to Know about Adoption: A Guide for Relatives and Friends


Elisabeth O'Toole - 2010
    One adoption professional called 'In On It' "the adoption book for everyone else"--the many individuals who are not adoptive parents themselves but seek information and insights into adoption in order to best show their love and support, positively interact with or provide services to adoptive families.

The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child


Dawn Davenport - 2006
    You will find: • An easy-to-understand analysis of the differences between domestic and international adoption• Advice on choosing a country, including 25 important factors to consider, such as the waiting times involved and the estimated costs for each of the top placing countries, with charts for easy comparison• A detailed discussion of the potential health issues based on the latest research and interviews with doctors who specialize in international adoption • Worksheets and a suggested system for preparing and organizing the extensive paperwork involved• Parenting tips to enhance attachment and suggestions for addressing the issues that come up in raising an internationally adopted child• Real parents’ stories and advice at every stage of the process• Plus all of the information you need to select your agency, plan financially, prepare for the home study, travel sensibly, evaluate your child’s health and integrate your new familyMore than just provide the facts, The Complete Book of International Adoption also helps parents manage the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the territory. Sensitive, wise, and often witty, this book is a must-have for any parent considering building their family through adoption.