Tag Archives: Parenting

Feel the Love: How to Bond with Your Adopted Child

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The best things in life are unseen, that’s why we close our eyes during a kiss, a laugh and a dream and bonding is no exception- you can’t see it, but you can feel it. Bonding with your child is important and becomes almost critical if the child was adopted. Although we know adoption isn’t a birth mothers rejection, oftentime’s to adoptee’s it can feel that way. Is it important to reassure your child that they can depend on you and are safe and loved. Bonding is a process that cannot be rushed. A deep meaningful relationship can only develop through shared experiences, trust, and time. It’s essential for children to feel accepted, cherished, and loved in the purest form- unconditional and true. Remember, a family isn’t made from blood, it’s made from love.

“A family isn’t made from blood, it’s made from love.”

The Science Behind Bonding

Attachment is a strong, affectionate bond we have with special people in our lives that lead us to experience pleasure when we interact with them. We often feel comforted by those we have an attachment to in the times of stress. The beginning stages of bonding starts earlier and simpler than many think. According to famous Psychologist Bowlby, babies are born equipped with behaviors like crying, babbling and smiling to ensure adult attention and adults are actually biologically programmed to respond to infant signals. When a parent performs small steps such as holding their children close, singing sweetly to them, comforting them and rocking them softly to sleep, their child knows that their parent is dependable which creates a secure base for the child to begin exploring the world and feel loved while doing so. These things along with keeping a calm voice, skin-to-skin contact, and carrying your child are the beginning steps to making your adoptive baby feel safe, secure, loved and cherished beyond belief.

Vera Falhberg, pediatrician and specialist in the field of adoption attachments, categorizes the following as long-term effects from positive attachment:

  • Helps a child to sort out perceptions of the world in which he lives
  • Encourages the development of logical thinking
  • Develops social emotions in a child
  • Cultivates the formation of a conscience
  • Helps an individual cope with stress, frustration, worries, and fears
  • Fashions an appropriate balance between dependence and independence
  • Sets the stage for the unfolding of healthy future relationshipsUntitled design

The Importance of Comfort

Making sure your child has comfort is a nurturing, everyday desire all parents have. Comfort increases productivity and boosts self-esteem in children and who doesn’t want that? Contact-Comfort takes it a step further and examines the relationship between physical and emotional comfort with love and security. For example, we’ve all seen the reaction that a crying baby can have due to being picked up by its mother; the child relaxes and stops crying. This is believed to be a result of its first feeling of safety and security derived from this close contact. A famous experiment that is a true testimony of the importance of comfort was conducted by Harry Harlow in 1959. The experiment focused around baby monkeys that were separated from their birth mothers and reared to two mother-like figures; one terry cloth covered doll and one wire meshed doll. The babies held on tightly to the terry cloth covered dolls for security and comfort despite the fact that the wire meshed doll had a bottle attached to it. This experiment demonstrated the importance of a warm and comfortable environment to help a child thrive rather than a cold, uncomforting one.

Building Comfort for your Child

We suggest having an age-appropriate crib or bed, warm sheets and blankets, a few pieces of child size furniture and some toys they might enjoy. You may feel the need to over-indulge with bold prints and glitter, but decorating with too many bright colors may be too overwhelming. Decorating with soft, warm colors will put your child at ease and displaying few attractive toys that are soft and fuzzy will calm your child and help them feel right at home. Another tip we suggest is carrying you child in the front of your body, closest to your heart. The Moby wrap can help you keep your child close and aid in bonding while also freeing your hands.

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Ready, Set, Bond!

True bonding is not measured by time spent together or the favors done for each other but by the comfort you find when you realize you have each other. Now that you have some background knowledge on the importance of bonding, let’s put our theories and science to work. Here are some tips we offer to help promote a healthy bond between you and your child.

Be Sensitive and Empathetic

Empathy is all about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with someone else’s heart, and seeing through someone else eyes. Be sensitive to the needs of your child and handle with care and compassion. If your infant is crying, take time to rock them gently and sing to them softly.

Sit and Play

Playfulness decreases any feelings of threat and harm. Sit alongside your child and follow their lead. Find activities that will interest your child and stimulate them emotionally and intellectually. “I see you” is a great game to play that promotes eye contact and helps the child become familiar with your facial features and laugh.

