A motivated heart and good
will help make your adoption journey
just a little easier.
This page is a re-cap of many of the book
recommendations I've made throughout Adopting from Korea --
just centrally organized for your convenience. The books below are either linked
to my own online bookstore, AdoptShoppeBooks or Amazon. You can find them at
other online bookstores, as well.
This is no "laundry list" of every adoption book ever
What you see here are books I've actually read or have been personally
recommended to me. I welcome your own recommendations, too! Just
drop me a line with its title and what you like
about it. I'll be happy to add it to this growing list of resources. And grow it will
because I never stop reading!
to Adopt Internationally: A Guide to Agency-Directed and Independent Adoptions,
Jean Nelson-Erichsen, Heino R. Erichsen, Jean Erichsen -- Need a good place to start your
search? Check out this strongly recommended resource! Detailed, logically organized, and
comprehensive, this one takes you step-by-step through the process. An excellent first
step on your journey.
Those Kids Yours": American Families with Children from Other
Countries, Cheri Register -- If you only read one about adopting overseas, this
is the one to read! I love this book! It covers a lot of emotional and cultural ground and
answers many of the questions you might be afraid to ask yourself and your spouse.
Transracial Adoption, Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall -- If you think
race doesn't matter when you love enough, think again. This clear-eyed
practical look at transracial adoption is a must for all families
considering adopting a child outside their own racial/ethnic group.
Sum, Bagels, and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families,
Myra Alperson - A fast and informative read for multicultural families that
I thoroughly enjoyed. You'll find lots of good information and resources to
Korea with Love (video) -- Excellent video introduction to the Korean
adoption process for prospective adoptive parents. An Australian production
that, however, speaks to all families. Very recommended!
is More Than Once: The Inner World of Adopted Korean Children, Hei Sook Park
Wilkinson, PhD -- Provides a Korean child's eye view of what it means to be adopted by
Caucasian families in the United States. Provocative reading and recommended, especially
for those who've adopted or are adopting older children.
When You Were Born in
Korea: A Memory Book for Children Adopted
from Korea, Text by Brian Boyd, Photography by Stephen Wunrow -- This is a truly
lovely book you and your older child will want to share often. (Very young children might
not respond to the black and white photos.) If your child came through Eastern Social
Welfare Society, as did mine, you can consider this book a family album!
Children in American Homes: How Do They Adjust?, Frances M.
Koh -- Worth reading for some idea into how adult adoptees view their experiences.
Adopted You, Benjamin Koo, Linda Walvoord Girard, Linda Shute (Illustrator).
Told in the voice of Benjamin Woo, this is a likable and positive story about being
adopted from Korea. I especially like it because it gently addresses some of the
difficulties our interracially adopted children are likely to face as they mature.
Hee & Me, by C. S. Adler
of the Morning Calm: Korean Culture Then and Now, John Stickler
-- Handsomely produced picture book about Korean culture and traditions, past
and present. An excellent introduction that children 7-12 will really enjoy.
My Child's Korean Origins, Han and Spencer, Children's Home Society
of Minnesota - A marvelous guide that will offer tremendous help to new
parents seeking information and understanding of their children's cultures
and traditions. A must!
of Korea Video - a
wonderful introduction for children to the daily life of the average Korean
child and his or her family.
- Things Korean,
O-Young Lee, Translated from the Korean by John Holstein - This is a marvelously written
guide to traditional life in Korea that is both beautiful and accessible. Written by a
former Korean Minister of Culture, Things Korean presents a survey of native objects from
Korea and explains their development, historical significance, and place in everyday
Korean life. The photography is stunning and the narrative is informative, with a sly
sense of humor. A must for your Korean culture shelf!
About Korea, Hollym International Staff - Concise overview of the people,
history, culture, customs, and other aspects of Korean life.
The Art of Korean Clothing, Sunny Yang - a beautiful coffee table book about
the history of Korean dress, its meaning, culture, symbolism, and more. This book is a
Beauty of Korea, Suh Jai-Sik - A gorgeous photographic journey into the heart
of our children's homeland. You can read and reread this lovely volume over and over again
as a visual introduction to the people and culture of Korea for your children and
Introduction to Korean Culture, John H. Koo, Andrew C. Nahm - One of the most
comprehensive guides to Korean culture, language, politics, folk beliefs, literature,
poetry, etc. available.
