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

Helping Your Adopted Child

Helping Your Adopted Child: Understanding Your Child’s Unique Identity by Paul David Tripp

Publisher’s Description: Long before you decided to adopt, long before your child was born, God planned to put your adopted child into your home. Your child is an amazing gift from God, but nurturing an adopted child also brings unique challenges.

Understanding your adopted child from God’s perspective will allow you to address those challenges by faith and with hope. Learn from counselor and adoptive father Paul David Tripp how to help adopted children understand their identity and place in God’s world.

Dr. Joel Beeke on the Doctrine of Adoption

Dr. Joel Beeke talks about the importance of the doctrine of adoption for the Christian. His new book, Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption, will be available on June 3rd.

Book recommendation: The Connected Child

The following is an informal book review by Claudia-Jacqueline Semar, M.Ed. She has granted us permission to reprint it here.

Ms. Semar is the Executive Director of International Child Foundation. She has worked in adoptions for more than 15 years, and as an adoptive mother, she has first-hand experience in the things she writes about.

ConnectedChild_BookCoverI’ve been reading a book called The Connected Child. It’s recommended often by families on the listservs. This is a bit that you may consider more relative to older children, but in fact it has deep significance for babies and toddlers, too.

Children who have been neglected or abused – and let’s redefine this as children who have had their needs ignored, their cries unanswered, their food inadequate, and children who have been repeatedly frightened by events in their environment, chaos and violence, even if it did not touch them physically – these children have established biochemical brain patterns. No amount of talk therapy rewires the brain. (As you may have discovered when trying to persuade your spouse to change his or her behaviors.) In children, this is a particular challenge, because the younger they are, the less their cognitive skills have developed. Reason is not a tool they have at their disposal. Continue reading

Gifts to Each Other: new children’s book about adoption

GiftstoEachOtherToday I’m writing to recommend to you a recent children’s book about adoption by Andrea Stephens, Gifts To Each Other. Assistant Director, Lisa Prather, says that the book is “a very good resource for talking to children about adoption.”

The book is available from the publisher and from Amazon.

Here’s what the author had to say about her book in an email to Carolina Hope:

I recently self-published a children’s book about our family’s adoption experience. It is called Gifts To Each Other and is geared for young children approx. ages 2-8, with beautiful watercolor pictures and a very tender message. The story is not so much about how the adoption took place as it is about a little child coming into a family that already had 3 children – and the changes that took place in the family as a result. It honors both the adopted child and the child’s new siblings. The concept of adoption is introduced, making it appropriate and enjoyable for both traditional and adoptive families. And adults and children alike will love the way the story and pictures come full circle to complete the message.

I believe this book would be enjoyed by the families you represent who are adopting children.

Book recommendation: Handbook of International Adoption Medicine

TheHandbookofInternationalAdoptionMedicinePublished in 2005 by the Oxford University Press, Laurie C. Miller’s Handbook of International Adoption Medicine: A Guide for Physicians, Parents, and Providers is both wide-ranging and thorough. Although I haven’t personally had the opportunity to hold it in my hands, this adoption resource comes highly recommended.

Handbook of International Adoption Medicine is written with both the adoptive parent and the medical professional in view. The book’s 36 chapters are divided into 7 sections. Here are the sections, with a sampling of the chapter topics (these are not always exact chapter titles, and some chapter topics are combined or omitted in this list):

  1. Before the adoption
    • Effects of institutionalization
    • The referral


  1. Prenatal exposures
    • Drug and alcohol exposure
    • Maternal smoking
    • Effects of stress

Continue reading

The Jesus Storybook Bible

I’m in the process of reviewing a book that was written specifically for adopted children and will post an interview with its author in a few weeks. We plan on recommending helpful books that address issues unique to adoptive families, but we’ll also recommend books that are helpful for any family whether it’s been touched by adoption or not. After all, a family is a family no matter how children enter it.

The Jesus Storybook Bible, authored by Sally Lloyd-Jones, is a book that I can highly recommend to every family (whether they’ve adopted or not). Everytime a Jesus-centered book is published, I’m pleased; but when one is published specifically for children, I’m especially pleased. I want all of my children to be reading books that help them understand the gospel more deeply, books that point them to Jesus. So, when I heard about Sally’s new book, I was thrilled. We’ve had our copy for several months now. My children are thoroughly enjoying it (and so am I). It is very well written and does a fantastic job capturing Scripture’s big picture. Sally has served Christian families very well with this book. If you are looking for another resource that will help your children better understand the significance of Jesus’ person and work, this is a book you’ll want to pick up.

Sally graciously agreed to be interviewed about the book. My hope is that this interview will help make more people, particularly parents, aware of this excellent storybook Bible.

1. Let me begin by asking the question that I’m fairly sure is on most everyone’s mind. Given that you are British and a Christian, it’s a question I know you’ve answered more times than you can probably count. Are you related to the Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones?

I love being asked this because I am a huge fan of Dr Lloyd-Jones, and it usually means I’ve found someone else who is, too. But even though I am from the same passionate celtic corner of the world (Wales), no, I’m not related to him. It’s all a bit of a let down, I’m afraid, and it’s all I can do not to apologize (which I’ve written more about and had some fun with in my blog)

2. When I first heard about The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers his name, I was thrilled that there was now a children’s Bible story book that put Jesus at the center. What I especially appreciate about it is that you do this with 21 stories from the Old Testament. Why did you set out to write a children’s book like this? Why did you feel the need to write a Bible story book that presents Jesus as each story’s hero?

When I first saw that everything in the Old Testament, is pointing to a child—the one who is coming—it blew me away. Suddenly, here was a way to read the Bible without it leaving you condemned (I’ll never keep all the rules all the time) or in despair (how can I ever be as brave as Daniel? or David?).

I found it so moving when I started to discover how the Old Testament is basically one long record of failure—the failure of God’s people time and time again to live rightly, to rescue themselves—and that the stories in the Old Testament are all getting us ready for the One who is coming. They are all signposts to the True Hero, the True King, the True Prince, the True Servant, the greater David, the greater Daniel. The Rescuer.

As a child, I thought the Bible was packed with rules you had to keep (or God wouldn’t love you) and heroes setting examples you had to follow (or God wouldn’t love you). I thought, in short, that the Bible was all about me and what I should (or shouldn’t) be doing. Until I read a Story.

It’s the Story running like a golden stream underneath all the other stories in the Bible: the story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. Suddenly, I realized the Bible wasn’t about me and what I should be doing at all. It was about God and what he had done. And it changed everything. Continue reading

Book Recommendation: Adopted by God

From time to time we will recommend a book that we think will help Christians grow in their understanding of uppercase Adoption (i.e. God’s adoption of us). Adopted by God: From Wayward Sinners to Cherished Children by Robert A. Peterson is such a book. Here’s what others have said about it:

AdoptedByGod“A splendid book on a subject of great importance. With rare skill Robert Peterson marries clear biblical teaching with deep pastoral concern in a style that is both simple and engaging. Its pages are punctuated by the personal testimonies of lives radically transformed by the discovery that they have been adopted into God’s family” —Sinclair Ferguson Continue reading