For many of us, our fondest childhood memories involve listening to our favorite bedtime stories. Nothing quite compares to the excitement of cuddling up with your fuzzy stuffed animals, dozing off under the dim glow of your night light, and hearing a loved one tell fantastical tales. After getting gently tucked into bed, every young kid craves a story of adventure and excitement. When it’s all over, they’ll be begging for another one.
So how do you make sure your little one is learning what they should? Just like any concerned parent, you want to make absolutely certain that they fall into a peaceful sleep, free from pestering worries and chilling nightmares. Trust us on this: soothing any unease is much easier when armed with a good book. Especially when that good book calms concerns about feeling displaced.
Within a week after birth, infants can distinguish between faces. Therefore, adopted children can recognize at a young age that they’re different from those around them. You can address this early through beautifully written stories about family. As you read about loving bonds, you simultaneously empathize with your child’s anxieties and connect with them in meaningful ways. Rather than trying to sum up your adoration, try to “show” rather than “tell.” Reading, in any context, enriches a child’s mind and impacts their very soul. Taking this precious time out of your day assures your little one that you’ll always be there, holding their hand, until they fall fast asleep.
The absolute wonder of reading is something that many children around the world aren’t fortunate enough to experience. Simply put, reading reminds us that we’re never alone: even when we feel abandoned, we can turn to fictional companions to console us. Our favorite characters — particularly the beloved cartoons from our childhood — show us how to face the adversities that seem to only target us. In the wise words of author Alice Hoffman, “Books may well be the only true magic.” We hope you feel the same way. That’s why Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is counting down our top six adoption books for kids.
6. Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis
We’re starting the countdown with an incredible book written by someone pretty well known. The actress, known for her roles in New Girl and NCIS, has been a big voice in the adoption community. The two-time Golden Globe winner has two adopted children of her own, and sought to write a book that celebrated these family ties.
When asked about her book, Curtis replied, “Children who grow up in the families they were born to are usually told detailed stories about their births. How mom went to the hospital, who went with her, what happened during the birth — all the details become part of family lore. Adopted children often don’t have those kinds of details. Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born was written to let children who joined their families through adoption know that their own birth stories were exciting, too.” (Pact Family Stories)
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born bridges the perceived boundaries that exist between an adoptee’s past and present. The book commemorates the child’s birth, but also consoles the child’s current fears about their place in the family. To top it all off, the book’s lighthearted nature guarantees a smile out of anybody who reads it.
5. Horace, by Holly Keller
When Horace realizes that he doesn’t look like his family — he has spots and they have stripes — he panics and runs away. Tormented by insecurities about his appearance, Horace feels isolated from anyone that might look like him. This prompts Horace’s journey to discover where he truly belongs. Horace feels destined to be lonely, but this heartwarming story promises a different outcome. Paired with vibrant colors and adorable illustrations, Horace might make you shed a few happy tears.
4. Home at Last, by Vera Williams
This touching tale inspires nervous parents just as much as their newly adopted little ones. It follows young Lester’s transition from foster care to his new home.
Despite his love for his dads, Lester can never seem to sleep at night. Each night, he creeps into his parent’s room and crawls into their bed to fall asleep. Everyone in the family — Daddy Rich, Daddy Albert, Lester, and the puppy Wincka — must work together to solve Lester’s insomnia. The morale shows us that bravery doesn’t always mean acting alone. Lester’s courage stems from his family, and only through this love is he able to conquer his fears.
Tragically, Vera Williams passed away before finishing one of the most incredible adoption books for kids. Her readers, along with dear friend and illustrator Chris Raschka, carry on her legacy today.
3. Pablo’s Tree, by Pat Mora
In the mood for something cheerful? You’ve come to the right place. Pablo’s Tree spans generations, proving that love triumphs despite age gaps.
Every day after his birthday, Pablo spends the day admiring a very special tree. What’s so special about this tree, you may ask? The tree contains magical surprises; Pablo’s grandfather decorates the tree each year out of unconditional love for his grandson.
Whether you’re four years old or a grandfather yourself, Pablo’s Tree won’t fail to lift your spirits.
2. The Mulberry Bird, by Anne Braff
This beautifully written story doesn’t just focus on a child’s experience with adoption. Instead, it works to explain complicated questions the child may have. Without even being able to articulate it, many adopted children feel deserted by their birth parents. But in reality, adoption is rarely black and white. Many birth parents choose adoption because they don’t have the means to provide for their child, and decide instead to give their child a safer life. They make sacrifices out of love and concern for the child’s future.
The Mulberry Bird tells the story of a mother bird enduring a terrible storm. She has two options: 1) she could fly her chick to a sturdier nest, or 2) she could try to shield her baby alone. Despite attempts at protection, the mother bird eventually realizes that she can’t keep her baby as safe as they should be. Ultimately, her choice is both a difficult decision and a proclamation of love.
1. Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch
I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.
This iconic children’s book tops off the list. Although it doesn’t directly reference adoption, it doesn’t need to. The book centers around what any children’s book should — family. This book overflows with love, pulling on our heartstrings like no other. It was written by Munsch about his two babies that were stillborn. The eternal bond between a parent and child transcends anything else. After reading this story and wiping your tears, give your loved ones the biggest bear hug you possibly can.
The Importance of Adoption Books For Kids
Reading time with your little one connects you in ways you’ll never anticipate. It’s particularly incredible when your child can relate to the story and connect with the characters. Adoption books for kids provide ways to comfort even the loneliest child. So grab a book and cuddle up — it’s going to be a long night.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Kenneal Patterson is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She is currently studying Journalism and Political Science, with a minor in Global Health. She is honored to work with Adoption Choices, and hopes that her journalism will inspire others to be more empathetic and kind. She thinks that writing can convey important messages of hope and love, and wants to share these messages with others.
Kenneal spends her summers at home in Golden, Colorado, with her many cats and dogs. She is eternally grateful to those who read her work!