We've added 40 books to our adoption library! Check them out here, and stop by our head office in Burnaby to borrow one. For more information on our lending library visits our main library page.
by Kelly DiBenedetto, Katie Gorczyca, and Jennifer Eckert
An illustrated book about the adoption journey through the lens of a child adoptee, Charlie. This book provides insight into the thoughts and emotions that an adoptee/foster child might encounter while equipping parents and caregiver’s information and resources.
The book begins with Charlie settling into his adoptive home and progresses as he grapples with challenges such as building trust, feeling a sense of worth, relating to his beginnings, and establishing his identity.
by Christine Day
Edie is a Native American girl who knew all her life that her mother was adopted by a white couple. No matter how curious Edie was about her Native American heritage, she knew that her family had no answers to questions about her heritage. One day Edie finds a box full of love letters signed with “Love, Edith” with photos of a woman that looks exactly like her. Eide is now curious and has questions about who this woman who shares her name.
by Lisa Wingate
This book is based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals, the Memphis-based adoption organization, Tennessee Children’s Home Society founded by Georgia Tann, who kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.
The book contains two stories. The first one is based in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee, where a 12-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings are forced into Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage by a stranger when their dad had to take their mom to the hospital. In the present day, in Aiken, South Carolina, Avery Stafford born into wealth and privilege takes a long journey into understanding her family's long-hidden history when she helps her father weather a health crisis.
4) Before and After (Coming Soon!)
by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate
This book is a sequel to Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and continues to tell the story of Georgia Tann and the black-market baby business of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.
This book includes moving and shocking stories of the ways adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Judy Wingate and Lisa Christie tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins.
by Robin Benway
Robin Benway gives insight into a story about Grace, who is an only child adopted at birth, who finds out that she is a middle child of three. After putting up her child for adoption, Grace goes looking for her two biological siblings, Maya and Joaquin.
Maya, who is the youngest sibling of the three, has a lot to say about her newfound family ties. Having grown up in a house full of chipper redheads as a brunette, she starts to become curious about where exactly she belongs after her adopted families’ long-buried problems start to arise and explode to the surface.
Joaquin, who is the oldest sibling of the three, has no interest in bonding over their biological mother. After spending seventeen years in the foster care system, he has learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are the best kept close, where they cannot hurt anyone but him.
by Nicole Chung
Nicole Chung’s own story of being born severely premature and being placed up for adoption by her Korean parents, but then adopted by a white couple, and raised in Oregon, Portland.
From the years of early childhood, Chung grew up hearing her adoption story as a comforting and prepackaged myth. As a transracial adoptee, she believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice and did what was best for her by giving her up for adoption and that feeling out of place was her fate.
However, as Chung grew older, she faced prejudice as an Asian American that her adopted parents could not see. Thus, becoming more curious about her cultural identity and heritage, and wondering if the story she grew up with being told was true after all.
by Lisa See
This book tells a story about Li-Yan living in a rural mountain village of the Akha people where she does tea farming.
Li-Yan has a baby out of wedlock and puts her child wrapped up in a blanket near an orphanage in a nearby city. She then leaves her village and starts to live in the city for education and business and starts to wonder how her daughter is doing. While her daughter Haley across the world, was raised in California by adoptive parents, is longing to find more information about her origins.
by J.S Lee
J.S Lee gives insight into the difficulties and struggles as a transracial adoptee, international adoption, and childhood trauma. It tells the story of Shay Stone, a Korean American adoptee who is trying to get through her struggles of letting go.
Shay lies in a hospital bed, catatonic-dead to the world. Her family thinks it's a ploy for attention, but the doctors believe it's the result of an undisclosed trauma. At the mercy of memories and visitations, Shay unearths secrets that may have led to her collapse.
by Judy Boyer
This book recounts the joys and struggles of parenting a child with special needs as Josh Boyer has both down syndrome and autism and has eight siblings. It shows the low and high experiences of the Boyer family as they try to help Josh navigate his adulthood journey.
10) Love Never Quits
by Gina Heumann
Gina Heumann tells her family story who lived through parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder, a severe diagnosis related to children who experienced early-childhood trauma.
At three o’clock in the morning, Gina was fast asleep, yet she was smacked in the head. Thinking it was her husband who might have rolled over and flopped his arm on top of her, it was not him as he was asleep and facing the other direction. When she turned to her other side, she sees her eight-year-old child and asks if they had hit her. Gina’s child hit her because she took away their video games which occurred eight hours ago and because she took away the video games, the child said, “I wish I could kill you.”
This book covers over a decade of daily struggles until they finally found resolution and made it to the other side. The family remained intact, and this once challenging son is now achieving things never thought possible.
by Joanna Goodman
The story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.
