Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Favorite Books on Adoption

I want to continue with my recent theme of adoption in honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month. I’ve told you before that I love books. In today’s post I’m going to share with you a little about my personal favorite adoption books. These books took me on adoptive journeys (before I went on our journey) that had me laughing and crying and always left me wanting more. I learned so much about what to expect (the unexpected) and these books prepared me for the difficulties we would face on our journey to our American Boy. I’m grateful for each and every one of them and for the authors who wrote them. If you’re thinking of adopting or know someone who is, I highly recommend these books!

Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption by Theresa Reid

This book has it all- the perfect smooth sailing adoption, the waiting game trying for a second adoption filled with multiple disappointments, and the wild ride adventure of a lifetime adoption. They adopt from Russia the first time and Ukraine the second time. Their first adoption is of a cherubic baby girl and their second daughter is a feisty pre-schooler when they meet her. Theresa Reid and her husband begin the story as DINKs (dual income, no kids) with successful careers who decide later in life that they want to start a family. She’s a gifted writer and shares not only the factual events of their adoption adventures, but also the emotional roller coaster throughout. She and her second daughter struggle with attachment issues, but Theresa shares them, too and how they are overcome through time and love. This book is one of my all-time favorite books and even if you don’t plan on adopting, I recommend it. It should be a best seller in my opinion!

A World of Love by Maggie Francis Conroy

This is the story of a loving couple that greatly desires to give their only daughter a sister. Be careful what you wish for- by the end of the book they have four daughters! This was in the early days of international adoption and somehow the Conroy family adopted three little girls within a very short period of time (maybe 18 months). They adopted from Columbia and two regions in Russia. This is a laugh out loud book, but don’t be fooled, it’s not all fun and games. Conroy tackles with wit and wisdom serious issues such as when one spouse wants to adopt and the other doesn’t, adjustment and attachment issues, language barriers, and adopting a child with a handicap. The Conroys prove that the adoption is just the beginning of the adventure. My favorite part of the book is when they are struggling with the adjustment of their daughter Ana who has been newly added to the family. None of their children were adopted as babies and all had an adjustment period. Ana was quite a handful and there were days early on that the Conroys were pulling their hair out. Maggie was determined to praise Ana whenever possible and she relates an incident in which Ana had been throwing a tantrum and almost bit her mother, but didn’t. Maggie jumped at the chance to praise her for “almost biting mommy, but not doing it.” I thoroughly enjoyed this hilarious, honest look at adoption and how their family truly demonstrated a world of love.

Butterflies in the Wind: Spanish/Indian Children with White Parents by Jean Nelson-Erichsen & Heino R. Erichsen

The Erichsens adopted their twin daughters from Columbia in the 1970s and developed such a passion for uniting the abandoned children they fell in love with that they started their own adoption agency, Los Ninos International Adoption Center. Their girls are now grown and share in their passion. They’ve written three other books on adopting from Latin America, South and Central America, and Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. This is their story of raising daughters of a different ethnicity. They explore cultural cuisine, dance, and traditions, always making an effort for their girls to retain their Columbian heritage while at the same time blossoming into All-American girls.

A Love Like No Other edited by Pamela Kruger and Jill Smolowe

This is a collection of stories from adoptive parents. My favorite is by Melissa Fay Greene, author of There is No Me Without You. Her essay entitled “Post-Adoption Panic” tells the rollicking account of her panic period following the adoption of their first son from Bulgaria. (She can look back on it and laugh although she wasn’t laughing at the time.) She tells about snapping at the grocery store clerk when asked a few weeks after their son’s adoption if she wanted to give to the Thanksgiving collection for the homeless. Her reply through gritted teeth was, “I’ve …given …enough!” I love that Melissa Fay Greene tackles attachment issues on the part of the parent head-on and removes the shame, exposing the emotional stress for what it is- an adjustment that takes time and effort. It has a happy ending as she falls madly in love with their precious little guy and they end up adopting many more children over the years.

A Treasury of Adoption Miracles by Karen Kingsbury

There are too many heart warming true stories to recount here, but my favorite is the touching adoption journey of the author. She and her husband had three biological children and decided to adopt one more. When they settled on Haiti they decided to adopt two so the boys would not feel so different in a family with white parents and siblings. Then surprise, surprise when Karen traveled to pick-up her sons she fell in love with a third adorable boy who was best buddies with the other two. She called her husband crying and pleading that she just couldn’t leave him there. Her husband’s response was, “Two… three… what’s the difference, Karen. If you feel that strongly about him, bring him home.” Reading about the blessings brought to the Kingsburys by those three precious boys who already knew the Lord in Haiti makes me cry every time. This book is worth buying just for this story, but there are others that are priceless, too. One story tells of the unlikely (who says God doesn’t still work miracles) event of two biological sisters being adopted from China by the same family years apart and using different agencies.

There are others I read and benefited from, but these were the highlights for me. I hope you have the chance to pick one up and read it or recommend one to a friend who’s interested in adopting.

Do you have a favorite book on adoption?


  1. Thank you for these summaries of the books! I am praying and seeking God's will as I wish very much to adopt but my husband (though he's desired it back before we were married and in the past) is not sure about it at least at this time. Praying for me to have patience and for it to be God working in his heart not me pushing him when he's not ready.

  2. Thank you Celee! What a great post full of your personal synopses on these titles! I have a heart for adoption, but our physical circumstances won't currently allow it. I really appreciate your input as an experienced adoptive mom.

  3. You should try The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier, perhaps a more realistic account of the trauma a child experiences through adoption.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.