While waiting for a book required by my adoption agency to come back to the library, I checked out a different book on the same subject by the same author: Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina. I enjoyed this book, and I believe that this is a good introduction to adoption but not exhaustive (unlike the last book I reviewed). It seemed light on certain subjects, but it was an eye opener in other areas. For example, Dr. Melina brought to light working with health care professionals that understand adoption and know how to be sensitive about it.
This book was written from the viewpoint of a woman unable to have her own biological children, and so I felt that I could relate to her. She discusses the grieving process that occurs. She seems to write a bit from this point of view, so some people going through the adoption process for other reasons might have a hard time digesting that information.
Dr. Melina gave advice from her own experiences having adopted two international children from abroad, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone else planning to adopt internationally. She has insights that I would never have thought on my own. Yet, she still offers plenty of advice to parents of all types of adoption.
I appreciated how she illustrated a child’s understanding of adoption at various ages. She did a beautiful job sharing how we can explain adoption to our child in ways that he or she will grasp. She also indicated developmentally why children will ask certain things at some points in their life and not others.
This book was the first one I read that opened my eyes to open adoption. Although I’m not entirely swayed to do an open adoption, I think I learned how to have a more meaningful semi-open adoption for my (future) child.
I would definitely recommend this book to people in the beginning stages of adoption.
Okey and I have read a lot of books throughout the adoption process about adoption. Since you may be curious about adoption yourselves, I am going to post my reviews of the books I’ve read. Most of these books were recommended by our adoption agency, but there were a few others we discovered from the library. There are a lot of good resources out there, and I hope that these posts can be helpful to you.
I’m going to start with Successful Adoption by Natalie Nichols Gillespie. The cover calls this “a guide for Christian families,” and it is about the adoption process. Except for a few scriptural references and verses of encouragement, the material contained within was mostly secular. I wish I had read this book first as it talks about the adoption process in detail, from choosing which agency to work with to financing the adoption itself. By the time I read this book, a lot of the material was redundant to what Okey and I had read elsewhere or already spent a lot of time researching on our own.
Successful Adoption can be used as a step-by-step guide for families wanting to adopt domestically or even internationally. Because the book covers every adoption angle, all of the material will not relate to everyone. I felt that a majority of the book dealt with preparing for international adoption. The tips for international adoption seemed like sound advice, and there was a lot of it.
I liked how the book had check lists called “Red Light, Stop!” that you can use to determine if you are ready to advance to the next step in the process. There were also action points called “Green Light, Go!” that could help a person stay organized.
For a “nuts and bolts” book about adoption, this book should have had an index for searching topics. The book is well organized, but the same topics appear in various locations. With an index, the book would be easier to use as a reference.
Still, I would recommend this as a starter book for people considering adoption.