Be Predictable

Keeping rituals and routines help let the child let him know what’s expected of them as well as what they can expect from you. Try to keep feeding times the same; the earlier your child realizes that when they’re hungry you will feed them the better it is for all. As soon as your baby shows signs of hunger, sit in a cozy spot with a drink of water, a nursing pillow and soft music playing. If your baby is easily distracted when feeding, you might try going in a quiet room with the lights low, says Jim Sears, M.D., author of The Baby Book.

Skin-to-Skin Connection

Child or infant massages are a way for you to gently nurture and spend time with your baby. They promote parent – to child interact and are often soothing and calming to your child.

Relax and Enjoy It!

Bonding is not like instant glue which suddenly and irrevocable cements the parent-child relationship together forever. Bonding is a life-long process of parent-child interaction. Take a deep breath and enjoy bonding with you child; not only will this make you feel better, but also help your child relax.

What are some rituals your family does to promote healthy relationships?

 

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Older Child Adoption Guide: Adopting an Older Child & Parenting your Adopted Child as They Grow

Older Child Adoption Guide

Adopting a Pre-School or School-Aged Child

There are special challenges present when adopting a pre-school aged child. Deborah Gray, author of Attaching in Adoption and Nurturing Adoptions presents ten tips for the first year of placement that we suggest adoptive parents take time to read and discuss with family members. Here is an excerpt of her article, Top Ten Tips for the First Year of Placement.

  1. Spend ample time in nurturing activities.

    The most significant process of the first year home is creating a trust relationship. Intentional and ample nurturing promotes this goal. Restrict your hours away from the little one. Do not leave your child for overnight trips for this first year.
    Meet your little ones needs in an especially sensitive manner. Feed on demand. Respond quickly to fussing. Allow the toddler or child to regress, bottle-feeding, rocking to sleep, lapsitting, and being carried. Play little games that promote eye contact, like peekaboo, ponyride, and hide-and-seek.

  2. Teach children to play with you.

    Many little ones have missed the joys of play. Act as an amplifier, teaching toddlers and children the pleasure of play. Most children have missed the experience of having parents express joy as they played. Because of this, their reward centers were not stimulated. This restricted the association of exploration and play with pleasure. Set aside at least thirty minutes a day for play with your children.

  3. Talk to your child.

    Talking with KidsParents of infants use exaggerated voice tones to emphasize important concepts. Their “amplifier system” helps children with attention to most important parts of the whole environment. After children move into the preschool age, some of this “cheerleader” amplification diminishes. Continue to use this brighter emotional tone with your child as she understands your shared world even if she is not an infant.
    Explain things to him, even though you might think that the meaning of what you are doing is obvious. Not only are you conveying information to him, you are revealing your view of the world to him. Your voice tones guide him to better understand the context. Be sure to use your fingers and gestures to point out important things to him. This helps him to both attend to and understand the meaning of the context around him.

  4. When toddlers or older children have behavior problems, use your body to stop them.

    Be gentle, but be consistently and predictably competent in stopping negative behaviors. Gently move their bodies to where you want them to be. For example, if your little one is reaching for an item, move the child or the item. Use the voice for a back up. Do not remind or repeat several times. Instead, describe in a pleasant manner how precious or pretty the item appears to you as you move your child. Teach boundaries of respect from the beginning.

  5. Get enough sleep, good food, and exercise to stay in a good mood.

    Little ones who have been moved and/or neglected tend to be irritable, fussy, and hard to soothe. Parents use their own positive, well-regulated moods to help calm and engage these little ones. Your own emotional stability will help to steady your child’s moods. A depressed parent struggles to form a positive, secure attachment with her baby or child. Depression makes the parent emotionally less available. The parent who is tired, eating junk food, and inert by day’s end does not give a child a competent source of emotional regulation. Parents who find that their moods are slipping, even with good self-care, should see about counseling and/or an antidepressant. It is simply too hard to do this essential, nurturing parenting while being depressed.

  6. Be part of an adoption support group.

    The relationships between families are invaluable. The relationships can be emotional lifelines on hard days. If possible, find a mentor who is positive, and who likes you and your child. Ask her to be part of your circle of support. We all need to feel understood and authentically accepted. A mentor who can provide that sense of nurture for the parent helps the parent to be a good nurturer. The mentor relationship provides a sense of being heard and accepted, and tips and information. Parents are working harder emotionally when parenting a baby or child who has lived through uneven parenting. Parents need someone who cares for them. Sometimes this can be mutual support, and sometimes one-to-one.

