01
Jun
09

Building a Library for Parents

Ask any adoption expert, and most seasoned APs, and they’ll tell you that education is a huge part of parenting an internationally adopted child. Several of my recent posts have touched on how adoptive parenting is different from parenting biological children.

While I have pages at the top of the blog listing great books for families with internationally adopted children, I thought I’d include an entry about building a library. I’ve found that some books are good to read only once while others you’re going to want to have around for years to come. And I realize that some people aren’t readers, so I’ll start the list with books for the non-readers and build it up for those who read anything and everything.

You’re not a reader, and don’t want anything too in-depth
Beyond Good Intentions by Cheri Register is the book for you. This diary-sized book lists 10 pitfalls that parents of internationally adopted kids can fall into. It gives you enough information to make you think, but not enough to overwhelm. This one is an easy read, and can be put down and returned to without losing the train of thought. It would be a one good one to check out from the library.

You want in-depth info but only plan to read one such book
Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen is just the book you’re looking for. Don’t be scared of the academic look of the book. It’s well organized so you can find chapters that relate to what you’re experiencing. And it covers your first hours together as a family through the teen years. This one is an invaluable resource and well worth the investment of purchasing it.

You’re interested having a couple of different prespectives
Again you’ll want Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child.
The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis has some of the same information the above title does but it’s presented differently. This book includes lots of information about teaching your children to be respectful and about correcting their behavior, even if they have complicated backgrounds.
Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? by Donna Jackson Nakazawa will help you have a deeper understanding of racial issues your child will face. While it’s not exclusively about transracially adopted children, many of the people she talks to are adoptees. The book centers on how children of mixed-race families process race and the information is broken down by age group. She gives lots of talking poings so conversations about race aren’t as intimidating as they can be without guidance.

If you’re building a full library, consider these:
Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum delves more deeply into racial identity. It’s a great compliment to Nakazawa’s book.
• Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae is another title that covers everything from food to language to sleep.
• Adoptive Parenting From the Ground Up by Katie Prigel Sharp explains brain development and how it applies to adoptive families. Some of the other titles (Cogen’s and Purvis’s books) cover this as well but this title may be a little more concise than the other two, which cover a variety of other subjects as well.
• Becoming a Family by Lark Eshleman 
• Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge
Cross-Cultural Adoption by Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz is a great book to give family and friends—it helps them answer questions about adoption and gives both answers for young children and adults.
Dim Sum, Bagels, & Grits by Myra Alperson covers the importance of becoming a multicultural family with ideas on how your home and life can be a reflection of your now multiracial family.
Being Adopted by David Brodzinsky describes how children feel about adoption at different ages.
My advice would be check these titles out from your local library first or try to borrow them from another adoptive family. Then buy the titles that you feel are most relevant and helpful to your family. That way you’ll be investing in the books that will help you the most.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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