Situated in the 1950s of Quebec, Maggie becomes pregnant at fifteen and is forced to give her daughter, Elodie, up for adoption by her parents to "get back on track" with her life.
Elodie grew up in the orphanage until she was seventeen and is now trying to tackle the real-world. Whereas, Maggie is now married and cannot forget the daughter she abandoned. As time passes, Maggie and Elodie's stories intertwine but never meet, and Maggie must take the initiative to search for her long-lost daughter.
by Regina Louise
Regina Louise tells a true story of overcoming neglect in the U.S. foster care system. Louise draws her personal experiences as an abandoned child and how she emerged from a cruel system, not only to survive but to also flourish.
Jumping from one fleeting and often abusive home to the next, Regina meets a counsellor named Jeanne Kerr where she experiences for the first time what it meant to be seen, understood, loved, and wanted by Jeanne. However, after Jeanne unsuccessfully adopts Regina, they are ripped apart forever, and Regina is back navigating the broken foster care system looking for a home.
Regina eventually ages out of the system and now must navigate through adulthood by herself and she finally tries to confront her past and reflect on her traumas.
by Zara H. Philips
The author Zara H. Philips provides insight into her life of having a difficult childhood of being adopted as a baby in the 1960s. When she grew up into her teenage years, Zara suffered from a drug and alcohol addiction alongside struggling with self-identity and finding her birth parents.
This book reveals Zara’s life was taken over by her adoption and how it affected herself and those around her. Furthermore, it explores the needs of adopted children and the true journey it takes to find where you belong.
by Nina M. Vincent
Thirteen-year-old Flip Simpson’s life begins to spiral when his adopted parents split up. For Flip this meant that he was moving away from his home, leaving his basketball team before playoffs, and only has his sister now as his companion.
Amidst all of Flip’s struggles, he meets Ricki, who is an indigenous classmate who loves basketball just as much as he does, and helps Ricki learn and understand his Mayan roots. Likewise, Zorba, who is an eccentric houseboat dweller who is a cross between The Cat in the Hat and Willy Wonka helps Ricki become inspired to overcome his fears and doubts.
Just as life began to look good for Ricki, he is faced with a racist bully named Steve who picks at the wounds that Flip has tried so hard to overcome and bring peace to it. Through this experience, Ricki starts to have questions about his race, culture and belonging.
by Elissa Brent Weissman
What Imani wants for her mitzvah gift is to find her birth parents. As an adoptee living in Baltimore, she loves her adopted parents and the Jewish community in Baltimore; however, she has always been curious about where she came from.
When Imani’s great-grandmother, Anna passes away, she discovers an old journal amongst Anna’s books. The diary is dated from 1941 in which it was the year that Anna was twelve years old and fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg by her parents to seek refuge in Brooklyn, New York.
Imani begins to learn more and see her family and her position in a new way as she reads Anna’s daily diary entries about her journey to America and her new life with an adoptive family.
by Maggie Hartley
As one of UK’s most prolific foster mothers, Maggie Harley provides three inspiring stories about children who have been through Maggie’s care, all of which are their sole individual books: Too Scared to Cry, The Girl No One Wanted and A Family For Christmas.
In Too Scared To Cry, two toddlers, Ben and Damien, arrive on Maggie's doorstep and are too scared to speak up. While their half-baby brother Noah does not smile, play or crawl. Ben, Damien, and Noah were conditioned to be seen and not heard, and it is up to Maggie to uncover the reason for this issue.
In The Girl No One Wanted, Eleven-year-old Leanne is simply out of control where over the years she has had over forty placements in her life. None of the local foster care centers are willing to take in Leanne because she was damaged and had anger issues. However, Maggie was her only hope and if the placement fails, Leanne would be put into a secure unit. While others immediately refused to take in Leanne, Maggie refused to give up on her.
In A Family For Christmas, Edward experiences a tragic accident that has changed his life forever and his family is living with a weight of guilt. Maggie helps Edward’s family grieve for the song they have lost and learn to love the little boy he is now.
by Janine Myung Ja
This research book is divided into four sections that talk about the foster care system in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It summarizes the inception and expansion of the adoption industry with a focus on the adoption roots and consequences kept from public awareness.
Furthermore, this book provides insight into the flawed industry and system where for many years facilitators have denied adoptee’s ability to access documents of information about their birth family. It also includes a brief passage from an Ethiopian orphan’s perspective about her views on adoption.
by Kristin Berry
This book provides individuals with experiences of real-life struggles and solutions from early childhood to young adulthood, it opens a window into their life and family in hopes of encouraging others. Finally, it reveals understanding, compassionate support for families facing heart-wrenching challenges.
by Kristin Berry
Kristin Berry has heard various horror stories surrounding adoption and foster care in her earlier years as a teenager, such as abuse, neglect, rejection, anger, and misunderstandings. In this book, Kristin opens up about the honest story of her experiences as a foster parent of twenty-three children over nine years.