Shock! Korea: A Guide to Customs and Etiquette, Sonja
Vegdahl Hur and Ben Seunghwa Hur -- Part of a series of travel books, I found this a fun,
breezy and informative read. I learned a lot from this one! Whether you travel to Korea to
pick up your child or not, I'd add this to your cultural library.
Adoption Travel Journal, Mary E. Petertyl -- Planning on traveling to Korea
to get your little one? Then you won't want to be without this wonderful travel journal.
Sure, you could always buy a blank notebook, but all those pages begging to be filled can
seem daunting. With the International Adoption Travel Journal you've got six separate
sections organized in meaningful categories, and a fill-in-the-blank format. Makes keeping
a written record of this once-in-a-lifetime (or maybe more!) trip easy and even fun to
complete. And there's no question it will make a uniquely personal keepsake to be
cherished by your child and your entire family. (Makes a nice gift for adoption showers,
Till There Was
You - An Adoption Expectancy Journal, Rebecca L. Gold, Pamela M. Sardinha
(Photographer) -- If you think of the homestudy process as
adoption "gestation", you're going to love this new book. Similar
to the popular pregnancy journals, Till There Was You is
organized for either a domestic or international adoption. It's a private place to share
your thoughts, dreams, goals, and even fears for the little one you're waiting on. Why not
treat yourself (or someone special) with this unique adoption journal. It will go a long
way toward soothing your frazzled soul during this exciting but stressful time.
A Baby's Adoption: Practical Strategies for Parents and
Professionals, Patricia Irwin Johnston -- This is an excellent overview to
getting ready for your adopted son or daughter. Lots of solid information to help ease the
JEWISH PERSPECTIVES ON ADOPTION AND
Issues in Multiculturalism: A Handbook for Educators and Clinicians
- While not a book on adoption issues per se, it does address many of the
thorny issues of multiculturalism and its meaning and effects on
contemporary Judaism. I think Jewish adoptive parents will learn and gain
perspective from this well-done work.
and the Jewish Family: Contemporary Perspectives, Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg --
Did you know that almost 3% of Jewish families are created by adoption? I didn't, until I
read this very informative new book. It takes an objective yet sympathetic look at the
adoption process from a Jewish perspective, with contributions from the Orthodox,
Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist religious communities. It covers Jewish law
and practice, culture and ethnicity, community attitudes, joys and challenges. I
especially liked its compilation of prayers and rituals specific to adoption and related
life events. A very good read. Get one for your Rabbi, too!
Hannah Wept: Infertility, Adoption, and the Jewish Couple, Michael Gold -- I
read this touching, personal, and well-written book a few years ago and found it very
valuable and healing as my husband and I began to consider adoption for our family. You
may, too. Recommended!
Family of Adoption, Joyce Maguire Pavao
-- Adopted children ARE different, and this new book clearly identifies and
demonstrates those predictable, understandable developmental stages and
challenges that affect every adoptee. Also explains patterns that adoptive
parents may witness as their children grow.
Eyes Wide Open: A Workbook for Parents Adopting Children International
Children, Children's Home Society of Minnesota - One of the best
preparation tools I've reviewed for those families adopting a toddler/older
child from overseas. Also available on CD.
Adoption: The Weaver's Craft, Mary Hopkins-Best --
Considered THE book for families contemplating the adoption of a toddler, you'll find a
wealth of honest information and practical ideas and strategies. An excellent resource.
Adopted Children: Practical, Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive
Parent, Revised Edition, Lois Ruskai Melina -- One of the best known adoptive
parenting books has been completely revised and updated. A must for your library... I keep
it close at all times!
Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child, Holly
Van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb
Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother, Jana Wolff -- I strongly urge every
prospective and newly adoptive parent to read and re-read this wonderfully provocative
book. IT'S TERRIFIC! Funny and poignant, genuine and honest, it's "take no
prisoners" approach speaks volumes about coming to terms with infertility, the
adoption experience in general, as well as some of the specific issues involved in
interracial and open adoption. And don't be misled by the title. This is a book for
adoptive fathers, too!
of the Stork : What Children Think (And When About Sex and Family
Building), Anne C. Bernstein
ADOPTION TRIAD ISSUES
Birthparents, and Adoptive Parents
additional recommendations on the For Adoptees page
Ceremonies: Innovative Ways to Meet Adoption Challenges, Cheryl A. Lieberman,
PhD and Rhea K. Bufferd, LICSW - Sensitive and compassionate to all adoption triad
members, this new book offers meaningful ways to acknowledge the specialness of the
adoption experience through ritual and ceremony. All adoptive families will find this book
a valuable resource for the long-term.
