I’m Adopted, I’m Special by Beth Rice is a children’s story about a little girl who wants to know what being adopted means.

The illustrations are cute and I loved the idea of a book explaining what adoption means in 5-year-old terms, but I was a little disappointed from the beginning.

Within the first few paragraphs, the mother of the little girl explains that adoption means that they couldn’t have children of their own so they went looking for one, looked at a bunch of babies, and then picked her to be their baby.

I had a hard time reading this to my 5-year-old daughter. I don’t want her to think that’s what adoption is. We raise our children to believe that they came to us, not that we went out looking at babies and picked one we wanted. I also don’t love the term “couldn’t have a baby of their own,” and I think most adoptive couples agree, our adopted babies are our OWN and it’s weird to read to my adopted children a sentence that reads “mommy and daddy couldn’t have their own babies” followed by “so we picked you.”

The remainder of the book follows the 5-year-old as she dreams about animals who help her to understand what adoption means. The concept is really cute, but the theme of going out to search for a baby remains a major part of the story. There is mention of looking for the “right child” and “traveling long distances to find the baby they are looking for,” and I felt uncomfortable reading those sentences to my young children.

So while this book is cute, the wording and views of adoption gives a false representation of what I (and many adoptive parents) believe adoption to be.

I really wanted to love this book and have something to read my kids at night that talks about how special adoption is but I felt a bit uncomfortable with the explanations and wording used.