Children’s Books to Celebrate National Adoption Month

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Our Adoption Story

Our adoption journey began in 2017 after two years of trying to conceive a child biologically. Adoption was always a way that my husband and I had talked about building our family, so after struggling with infertility it was a natural next step for us.

We spent months preparing ourselves and our home for the child who would one day join our family. We worked with a local agency and after seven months of being active with them, we welcomed home our son Milo.

During our wait to become parents we did a lot of reading and research about adoption. We really focused in on what adoptees and birth parents felt were important things for adoptive families to know. One of the most important things we took away was the importance of an adoptee knowing their adoption story from the beginning.

We never wanted our son to look back and remember the time he learned he was adopted. We always wanted it to be a part of his identity from the very beginning. We talk a lot about Milo’s birth family together and our first days as a family. Even though he’s only two, it’s been a good habit for us.

Another way we normalize adoption in our family is by keeping lots of books about adoption and books featuring adoptees in our home library. Below are five of our favorites.

Our 5 Favorites

Babies Come From Airports by Erin Dealey

This is one of my favorite books for families with children adopted internationally. It’s also great for multi-racial and transracial families. The story follows a family as they wait for the arrival of their baby sister at the airport. The two big brothers are so excited to meet her. It’s very sweet! This book features a very diverse family and the rhyming pattern makes it lyrical and easy to read. Its a great book for young kiddos as it isn’t too long.

*Note: A transracial adoption is when the child is of a different race then the adopting parents.

Coco & Olive: The Color of Love by Michelle Madrid-Branch

This book was written by adoptee and adoptive mother, Michelle Madrid-Branch. I’ve been following her on social media for a while so I was very excited to get my hands on this sweet book. While this book doesn’t specifically mention adoption, it’s definitely easy to recognize as an adoption story. I love how whimsical this story is as we explore love through all the colors of the rainbow. This is another especially excellent book for international and/or transracial adoptions.

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis

This is the first book I discovered about adoption. A professor shared it with our class when I was still in college pursuing my degree in Elementary Education. The book stuck with me and was one of the first ones I purchased when we began the adoption process. The book tells the story of a young girl remembering the story of her birth and adoption as told to her by her parents. I like that this story mentions the girl’s birth parents, which are seldom referenced in children’s adoption stories. This book is a great way to engage in conversations around your child’s own adoption story.

Wish by Matthew Cordell

The first time I read this book I cried in the middle of the aisle in Target. It became so special to me that on our son’s Adoption Day we had all of our family and friends write notes inside of it for him. This book isn’t specifically for adoptive families, but I feel like so many can relate to the elephant family’s desire for a child. We can relate to the wanting of a child that doesn’t always come how or when we thought they would. This would be a great book for those that have struggled with infertility too!

I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb

This is another book written by an adoptive mother. Like some of my other recommendations, this book doesn’t specifically reference adoption. Through beautiful illustrations, this book tells the story of how even before they met Hoda knew she loved her. This book always reminds me of our adoption wait and the first time I met my son. I love the repeating phrase, “There was you… and there was me.” It’s another very simple read and I think it’s perfect for bedtime!

Are all children’s books on adoption perfect? No. Some are definitely better than others. I always recommend trying to find ones written by, or approved by, ALL members of the adoption triad (birth families, adoptees, and adoptive parents).

Do you have any recommendations? Which of your favorites did I miss?

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Originally from Indiana, Carey moved to South Carolina in 2009. She and her husband, Brett, met during college at USC and now reside in Forest Acres. She is an elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom to two wonderful boys. After struggling with infertility for years, their son, Milo, joined their family in November of 2017 through domestic adoption. In March of 2020 baby River joined the family via embryo adoption. In addition to being a SAHM, Carey works in Social Media Management, is a babywearing educator, and a postpartum doula. She enjoys writing, iced coffee, road trips, and connecting with other mamas online. Her passions include adoption ethics and education, infertility, mental health advocacy, plus size life, and social justice issues. You can follow Carey’s motherhood journey and more on Instagram at MessyAsAMother.

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