By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 at 6:05 am in Adoption.
Anyone who’s seen the inside of my family’s office/library knows how much I love books. And ever since we decided to adopt, I’ve paid particular attention to the picture books that help tell adopted children the story of their lives and how they came into the lives of their families. Among my personal favorites: “The Family Book” by Todd Parr (Little, Brown Young Readers, $15.99), which illustrates the different makeups of families, from stepchildren to adopted children and two moms and two dads. As a stepmom, I really love how Parr tackles this subject, especially in contrasting two families by showing how one pig family is clean and another one messy. “Horace” by Holly Keller (Greenwillow, $11.55) is also cute in depicting the adoption of a leopard by tigers. “I’m all the wrong colors,” Horace explains and later sets out — with the support of his adopted family — to find his biological parents.
There are dozens of fabulous picture books, each different enough that adoptive families easily could find one that best illustrates their own situation. But for all the books on the market, the one I loved the best you won’t find in bookstores or on Amazon.com. It’s literally one of a kind. A couple we met through our adoption agency made the book using pictures from their adopted son’s birth. It includes photos of his birthmother and birth sisters. The words are simple enough for a child to understand. All of it is bound in a hard cover book (you can find great online publishing programs such as Shutterfly and Blurb that have great easy to use templates or consult an adoption scrapbook specialist). Every child who is adopted — and even those who aren’t — should have one, because while picture books make for great bedtime stories, none of them compare to a picture book that truly reflects the life of your child.