  7. Keep a calm, but interesting home.

    Match the amount of stimulation in the home to the amount that is within the childs ability to tolerate. Many children have been massively understimulated before they came to parents. Neglect massively understimulates children. They do not build neurology to process as much sensory stimulation. After adoption, their worlds can suddenly be overwhelming. Things are too bright, too loud, move too much, and tilt too much. Slow things down, buffering your baby or child to the extent that they can process the information coming their way. Often children who are overwhelmed by noise will begin shouting, or those overstimulated by too much movement will begin running with arms like windmills. Lay out predictable, consistent events for the day. Some children find the movement of the car to be disorienting. If your child is having difficulties, try a couple of days limiting the car, determining whether or not this makes a difference.

  8. Explain to children basics of your relationships as they gain language.

    For example, “A mothers job is to love you. I will always come back home to you when I leave in the car to go shopping. You will live with me until you are as big as I am. I will not let anybody hurt you. I will never hurt you. We will always have enough food.” One mother told me of her sons relief and better behavior when she told him that she would never allow others to hurt him. “Why didn’t I think to tell him the first year?” She questioned. “He was afraid every time we went to the mall. He has been thinking for two years that just anyone could haul off and hit him.” Another parent told me of the melting smile that her daughter gave her when she said that a mothers job was to love her child. “I just assumed that she knew that. But she didn’t. She looked at my face much more after that.”

  9. Do watch for signs of an exclusive attachment by the end of the first year.

    Children should be seeking out their parents for affection and play. They should be showing off for positive attention. They should prefer being with the parent. They should show some excitement about time together. When hurt or distressed, the child should seek out the parent. In a secure attachment, the child will calm with the parent and accept soothing.
    Trauma and traumatic grief are the common culprits when children are remaining wary, fearful, and controlling of their parents. Signs of trauma with younger children include regular night terrors, dissociation (child shuts off emotionally and stares away), scratching, biting, extreme moods, freezing in place, and destructiveness. Parents who see these symptoms should be finding a mental health counselor to help their child. If the child is under the age of three, the parent is given special parenting advice. Usually therapy with an experienced child therapist can begin not long after the age of three.

  10. Enter your little ones spacepositively.

    This often means getting low and looking up for eye contact. It means trying hard and trying patiently for a longer time. You are the one who has the responsibility of engaging your child positively. Do not use punitive techniques to try to build relationships. After all, no one wants to attach to a mean person. Instead, be strong, dependable, available, and kind. Veer away from advice that is strong, controlling, and mean in tone. Sensitive and kind parents gradually build empathy and security in their relationships with their children. That process takes time and the type of parenting that caused you to want to be a parent in the first place!

To read a more complete version of her article which is extremely helpful for parent’s in this situation, you can find it here. We also wrote another blog post about making a smooth transition when adopting an older child which is a great resource, you can find that here.

Parenting Your Adopted Child as They Grow-Up

Talking About Adoption

As a parent you will share information in an appropriate way for your child’s age and abilities. You have the responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of your child including what to share and when and how to share the information. It is a parent’s job to help the child make sense of the information and that can be done by explaining things in a positive way and answering any questions your child has.

Telling the Story during the Preschool Years

Adoptive Mother and Daughter

Our friends at Adoptive Families wrote a great piece about Telling the Tough Stuff  to your adoptive child. They explain that there are two keys to sharing adoption information with preschool aged children.

  1. Tell the child’s story as a story, not as cut and dry facts. Make sure your child understands that the story you are telling is true and not a fairytale.
  2. Tell no lies. You don’t want to risk confusing your child so make sure your story is truthful. At this age you also want to limit the amount of negative details you share.

Elementary –age Kids

As your young ones grow, they make a cognitive leap around seven to nine years of age. They are able to understand the concepts you described when they were younger and will likely have more questions about their adoption story. Kids are highly resilient at this age and it is often considered the ideal age for sharing tough realities.

Adolescence

This is the time to continue to fill in details. Just like with nearly every teenager, parents should be prepared for some rough patches as your child struggles to figure out who he is. If the adoption conversation has been open and honest from the beginning, it is likely to remain so and only expand as your child becomes a teenager. Talking to teens can be a difficult task and we wrote a blog post not too long ago on how to best approach the conversation, you can find post here.

Additional Resources

https://afth.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/talking-to-your-adopted-child/

Did You Know You Can Breastfeed Your Adoptive Baby?

Breastfeeding an Adoptive Baby

Some people might think that the word breastfeeding and adoption don’t belong in the same sentence nevertheless think that it’s a possibility.  Not only is it very possible, , but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends whenever possible that all babies be exclusively breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired. It is understandable that sometimes this is not possible however it is important for adoptive mothers to know the option exists even when she doesn’t give birth to her child.

Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Adoptive Baby 

Before making a decision to induce lactation or deciding it isn’t the right path for you, it is important to consider all the benefits linked to breastfeeding. Just like with biological mothers, the process can be tiring and frustrating.  Along the way you might want to give up, it may just be because it is too time consuming, you are having latching problems or it could be that you feel like you simply are just not producing enough milk for your baby. Just know that a lot of other mothers are going through the same struggles as you are, and whether you decide to continue breastfeeding or you choose a different route, you are not a bad mother.  Even though there are a lot of studies that show a multitude of benefits that come from breastfeeding, it may not be the path or even an option for your family and that’s ok too.

The Benefits That Your Child Gets From BREASTFEEDING

Below are just some compelling, research based facts about the importance of breastfeeding for the child in case you do decide to choose this path.

  • Immunizations: Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system big time—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
  • SIDS: The AAP says breastfeeding plays a role in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The meta-analysis found that breastfeeding was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of SIDS compared to not breastfeeding.
  • Eczema: In families with a history of atopy, exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3 months was found to have a 42 percent reduction in atopic dermatitis compared with breastfeeding for less.
  • Asthma: Breastfeeding for at least 3 months was associated with a 27 percent reduction in the risk of asthma for those without a family history of asthma and a 40 percent reduction for those with a family history of asthma.

The Benefits that the Adoptive Mother Gains from Breastfeeding

As beneficial as breastfeeding is for your baby, it will also benefit you as their mother as well. Here are just a few scientifically proven facts about how breastfeeding benefits mothers too.

  • Breast cancer: The longer women breastfeed, the more they’re protected against breast and ovarian cancer. For breast cancer, nursing for at least a year appears to have the most protective effect.
  • Positive Mood: Research has shown breastfeeding to have positive psychological effect for mothers. Researchers suggest that the higher levels of the oxytocin released by breastfeeding contributed to the positive mood.
  • Bonding: Bonding is a crucial aspect of adoption, and the hormones released during breastfeeding can facilitate the process. Breastfeeding places you and your baby in skin-to-skin contact, which is important both to your baby’s developments and the attachments between you and your baby.Breastfeeding creates a connection of bonding

 Preparing Yourself Ahead of Time

Even if you have never been pregnant or reached menopause, it is possible to breastfeed an adopted baby. The process of breastfeeding an adopted baby is called induced lactation. It is possible to gain the benefits of breastfeeding little to no preparation at all, however if you have advanced notice that you will have a baby joining you’re family, you can have a head start on the process.  It is suggested that you start a few weeks before your baby is arriving. To prepare you can stimulate you’re breasts by hand or by pump.  The pumping massage will induce prolactine which switches on the milk glands in the breasts.  Just know that you will produce little to no milk during these pumping sessions. Don’t get frustrated, it can take a month or more of regular pumping to trigger milk production. The main purpose of pumping before the baby is born is to start the changes in your breast so that you will produce milk, it is not to start your storage supply!

Inducing lactation after your baby arrives

If you are a hopeful adoptive mother and are fortunate enough to be present at the hospital when your baby is born, speak with your social worker about your plans to nurse and use their guidance to see if you would be able to begin nursing while at the hospital. Keep in mind; it might not be possible to nurse while in the hospital so turn to your social worker for direction. Getting the baby to latch might be the hardest part but there will be a lactation consultant at the hospital to help you through the process. A good latch means the baby will get more of your milk and will create a lot LESS painful feeding sessions! Just always keep in mind that there more to breastfeeding than the amount of breast milk being delivered to the baby. Think of the intimate relationship you are forming with your new baby, the closeness and the attachment that many mothers are looking for.

Conclusion

If you decide to take the breast feeding route, please share with us and others your tips of the trade! If you want additional information or just want to read another’s persons opinion about this topic, check out our breastfeeding blog that we wrote back in 2010.

Are you having problems breastfeeding as an adoptive mother?? Let’s try and help each other jump this hurdle together!

To learn more about newborn bonding check out our other past blogs that all relate to each other.

https://afth.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/newborn-bonding/

https://afth.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/bonding-with-your-adopted-child/

December Book Reviews 2014

Eight-Books-To-Read-In-2014

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.


