Celebrating Read Across America Day With Your Adopted Child

With the goal of motivating children to read and ultimately creating successful and life-long learners, over 50 organizations and over three million educators partner with the National Education Association to celebrate reading and provide materials and resources to help children continue to read 365 days a year! Through much research, we have learned that “children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.”

The NEA’s website offers a wealth of resources to be able to celebrate throughout the month. Look for the following exciting and helpful resources: an opportunity for families to participate in a Facebook Live Event, an article noting book recommendations written by a diverse group of children’s book authors, a fun Share Your ‘Shelfie’ Challenge, reading resources for each month of the year, and much more!

Read Across America Day provides a great opportunity to introduce your adopted child to some great children’s books that they can relate to and enjoy!  Many are great tools to celebrate with your child their unique and beautiful adoption story. Perhaps you have a family member or friend preparing to adopt a little one—something like this would be a helpful and treasured gift. Below, we have provided some of the book titles that many adoptive families have enjoyed sharing with their children.

Children’s Books for Domestically Adopted Children:

A Blessing from Above: Patti Henderson

A Koala for Katie: Jonathan London

A Mother for Choco: Keiko Kasra

Did My First Mother Love Me: Kathryn Ann Miller

God Gave Us You: Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant

Families are Forever: Deborah Capone

Horace (Reading Rainbow Book): Holly Keller

Is That Your Sister: Catherine and Sherry Bunin

Just in Case you Ever Wonder: Max Lucado

The Keeping Quilt: Patricia Polacco (September 1994)

Let’s Talk About It: Adoption: Fred Rogers

Little Miss Spider: David Kirk + A Christmas Wish

A Little Story About a Big Turnip: Tatiana Zunshine (ages 2-8)

Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption: Laurie Lears

My Special Someone: A Child’s Perspective of Adoption: Brittany and Sherry Kyle

The Mulberry Bird: Anne Braff Brodzinsky

Never, Never, Never Will She Stop Loving You: Jolene Durrant

Oliver: A Story About Adoption: Lois Wickstrom

Our Twitchy: Kes Gray and Mary McQuillan

Sam’s Sister: Juliet Bond

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

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies: Kristine Wise


Children’s Books for Internationally Adopted Children:

At Home in This World. . . A China Adoption Story: Jean MacLeod

Just Add One Chinese Sister: Patricia McMahon and Conor Clarke McCarthy

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes:  Rose A. Lewis

Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales:  Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and The Children’s Museum, Boston

Waiting for May:  Janet Morgan Stoeke

Families Are Forever: Deborah Capone

Horace: Holly Keller

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes: Rose Lewis

Is That Your Sister?: Catherine and Sherry Bunin

Babies Come from Airports: Erin Dealey


Children’s Books for Transracially Adoption Children:

The Keeping Quilt: Patricia Polacco

Little Miss Spider: David Kirk

The Little Snowgirl: Carollyn Croll

A Little Story About A Big Turnip: Tatiana Zunshine

A Mother for Choco: Keiko Kasra

Over The Moon: Karen Katz

Seeds of Love: Mary Ebejer Peteryl

Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! : Cari Best

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies: Kristine Wise

Adopting Embryos Who Are a Different Ethnicity Than You

Our openness to adopting a child of a different ethnicity than our own really began years ago, when we knew God was putting Japan on our hearts. At the time, we didn’t realize that this growing interest in Japanese culture and love for Japanese people would have anything to do with adoption, let alone embryo adoption. Years later, as we prayed about whether God wanted us to adopt, we also prayed about who God would have us adopt. We felt led to consider the possibility of adopting from a family with Japanese heritage.

The idea of adopting a child with a different ethnicity was exciting, but also raised some inevitable questions. Would our child wish we shared the same ethnic background? Would ethnic differences only add to the potentially complex feelings faced by the child?

Confirmation came to both of us in different ways, through scripture verses and a sermon. We both felt God saying that when He puts a family together, ethnicity isn’t a hindrance. In a beautiful photo – from a sermon PowerPoint – of babies of all different ethnicities sitting together, God seemed to clearly speak to our hearts that He sees each one as His child, and He has a home for each child. We felt completely at peace from that point forward. God had answered our biggest questions and shown us His heart for adoption.

We were so thrilled when there was a genetic family with Japanese heritage that was interested in us! We loved reading about them and knew right away that they were the ones for us.

During the pregnancy and with the birth of our daughter, we have felt such a strong bond of love with her – a bond that would be no stronger had she been our genetic daughter. We are both so proud to be her parents. We are grateful to God for how He has put our family together, and every day we enjoy the blessing of our precious daughter.

Three Different Journeys to Parenthood, No Greater Joy

Family keeps growing through embryo adoption

Meet Adéye and Anthony Salem – an incredible couple from Northern Colorado.

Are you thinking, “What’s special about Adéye and Anthony?”