Mothers: Stories of Adoption and Reunion, Linda Back McKay - A wonderful
collection of stories -- joyful and heartbreaking -- about birthmothers, their secrets and
truths, and reunion with the children to whom they gave life. If you've ever wondered
about your child's birthmother, Shadow Mothers offers perspective and insight.
complete with a free copy of the the author's own "Top 10 Ways to Help Ensure A Happy
Reunion and Relationship.")
- I Wish for You A Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth
Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children, Edited by Sara Dorow - Heartbreaking and
thought-provoking, this volume of letters written by young birthmothers to their babies
presents the birthmother side of the adoption triad with honesty and compassion.
This is not a book for children. It was compiled to help birthmothers make peace with
their decision, to help adoptive parents understand the sacrifice of these young women,
and, in time, to help mature adoptees come to terms with the plans made by their Korean
mothers. Consider this another "must" for your adoption bookshelf.
Adoption Reader: Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, and Adopted Daughters Tell Their
Susan Wadia-Ells, Editor - Anthology of moving, insightful stories of the female
players in the adoption process.
Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self, David Brodzinsky,
Marshall D. Schecter, and Robin Marantz Henig
additional recommendations at AdoptShoppeBooks
Story: A Book About an Adopted Girl, by Perry Schwartz
Am I Different?, Norma Simon, Dora Leder (Illustrator)
How Families Come to Be, Stacey Schuett (Illustrator), Virginia L. Kroll
My First Mother Love Me?: A Story for an Adopted Child, Kathryn Ann Miller,
Jami Moffett (Illustrator), Kathryn M. Miller, Jamie Moffett (Illustrator)
Baby: A Birth and Adoption Story, Janice Koch, Patricia J. Goldberg
Talk About It: Adoption, Fred Rogers, Jim Judkis (Photographer)
Are Different, by Nina Pellegrini. We read this one a lot. A story of two
adopted daughters from Korea, it talks about all the different kinds of families there
are. When Hilary, my biodaughter saw the page with the family with one biochild and one adopted
child, she said, "Look, Momma! Here's a family that's just like us."
"Exactly right," I replied.
Don't Have Your Eyes, by Carrie A. Kitze - sweet, gentle book that
celebrates families with differences.
Click here for Korea Kids - more children's books about adoption, adoptive
family life, and Korean culture
Far, Mommy Near, Carol A. Peacock, Shawn C. Brownell (Illustrator) -
one of the most beautiful books I've read to cover the issues of grief and
confusion as a little girl adopted from China wrestles with the knowledge
she has two mommies, one near and one far. For ages 3-7. A must for your
- One Wonderful
You, Francie Portnoy - Adopted children have a legacy of two
families - their adoptive family, their birth family. This positive story for children
ages 4-10 shows how the adopted child is a blend of two families, who in turn, is one
- A Part
of the Ribbon: A Time Travel Adventure Through the History of Korea, Ruth S.
Hunter, Debra M. Fritsch - While not about adoption, I know that the young readers in your
family - adopted and otherwise - will enjoy this exciting, yet meticulously accurate,
adventure story about Korea's rich and varied history. Told through the eyes of a six-year
girl and her teen-aged brother, this lively and engaging book covers Korea's 3000 years
and uses an intriguing martial arts (tae kwondo) theme.
You Need to Know About Being Adopted (Need to Know Library), Laura
Kaminker - This slim volume covers many important topics for adopted children as they
mature and begin to ask questions about their birthparents and themselves. Low-key and
straightforward in its approach, Being Adopted is a good first
step to understanding and a catalyst for discussion and exploration. (For readers ages
Adoption Day, John McCutcheon, Julie Paschkis (Illustrator) -- You can also
find Happy Adoption Day and many other charming songs for children onthe
award-winning compilation, Family
Garden - CD. You can listen to samples of Happy Adoption Day and other
selections right online!
the Moon : An Adoption Tale, by Karen Katz
In Case You Ever Wonder, Max Lucado, Toni Goffe (Illustrator). This story
rates a "10" from bio and adoptive parents alike -- me included! A sweet, simple
tale of parental and God-centered love, protection and assurance -- especially important
for our adoptive little ones to hear over and over again.
For more children's books about adoption, see Adopted Kids