Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adoption book reviews

I have read three books on adoption so far, and I want to share my thoughts on these before too much time passes and I can no longer remember which book is which. Honestly, the specific likes and dislikes of each are already a little blurry, so these "reviews" will be rather general.

1. The first book I read was Adopted for Life by Russell Moore. I shared about the first few chapters of this book already, and at that point I felt like, as an infertile, I did not like the tone of the book. I discussed my thoughts and feelings quite thoroughly in the post linked above about how he addresses infertile couples and infertility treatments, and after feeling so discouraged by those chapters it took me a couple months to pick the book up again.

Once I did start reading again a few weeks ago, I admit I was quite biased against the book based on what I had read in the earlier chapters. However, his theological discussions about adoption were interesting (although nothing brand new) to me, and I genuinely enjoyed how he interwove his own adoption journey throughout the book. The remaining chapters touched on the paperwork and finances of adoption, trans-racial adoption, and special needs adoption, all of which were thoughtful but simple (you could devote a whole book to some of those topics).

Overall, I would say I am glad I read this book. I would like to cut chapter 4 out (titled "Don't you want your own kids?" ;), but generally I appreciated that it got me thinking about adoption through a Biblical lens. I didn't agree with everything (like his warnings about open adoption, for example), but he admits that many of those things are his opinion and doesn't try to assert that his way is THE way. I'm glad I read it because I know many people who have read it, but I also don't feel like I could highly recommend it - too many mixed feelings.

2. The second book I read was You Can Adopt by Natalie Nichols Gillespie. Again, I thought this would be another overview of adoption, but because I had already read so much on the internet....and the You Can Adopt book above....it was redundant and I ended up skimming most of the book. This one also had insets with adoptive family stories, but there were fewer and in a cursive font that I found annoying. Also, the book had other insets with graphics that highlighted bits of information (like, "I didn't know that!") that I found distracting and a little too simplistic/ childish. However, this book did have a ton of resources at the end, including things like a sample homestudy report and lists of various adoption professionals and grants that were interesting to look at.

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At this point in our adoption research, I have realized that each state, each county, and each family have such different requirements that no one book, website, or other person can really tell us the best path to take. But I think I secretly wanted that from a book, and none of these could do that. :)

1 comment:

Sarah B said...

Thanks for the reviews. I think that adoption processes and experiences are so varied and constantly changing that it's nearly impossible to capture everything in a book. I'm not sure where I'd be without the Internet to read about and connect with others on this hugely important and very dynamic subject in my life!