I love reading, but I can be a bit picky. Usually, I either can’t put a book down, or I can’t bring myself to pick it back up. My favorite kind of books are memoirs. I love the feeling of reading the pages and getting to know someone. Learning from real life experiences always goes over better with me than learning from a reference book. I haven’t seen a ton of adoption and foster care memoirs out there. These have been my favorites so far, and I’m definitely open to other suggestions!
Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison is a snapshot of several years in a foster family’s home. It chronicles the foster care adoptions of the Kathy’s daughters, as well as her experience with several other children who came and went over the years. This book holds a special place in my heart, because it is one of the things that inspired me to become a foster parent. I randomly picked it up at the book store with my mom while on break from college. When my mom saw me reading the back of the book, she offered to buy it for me. I’ve probably reread it a a dozen times over the last 12 years.
Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren is the story of a couple’s journey to Ethiopia to adopt their son, as well as the story of parenting him when they return. Adoption can be tough at first, it’s extremely traumatic for the child. Jillian conveyed those tougher moments with humor, while still showing the deep love she had for her son, a combination which is rarely captured in books.
One Small Boat is Kathy Harrison’s second memoir about her family’s experience with foster care. Kathy becomes extremely attached and is on the path to adopt one of her foster kiddos when the child’s birth father is located. This a good one for the seasoned foster parents out there. As happy as you are for the child, it’s still tough to see them go. I think this memoir is a perfect depiction of that feeling.
The Kid by Dan Savage is a hilarious memoir about a gay couple’s journey into domestic infant adoption. Most of the book focuses on the pre-adoption process, and it’s my number one recommendation for those currently waiting to adopt. I know the wait can be tough, but this one will keep you distracted for a few days (or one day if you are anything like me and unable to put it down).
Three Little Words follows Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s childhood, which was spent bouncing around in foster care. Most adoption and foster care memoirs are told from the view of the parent, and what I loved about this memoir is that it’s told from the view of the child. I felt like I learned a lot about the emotions a child in foster care might be experiencing, and why they might act certain ways. Fun fact: Ashley grew up and became a foster mom herself.
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