This book gives insight into what it is like to be a foster parent, especially the everyday trials and triumphs foster mothers and fathers face on a day to day basis.
by Joy Jordan-Lake
This book surrounds the question of “how much is the crazy-much love?” in which two parents describe their adoption journey of adopting their daughter and the many milestone moments they have created together.
From the first bath time and first time riding a tricycle to boarding the big yellow bus to school. The crazy-much love grows so much that it can no longer grow anymore and eventually spills out the window and busts out the door.
by Marcy Pusey
This book provides readers with the answers they need to understand and educate themselves on raising children with complex emotional trauma alongside ways in which they can help heal their families.
Marcy Pusey helps adoptive parents and their families to understand and navigate through attachment disorders. Pusey provides information on debunking the myths of the disorder, the impact of complex emotional trauma on our homes, and addresses the current treatment options for attachment disorders.
by Elizabeth Greenwall
This book provides readers with a story about how every family is different and celebrating diversity.
Joseph, who is an adopted child, goes to school for the very first time and meets a friend who is also adopted. Joseph becomes frustrated when his teacher assigns the class to make a family tree.
23) The Deepest Well
by Nadine Burke Harris
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a physician delivering care for vulnerable children. Harris began her journey to discover and analyze the connection between toxic stress and lifelong illnesses when she met a boy named Diego, who had stopped growing after a sexual assault situation.
Harris’ research in this book exposes just how deeply our bodies can be imprinted by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) like abuse, neglect, parental addiction, mental illness, and divorce. Childhood adversity can not only change our biological systems, but the experiences can last a lifetime.
by Sarah Naish
This book gives parents or caregivers an easy to follow process to use when responding to issues with their children.
It covers 60 common problems parents face, from acting aggressively to difficulties with sleep, with advice on what might trigger these issues, and how to respond.
Easy to navigate and written in a straightforward style, this book is a must-have for all therapeutic parents.
by Arleta James
This book uses neuroscience and attachment theory to explain how adoptive parents can help their traumatized children develop. It looks at the various factors that trauma can manifest and how parents should respond to them.
26) All the Sweeter
by Jean Minton
Jean Minton tells twelve stories of families who have adopted one or more children from the U.S. foster care system. Each of the twelve families interviewed has its dedicated chapter in which they give insight into their family’s adoption story.
Through each of the chapters, various adoption topics are spoken upon, such as complications that accompany transracial adoptions, helping children understand the adoption process, relationships with birth parents, and raising a traumatized child.
by Heather Avis
Heather Avis, an adoptive mother of three adopted children, in which two of her children have Down Syndrome. Avis talks about the funny stories of her children, the spontaneous dance parties, forgotten pants, and navigating the challenges and joys of parenthood. She also shares the heartbreaking moments when her kids were denied a place at the table and when she had to fight for her voice to be heard.
by Elena S. Hall
This book gives insight into the adoption world through perspectives from various adoptees. Eleana S. Hall, a Russian adoptee shares her story of being adopted and her thoughts on adoption in general. In addition, there are interviews from other adoptees of different ages, heritages, and perspectives. This memoir gives insight into the real lives of those directly impacted by adoption with personal stories of orphans who have found their forever families that are simultaneously beautiful and heart-wrenching.
by Deborah Reber
This book dives deeper into the issues, in what Reber calls the children “differently wired” who have ADHD, Asperger's/ASD, gifted children, sensory issues, learning disabilities, anxiety, and more of what they deal with.
Deborah Reber offers eighteen different paradigm-shifting ideas, as what she calls “tilts” that will change everything for parents of neurotypical children who feel like they have no place or anyone to turn to. Through these alternative ways of being, these paradigm-shifting ideas will help parents discover how to stay open, pay attention, and become an exceptional parent to their exceptional child.
by Sharon Saline
Veteran psychologist Sharon Saline shares the words and inner struggles of children and teens living with ADHD and a framework for achieving success by working together.
With twenty-five years of experience in counselling young individuals and their families, Saline provides advice and real-life examples that will reveal how parents can shift their dynamic and successfully help their kids. Topics in this book include setting mutual goals that foster cooperation, easing academic struggles, tackling everyday challenges such as tantrums and backtalks to staying organized, building friendships, and more.
by Katie Naftzger
Adult adoptee and family therapist Katie Naftzger share her own personal and professional wisdom to help adoptive parents remain a calm parental influence while trying to help understand their teens’ erratic behaviours.
This book describes the essential skills adoptive parents need to help their teens face their challenges of growing up.
