Children’s Books I Wish I Could Give to Every Adoptive Family

It's Children's Book Day!

Jennifer Galan April 04, 2016

Children’s books are an amazing way to connect with all of our kids, but adopted kids sometimes need a little extra boost in expressing and understanding their feelings. Check out these titles I think every adoptive family should own! Are you ready to grow your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with a compassionate, experienced adoption professional.  

Anything written by Marianne Richmond.
1. Anything written by Marianne Richmond.

Marianne Richmond is my hero for creating books with relatable child characters, often animals without obvious gender. Often in these stories, an adult character affirms to the child that no matter what, the child is loved and wanted. So often our adopted kids struggle with feeling like maybe they were unwanted by their first families, or wonder if their forever families really mean forever—even if they misbehave. Books about unconditional love provide a springboard to talk about those scary topics: “Will you still love me if . . . ” Check out You Are My Heart, I Believe in You, and You are My Wish Come True.

Books that emphasize love's power over distance.
2. Books that emphasize love's power over distance.

I Promise I’ll Find You by Heather Ward and Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman are both books about the unconditional love between parent and child. They can also help start a dialogue with your child about how, even if they went far, far away, their parents would still find them. I have also used these books as springboards to talk about how my child’s birth mom loves her no matter where the military sends us.

I Love You, Stinky Face
3. I Love You, Stinky Face

My last pick about unconditional love is the classic, I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt. It’s a great read-aloud with a fabulous message for all kids. Plus, you get to call your kid "Stinky Face."

Books specifically about adoption.
4. Books specifically about adoption.

Books specifically about adoption have always been sort of a minefield for us—so many of the mass-produced ones are very specific about circumstances, don’t address open adoption, or are weirdly religious (Don’t get me started on the idea that “God wants a birth mom to feel the pain of placement so that my kid can heal my infertile heart.” No.)

Luckily, there are some great quasi-generic titles that work. God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren uses some outdated adoption language, but babies don’t know when you change words, so we are all good. I really like The Family Book by Todd Parr, because it talks specifically about all the different kinds of families, and is a great starting place for talking about allllllll the people we love, and who love our kids

(Above, I Wished For You by Marianne Richmond is a nice one, but pretty specific.)

A Mother for Choco
5. A Mother for Choco

My absolute "adoption" favorite, however, is the silliness of A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza, which features a baby bird blending into a very different family. Ultimately, however you choose to talk about adoption, make sure that you do: Kids deserve to see their lives reflected in the media that surrounds them.

. . . and an extra one.
6. . . . and an extra one.

My last choice has nothing to do with adoption, but should be in every home: B.J. Novak’s amazing The Book With No Pictures. Because at the end of the day, we are just a bunch of people who love each other, live together, and laugh and play. And nothing is as great as when your child hears you read “Boo Boo Butt” out loud for the first time. I promise. What do you think? Did I miss your favorite one? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jennifer Galan

Jennifer Galan mothers four kids (one adopted, three biological) all while living the nomadic life of a military wife. She is a strong advocate for open adoptions, education reform, feminism, kindness, and naps. Mostly naps. Her favorite Doctor is number ten, and she is a proud Ravenclaw.

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