“Meeting your adoptive baby is like being set up on a blind date with someone you will have to spend the next eighteen years with. You care about looks, because you desperately want to fall in love with the stranger who will be your child.” ~Jana Wolff
My husband and I are in the "waiting" stage of the adoption process. When we understood that we would be building our family through adoption, I went through the crazy "read all the books" phase. There are a lot of books available on the subject, but what I found was that most of them were "how to" books. Many were outdated, and some didn't pertain to my state or my agency. The problem with those books was that none of them dealt with my feelings, concerns, or even giving me hope.
One of my favorite books is Instant Mom by screenwriter, director, producer, and actress, Nia Vardalos. This book was realistic, but funny. There is a lot of sadness and grief in the adoption process and this highlights that there is also humor, hope, and a light at the end of the tunnel. This book further goes into Vardalos' struggles when bringing home her daughter, but illustrates that it takes a village to go through the adoption process. Read my review of this awesome book here.
Two eye opening books are Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff and The Eye of Adoption: The True Story of my Turbulent Wait for a Baby by Jody Cantrell Dyer.
Wolff's book is incredibly honest and deals with not only transracial adoption, but relationships between adoptive parents and birth mothers. My favorite chapter is "Expecting Without Pregnancy," which best describes some of the feelings I've struggled with. Adoptive parents know they are eventually going to get a baby and may still have the desire to "nest," but it becomes a bit more difficult when there is no official due date, the possibility that birth parents may opt to parent their baby, and when you're around people who are prepping for their own babies. This is a short and highly effective read that I even suggested to family members who were unsure what we were going through.
Jody Cantrell Dyer utilizes old emails and her adoption journal (which is a great thing to have!) to chronicle her own journey to adopt her son. From the moment she realizes adoption is the only choice to add to her family, to the very end, this is a great read for anyone going through this process. Filled with uplifting quotes while discussing her own feelings with grief, this was a book that I have referenced daily as any feeling I have during this journey is explained. Refer especially to the chapter "The Question," which has helped me in explaining the adoption process to friends and family!
The Mothers by Jennifer Gilmore is the first fiction book that I've identified with which adequately captures the adoption process, the strain it can cause on other relationships, and the home study/paperwork process. This is a great book to pass on to family and friends who may not understand the process and aren't interested in non fiction.
If you are adopting or know someone who is or has, I highly suggest you pick up one of these books!