Four key goals for adoptive parents that Naftzger emphasizes on are moving from rescuing to responding, setting adoptive-sensitive limits and ground rules, having connecting conversations, and helping their teen envision their future.
32) The Power of Showing Up (Coming Soon!)
by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson explain the concept of how any child turns out is determined by whether at least one adult has consistently shown up for them. As the authors indicate, it does not take that a lot of time, energy, and money for parents to take time out of their schedule for their children, in which showing up for your children means giving them the quality time of presence.
To explain this concept, Siegel and Bryson use the Four S’s to help identify what every child needs to feel. The Four S’s are safe, seen, soothed, and secure.
by Sarah Easterly
A mother-daughter story of Sara Easterly spending her whole life looking for the “perfect” mother. As an adoptee herself, Sarah had attachment difficulties with her mother, struggled with her faith, lived with effects of intergenerational wounding, and felt a sense of unwantedness that drove her to perfectionism, suicidal ideations and fantasizing the “perfect” mothers.
Though Sarah’s search for the “perfect mother” intensified when she became a mother herself but had a spiritual epiphany when her mother passed away.
This book gives readers insight for anyone in the adoption world with themes of belonging, family, and forgiveness.
by Lisa Wool-rim Sjöblom
Lisa Sjöblom was adopted when she was two-years-old and moved to Sweden. Throughout her childhood, Lisa struggled to fit into the Swedish culture and was constantly told to suppress her desire to find out about her culture and heritage. Like many adoptees, Lisa learned to suppress and bury her feelings of abandonment as many people told her to be thankful that she was now living her new life in Sweden and that it was better than what life would have been in Korea.
In this cartoon novel, Lisa uncovers her untold feelings about adoption when she was pregnant with her first child. She digs deeper into her background and culture when she discovers documents containing her birth parents’ name even though people told her she was an orphan without a background.
35) Home at Last
by Vera B. Williams
Lester was adopted by his father’s Albert and Rich, but after he was adopted, he started having problems with not being able to fall asleep. Every night Lester would crawl into his parents’ bed with their dog, Wincka, thinking that he would be alright and nothing bad would happen to him.
Albert and Rich do as much as they can to help Lester feel at home by buying him a new bike and buying him ice-cream, but no matter how happy Lester is during the day, he still gets worried during the night. It is the dog, Wincka, that finally solves Lester’s night issues when she climbs onto his bed and sleeps alongside Lester. Wincka can do this because she acts as his pillow and a protector; thus, Lester being able to feel at home at last.
36) Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA (Coming Soon!)
by Richard Hill
Richard Hill gives insight into his personal adoption story of trying to reclaim and discover who his biological family was since his birth family have denied him through sealed records. Hill goes on a quest to use DNA testing to try and figure out his birth family is.
He was able to gather minimal evidence surrounding the circumstances of his birth. However, through this book, Hill can receive help from new friends, genealogists, the Internet, and the latest DNA tests to learn more about the field of genetic genealogy in hopes to find his birth family.
by Blaine T. Bettinger
Blaine Bettinger dives deep into genealogy DNA testing. In this book, Bettinger explains the pros and cons of the three major testing companies, advises on choosing the right test to answer individuals’ specific genealogy questions. Furthermore, it includes a comprehensive perspective on genetic testing for ancestry.
Finally, it discusses the ethics and future of genetic genealogy and how adoptees and others who know little to nothing about their ancestry can benefit from DNA testing.
by Bessel Van Der Kolk
Dr. Van Der Kolk is an expert on trauma and has spent over three decades with survivors who experience trauma. In this book, he uses recent scientific advances to how readers that trauma reshapes both the brain and the body, which includes the sufferers, capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust.
To help recover and treat trauma, Dr. Van Der Kolk explores various innovative treatments, such as neurofeedback, meditation to sports, drama, and yoga, which offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity.
by Barbara Neiman
A workbook written for teens who are adopted, Barbara Neiman helps teens to open the door to questioning, explore painful feelings, and develop the skills needed to be happy and a grounded adult. She teaches powerful self-resiliency, mindfulness, and somatic skills to help teens explore their unique identity as an adopted teen.
Teens will find tools to manage loss and grief, activities that include checklists, contemplations, skill-building, and journaling to help them chronicle present, past, and future relationships with both their adoptive and birth parents.
by Sharon Kaplan Roszia and Allison Davis Maxon
Widely known and a successful U.S. conceptual model, the Seven Core Issues of adoption includes loss, rejection, shame/guilt, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control. Sharon Roszia and Allison Maxon expand this model to be inclusive of adoption and permanency, which includes adoption, foster and kinship care, donor insemination, and surrogacy. Attachment and trauma are interconnected with the seven core issues as well.
This book explains the seven core issues from various perspectives including multi-racial, LGBTQ, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, African American, International, openness, search and reunion, and others.