I've been away from the blog for a while, but I have a good excuse! I've been busy reading adoption books during my break from summer classes. Sadly, I'm back to class now, so adoption reading is now on the back burner for a few weeks. However, I have four new book reviews to share with you!
On Father's Day I read The Baby Boat by Patty Dann. The book is a memoir, containing diary-style entries the author wrote during the time period that she and her husband were on the path to adopt from Lithuania. I flew through this book in about three or four hours. I was totally engrossed - I could really feel the emotions the author moved through during the course of the story, and it made me excited for my own journey to really get started. I highly recommend this as an easy read to anyone interested in reading a first-hand account of adoption, particularly if you're pursuing international adoption.
After I finished The Baby Boat, I read Adam Pertman's Adoption Nation. This books provides an in-depth look at adoption and the role it plays in American culture, as well as how that culture has affected adoption over the years. While the book did contain some good information and background, I'm not sure I would recommend it to everyone. Pertman highlights many of the adoption horror stories that have been in the news in the past, and although he is a strong advocate for adoption, his book seemed quite negative to me at times.
This weekend I finished a book entitled Loving Across the Color Line by Sharon F. Rush. This was the first adoption book I read that centered on transracial adoption, and I found it informative, depressing, and inspiring by turns. Rush writes of her experiences as a White woman who adopted a bi-racial daughter. This book gave me a lot to think about in terms of how well-equipped Tyler and I are (or are not) to raise a child of a different race. I fully believe that we will love equally any child that comes into our care, but I can see more clearly now the limitations that our circle of friends and family present. This book opened my eyes to how limited my experiences with race and racism are as a White person and really gave me a lot to think about. Tyler is reading it now, and I'm hoping we can have some candid conversations about race when he is finished.
Finally, this past weekend I also read one of the books recommended/required by our adoption agency: Because I Loved You: A Birthmother's View of Open Adoption by Patricia Dischler. Patricia writes about her experience as a birthmother who chose open adoption for her child in 1985. She wrote the book in 2006, as her son became an adult. The books is written mainly toward women who are thinking of making adoption plans for their unborn children, but also contains advice for families of birthmothers and for adoptive parents. She gives practical advice to birthmothers about the process they are going through and also shares her personal story of unplanned pregnancy and open adoption. I thought the book was very well-written and I loved getting a birthmother's perspective of the entire process from birth through the child's adult years. I highly recommend this book if you are trying to decide if open adoption is right for your family, or if you are in the process of building your family through open adoption already.