 9780061950728_custom-6b77c08d0246137620e8b4ff1d6391b19faca099-s99-c85Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline – Flipping back and forth between the past and the present, Orphan Train tells the story of two women who have very similar stories to tell.  Vivian lost her family when she was nine and wound up on an “orphan train” to the midwest from New York, where she was given to one family or another in the hope of someone adopting her.  Molly’s father was killed and her mother, hooked on drugs, couldn’t care for her so she moved from foster home to foster home.

Its also a story of the child welfare system, how children were often traded for service and room and board, names changed to suit their new wards, babies were adopted first and older children were left unwanted, now isn’t all that different. While there are more checks and balances children are sometimes taken in by foster families, “for the money” received to care for them, and treated as little more than servants, shuffled around from place to place. While the foster care system doesn’t fail every child it still needs a lot of work. Stories like Molly’s are unfortunately too common.

This was a gripping book that shows that you can’t judge a person on looks, that there is always a story to be learned from people and that the young can really benefit from working with and learning from older people. The relationship between Vivian and Molly is so beautiful and the loneliness they felt before they met oozed off the page, the discovery of their shared experiences forms a bond that helps to heal both of them.  amazon.com price $8.99 kindle price $6.99

The-Day-the-Storm-Came_smThe Day The Storm Came: A Therapeutic Story for children who have experienced loss. by Helen Lees – This book is great for children who have experienced any type of loss or even a change in circumstance. Through a simple story and cute photos it helps kids realize that despite changes that may have happened in their lives and any sadness they are feeling at the moment the sun will come out again.  amazon.com price $9.99 


– Most adoption books tell you the story of an adoptive parent, their struggle through infertility, the hoop jumping and red tape of adoption and ultimately the joy of a successful adoption. My 2 Secrets tells the adoption story from the perspective of a birth mother.  This is a short but powerful story of a woman who places not one but two children for adoption and her struggle to keep this a secret and then ultimately come to terms with it.  For adoptive parents this is an essential read to help get them out of their story and put them in the position of a pregnant woman trying to come to terms with one of the hardest decisions of her life. 
 amazon  price $12.43 Kindle edition $2.99 

October Book Reviews 2014

Eight-Books-To-Read-In-2014

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.

137759-287559-396x448-MySisterAbbyCoverMy Sister Abby by Allison Barberi – Simple story of a young girl whose family adopts another child of a different race and culture. It briefly touches on how siblings don’t always look alike and that people of different cultures celebrate holidays or birthdays in different ways. It didn’t touch on race, which given the age range this book is intended for is okay but I did feel was a missing piece. The focus of the story seemed to focus on being happy to have a sister to share things with. amazon.com price $8.97 kindle price $5.99

blogger-image--1813170225Yes, I’m Adopted! by Sharlie Zinniger –  I really enjoyed this book right up to the end until the Authors threw in God. I feel this was just an unnecessary addition but probably won’t bother most people.  This is a sweet story with an en empowering message to help adopted children who may feel that different is bad to realize different is just different and different can in fact be very good. I loved the subtle nod to Superman and his being different and adopted – I think that this book would really speak to boys but girls would certainly enjoy it as well. amazon.com price $8.99 Kindle price $1.99

ThisisaBookFor-Parents-01a-thumb-307x448-86229This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life by Danielle Owens-Reid & Kristin Russo– This is a great book to help parents of lgbt kids and also for lgbt kids or adults to read.  While the questions are directed to parents the answers may help lgbt youth feel better about the reactions they may receive or questions that people ask.  This is all new to many people and while it may have taken a long time to come to the conclusion that you needed to come out as lgbt you need to give others the space to ask questions and come to terms with it as well.  Sometimes what sounds like a negative question is just that a question with no malice attached to it more of a information gathering to help the other person process the information.  Each chapter focuses on different aspect of coming out and at the end of each chapter there is a short summary of what was talked about. There are real life stories and scenarios scattered throughout the book that also help make this book more accessible and not just feel like a textbook. amazon  price $15.99 Kindle edition $9.99 

51w1TO5YHYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Family Medical History: Unknown/Adopted: How a Routine Inquiry Led to Unexpected Answers for an Adopted Woman by Nancy Kacirek Feldman & Rebecca Crofoot –  Many adult adoptees know the pain of not knowing their family medical history and the awkward conversations that can be had at doctors offices when trying to explain that they were adopted.  In fact medical history is a big reason why many adoptees search for their birth parents.

