My Favorite Adoption-Friendly Picture Books

I want my children to grow up knowing their stories. Although I don't want adoption to define them, because really, they are just my children, it's pretty obvious when we walk into Chick-Fil-A and people notice my white hand holding tightly to brown little fingers. I want to be able to talk freely with them about their stories from early on. I want them to know how brave their birth mom was to choose life for them. I want them to be able to tell their friends, when they ask why their mommy and daddy look different from them. I want them to be able to tell their stories. And I want them to be proud.

People ask me all the time about the books we read in our home to help spark conversations about their stories. There are so many great books written about adoption, but there are also a few books I have read that aren't respectful to every member of the adoption triad. These books listed below are my favorite adoption books becuase they are so sweet yet respectfully explain, using developmentally appropriate language, the love a birth mom has for her child. But also the love and longing the adoptive mom has for her sweet miracle.

Even if your children aren't adopted, I feel it's important to have some of these books in your home. Children should be aware of differences and learn to treasure them among other children. Before I became a mother to black children, I would say I was colorblind. Meaning, I believed and treated everyone equally. Even though I forget sometimes that I didn't give birth to my children, when I am out in public with them, I know people are not colorblind. Most people are intrigued by our family and merely stare out of curiosity. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I have learned mothering children that look much different from me, there is no such thing as being colorblind. When we say we are colorblind, we are devaluing the differences and uniqueness in which God made us, when really, they should be celebrated.

These books are my favorite picture books that not only encourage conversations about adoption, but also perfectly describe diversity among families, friends, and communities.

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A Different Kind of Perfect

When I was a little girl playing with my baby dolls, I imagined the white picket fence, four blonde babes running around the house with loose curls, and eyes so blue you could almost dive right in. I dreamt of all the times I would laugh when the youngest said “pecans” like me, and our oldest son would of course be the star of the baseball team like his daddy.

When my husband and I married, our plan for the future looked identical to the one I dreamed of as a child. Wrapped up nice and tidy with a cute bow. We would have the sweet little house, great jobs, and get pregnant the first few months of trying. And that would be our life.

Perfect. Safe. Normal.

Then after several years of trying to get pregnant and enduring months of infertility treatments, I sat in the floor of my bathroom with the last negative pregnancy test, and all of those dreams came crashing down. We would never have children that had my husband’s eyes or my smile. And after a little grieving what could have been, I would soon learn to be okay with that.

It’s funny how we do that to ourselves. How we plan our lives to look how we think they should. When really the Father has plans so immeasurable, that are ours for the taking, if we only trust Him.

He met me on the bathroom floor that morning. Offering me an intimacy with Him, I would never have known otherwise. He held a broken heart and lots of broken dreams, and invited me into a story much sweeter than I could ever imagine.

When I was a little girl playing with my baby dolls, I imagined the white picket fence, four blonde babes running around the house with loose curls, and eyes so blue you could almost dive right in. I dreamt of all the times I would laugh when the youngest said “pecans” like me, and our oldest son would of course be the star of the baseball team like his daddy.

When my husband and I married, our plan for the future looked identical to the one I dreamed of as a child. Wrapped up nice and tidy with a cute bow. We would have the sweet little house, great jobs, and get pregnant the first few months of trying. And that would be our life.

Perfect. Safe. Normal.

Then after several years of trying to get pregnant and enduring months of infertility treatments, I sat in the floor of my bathroom with the last negative pregnancy test, and all of those dreams came crashing down. We would never have children that had my husband’s eyes or my smile. And after a little grieving what could have been, I would soon learn to be okay with that.

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God's Heart for Mamas

Our morning had been interrupted numerous times by frequent stays in time-out. Partly from the late bedtime the night before, but mostly because I am parenting a two year old, sinner. I had just finished correcting her, yet again, at the lunch table. Through a repentant little voice and spaghetti smeared face, she whispered, "Mommy, you're my favorite, mommy."

My heart melted, obviously. The fact that even after my correcting her, and asking for her forgiveness for my tone in correcting her, she still considers me her favorite. That little voice, with those little eyes, speaking those words made all the minutes of our day spent in time-out worth every second.

I began this day with the ears and eyes of my heart open to God's heart for me, as a mama. In John 16:13-15, Jesus tells us that all He has been given comes from the Father and the Spirit will disclose to us, all the Father has disclosed to the Son. This truth is one I've been mulling in for a few days.

So I've been asking the Spirit to reveal the Father's heart to me as a mama. What is it that God wants more than anything as I parent these sweet ones He's entrusted to me?

Nap time couldn't come quick enough. I was in the baby's nursery, rocking him to sleep. His eyes heavy from the morning activities, with his body cuddled up to mine, he slowly surrendered to rest. The truest form of trust. I laid him down in his crib with one fluid motion and with my best ninja moves, tiptoed across his room and quietly closed the door.

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