Through the years, they’ve built a beautiful family together – a family with nine amazing children; three biological sons, and six adopted sons and daughters, some of whom have special needs. Now, they have a new destiny – one involving human embryos. Adéye and Anthony have been matched with four embryos through the Snowflakes® Frozen Embryo Adoption Program at Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

Why did they choose embryo adoption? Learn more about them, their family, and their decision:

Adéye and Anthony would like to share their journey with you. Follow along on social media – both through Nightlight, as well as the Salem family’s personal pages.



Salem Family:

Adéye’s Blog
Anthony’s Blog


Sasha’s Thoughts: The Beginning – В начале


The following is part 1 of an ongoing series of posts that will be featured on the Nightlight Blog. Stay tuned for future  posts! 

For those of you who do not know who I am or where my story starts, lets start from the very beginning.

My American name is Julia Sasha. My Russian name is Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Tanina (Александра Александровна Танина). I am just a simple girl who has been privileged to live in two countries and experience the blessings of two very rich cultures.

Some facts to help set up my story:
Born in March of 1990 in St. Petersburg, Russia
Moved to California, America in July 1995
Finished K-12 in the South Bay in 2008
Finished University this past May 2012
Moving back to Russia September 2012!

It seems that Russia and America were part of the destiny that God had for me all along. I look into my past and am amazed at the small things that have transformed my life and prepared me for a bicultural life filled with extraordinary possibilities.

But I am getting ahead of myself… the story starts in a dark and gloomy but magical city on the Gulf of Finland 22 years ago on a day filled with floating premonitions about the miraculous future that would unfold in front of my very eyes.

So I think that I need to keep these posts short and sweet. I am excited to share with you many many thoughts on my own adoption, the impact it had on my own salvation, success and happiness and of course my small words of wisdom for both orphans, adoptees and their families and those with a heart for helping the lost generation of Russia…

Humbly yours,

“Like Dandelion Dust”: A Film of Pain and Courage

(This post is by Ron Stoddart, Executive Director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions.)
like_dandelion_dustI had an opportunity to preview a new movie about adoption. “Like Dandelion Dust,” with Mira Sorvino, is a movie best described with two words – pain and courage. Although the premise of the movie may cause unnecessary concern for adopting parents as it is based on a very unusual set of circumstances, it nevertheless portrays the pain, courage and love involved in every adoption in a balanced and powerful way. For those who cannot understand how a biological parent could ever place a child for adoption, the emotions and decision-making is explored with realism and compassion. For those who cannot understand how parents could ever love an adopted child as much as a biological child, there is no room left to wonder. I suppose it says a lot when a movie is over and you find yourself able to empathize or identify with each of the main characters. A very good movie – but take a box of tissues with you.

Like Dandelion Dust” begins a nationwide release on September 24, 2010.

Nightlight Adoptee in the News!

OlegOleg Parent, a Nightlight adoptee from Russia, made the sports section of the Orange County Register.  An 18 year old junior kicker at Trabuco Hills High School, he ranks among the nation’s top 15 kicking prospects in the Class of 2011. Oleg’s story is bittersweet, but ultimately uplifting—a timely reminder of the blessings of adoption.

Adoptive family Christmas testimony

AdoptUsKids, an initiative of the Children’s Bureau (part of HHS), is a national database of children awaiting adoption and families approved to adopt. Their website allows families to search for children and workers to search for families throughout the United States. The following is a guest post from AdoptUsKids. We encourage you to prayerfully consider this avenue of adoption in addition to the services Nightlight offers.

stevens_lgMy name is Phyllis Stevens and my husband and I are the proud parents of five children: one birth son and four who we adopted.

My kids know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are our favorite times of the year, as these are the times that we get together as a family. We spend our time reminiscing about growing up in the Stevens home. My son (who is now 27) still loves to tell the story about the time when he knocked over the Christmas tree when he was six, and then ran up the stairs to his bedroom and jumped in bed, pretending to sleep. Or the time he got so mad with his brother that he broke the arms off his eye glasses, but then, feeling guilty, put them back together using paper clips.

Over the years many people have asked me, knowing what I know now, if I would do it all over again. Would I adopt children that were born drug addicted, mentally challenged, children with ADHD and Fetal Alcohol Disorder? And, knowing what I know now, I say yes. Yes, because every child deserves a loving, supportive home. And yes, because all four of my adopted children turned out to be happy, functional adults and have provided me with more joy and happiness than I could imagine. Continue reading

“Ingratitude” and an adoptee’s search for her birthmother

LookingForMyBirthmotherOver at Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine, Kimberly Eddy has written an article called “Looking for My Birthmother”.

Here’s an excerpt:

Many people are under the erroneous assumption that an adoptee’s desire to search for their biological family is rooted in some sort of ingratitude towards the sacrifices their adoptive parents have made for them. Others assume that the adoptive parents must have been inadequate as parents to cause their adult child to want to search.

The thing is, an adoptee’s desire to search is not about their adoptive parents; it’s usually about a longing to understand their own roots, or at least to get some much-needed medical history.

I recommend the whole article, although (at least for me) it was a bit hard to follow the progression of events.