While this is not a particularly well written book it does describe the process and the roller coaster of emotions that are involved with searching for your roots. Nancy tells most of the story from her perspective through narrative, letters, and emails.  Becky, the social worker for the agency that Nancy was adopted through helps fill in some of the legal gaps and letting readers know what is normal and expected along the way.  I thought this book was very well balanced and honest.  amazon price $13.41 Kindle price 3.95

July Book Reviews 2014

Eight-Books-To-Read-In-2014

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.

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After Isaac by Avra Wing – This book succeeds in taking you through the process of recovering from the loss of a child to flying half way around the world to adopt another.  The main character of Aaron is realistic, observant, and relatable. The story actually takes place a year after Isaacs death as the family continues to struggle with their loss and to stay together and heal. This is a refreshing and emotional read about death, the emotions of those left behind and ultimately healing and learning to love again. While this book is considered a young adult book it is really suitable for adults as well. amazon.com price $8.09 kindle price $4.99


01LDbook_zpse37ad423Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace edited by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, Karen Pickell & Jennifer Anastasi  
Stories from a wide and diverse range of female adult adoptees.  This book is honest, sometimes difficult to read and often times validating.  Some of these women have had difficult experiences some have had fabulous experiences but what they all share is that they are adopted and their adoption effected them in different ways.  Since each story is only about a page long this is an easy book to pick up randomly read a few pages, put it down and come back to it later. amazon.com price $11.69 Kindle Price $9.99


9781630631963medNot many adoptive parents have been on the other side of the adoption process as a birth parent nor can they imagine it.  Yvette has literally come full circle with adoption.  When she was a young woman she made the difficult decision to place her child for adoption.  Then after a marriage, divorce and medical issues that left her unable to conceive she found herself on the opposite side of the adoption table, as a prospective adoptive parent. Ultimately Yvette adopts three children but her struggles and her story really show both sides of the adoption story. amazon  price $8.99 Kindle edition $7.19 

June Book Reviews 2014

Eight-Books-To-Read-In-2014

All books purchased by clicking the link in our review will give AFTH a small donation from Amazon.com.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the books in our review please consider buying it through our link to amazon.com.

51rFfKEPocL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe #1: Moldylocks and the Three Beards (A Branches Book)– by Noah Z. Jones – This is a fun book that would appeal to both boys and girls. While it doesn’t have anything to do with adoption it does have to do with diversity.  The main character Princess is a girl of color which is rare to find in most books these days – So bravo! The story is whimsical and a great weird take on fairy tales.  I’m sure this series is going to be a huge hit.  Its a beginner chapter book geared toward kids in grades 1 -2. The second book in this series is due out in August 2014.  retail $4.99 amazon price $4.49 kindle price $3.82

cleo01_frontcoverCleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice by Mike Maihack – this is a graphic novel geared toward kids 8-12 in grades 3-7. Once again this book has nothing to do with adoption but does hit on diversity of characters.  Cleopatra from Egyptian history finds a special scroll as a young girl and is thrust forward in time to become the savior of the galaxy.  This is just the first of her many adventures.  For fans of comic books with female heroines this book is fun and empowering. Cleo, as she likes to be called, is an excellent shot and great at hand to hand combat but really wants nothing to do with book learning, most of all algebra!  Unfortunately we are going to have to wait until 2015 for her next adventure. retail price $12.99  amazon price: $10.68

41zy04SzxsL10 Adoption Essentials: What You Need to Know About Open Adoption (Guide to a Healthy Adoptive Family, Adoption Parenting, and Relationships) by Russell Elkins – This book is a good starting point for families exploring open adoption.  It is very short and gives a great overview of some very important elements to open adoption, sharing information, taking the open adoption relationship seriously, working through jealousy etc..  There is some good information in this little snippet of a book.  A great way to start exploring the world of open adoption and really diving into the different feelings that it can invoke. amazon price $4.32 kindle price $.99

51XqArOQnVL Finding A Family: A Journey Through Infertility and Adoption by Tina Nelson – Tina and her husband struggled with infertility, the tried adoption but waited for years with no results when Tina heard about a new option, Embryo adoption. They contacted an agency and decided to give this a try.  Through Embryo adoption Tina and her husband were able to experience pregnancy and give birth to twins.

Tina and her husband are very religious and rely on their faith to get them through this difficult period in their lives.  They felt that their Heavenly Father would see them through and enable them to have children and raise a family.  You really live Tina’s grief of being unable to have children and the joy of finding out she is pregnant.  If you are interested in embryo adoption this is a good first hand account of what it entails. List price $6.99 Amazon.com price $6.29, kindle price $2.99