Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Children's Adoption Book: My Family is Forever (Nancy Carlson)

If you're anything like me, finding a new book that I love brings about the same kind of excitement as one might expect from a toddler on a treasure hunt!  I especially enjoy finding a well-written book for children relating to adoption.  I find that there are often valuable truths and insights for adults found in the same pages that were intended for younger audiences.

One of my latest finds is My Family is Forever by Nancy Carlson.  The story launches from an opening statement, "Some families look alike, and some don't".  It is written from the perspective of a young Asian girl who was adopted as a baby by Caucasian parents and tells their adoption story.  She contrasts her experience with her friend, Jeffrey, who was born into his family and is similar in appearance to his family members while she doesn't share the same similaries in appearance.  However, she recognizes talents and skills that she shares with each of her parents.  The story is written in a way to relate to either domestic or international adoption and never specifies which applies to her adoption experience.

The book introduces very basic adoption concepts such as an adoptive family's desire to parent a child, the involvement of an adoption counselor in the process, the family's excitement to hear that they were going to adopt a child, the permanency of an adoption placement, the child's curiosity about her birth parents, recognizing that children will inherit traits from both the birth parents & adoptive parents and, ultimately, what it means to be a family. 

The illustrations are bright and colorful, text is not too long, and the story is appropriate for children from pre-school through the 1st or 2nd grade.  In my opinion, this is one of those books that shouldn't be confined to the library of an adoptive family only but would be a great addition to any family's reading selections. 

The resounding theme of the story is that the most important factor binding families together is love. 

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