By: Amber Leventry
For the last 15 years, the Saturday before Thanksgiving has also been known as National Adoption Day. This one day in November is not just a Saturday to tackle the grocery list, prepare the house for holiday guests, or pack the car for a trip to see relatives. It is a day–this Saturday, November 21st–that will finally provide homes for some of the more than 100,000 children in foster care. National Adoption Day finally relieves the ache in parents’ hearts when their children come home for good. It is a day to include a new family member in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It is a day to celebrate one more child finding their forever home.
To celebrate the joys of family and adoption, I found five books that illustrate the sweetness of children finding the love they have always deserved with the parents who have been looking to give it.
“We belong together because you needed a home, and I had one to share. Now we are a family.”
In true Todd Parr fashion, We Belong Together tackles sometimes daunting or confusing topics with honesty, simplicity, and unmistakable artwork. While Todd portrays single parents, same-sex parents, and heterosexual parents in this book, he notes at the beginning to acknowledge that each family is different. He encourages readers to change pronouns to best suit their family, but Todd’s inclusive and joyful storyline makes this book pretty perfect just the way it is.
Parr’s The Family Book celebrates the diversity of families and is another great book to have in your collection.
“Tell me again how you couldn’t grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me and would be my birth mother, and you would adopt me and be my parents.”
Yes, you read that right: the Scream Queen is an author. She is also the mother of two adopted children. Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, illustrated by Laura Cornell, was written nearly 20 years ago, but the timeless tale of a child wanting to know about the first time they were held, fed, and loved by their parents is just as poignant today.
Fun and colorful pictures accompanying the text add humor and reality new and veteran parents will enjoy. Curtis told Ladies Home Journal this: “Adoption is an issue for everybody at all stages. There’s tremendous loss and great love and great warmth.” Readers can feel the love and warm in this book.
“Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different. One was named Roy, and the other was named Silo. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together.”
And Tango Makes Three, illustrated by Henry Cole, is a sweet love story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo. After a zoo keeper noticed Roy and Silo sitting on a rock, willing it to hatch, like the other mating penguins sitting on eggs, they were given an egg from another penguin couple who couldn’t take care of more than one egg at a time. Silo and Roy then raised the penguin chick as their own after their egg hatched, and Tango became the first penguin in the zoo to have two dads.
“Every year on your birthday…I still wonder what miracle brought us together…I think about the six Chinese girls who shared a big room with you in China. They knew you before I did.”
Every Year On Your Birthday, illustrated by Jane Dyer, is a sentimental story of a mother reflecting on her journey of parenthood through milestones and miles crossed to bring her the child she always wanted. It is a story about memories made while her little girl grows older and a tribute to the place where her daughter was born. From getting a puppy to watching a dragon boat festival in the park, each year is a celebration of family.
“On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same’.”
On The Night You Were Born doesn’t specifically address adoption. It doesn’t specifically address parents, sexuality, or race. The book applies to all families, no matter how or when they were made, and that is why I love it. The focus is on the love and excitement that surrounds a child because they were born. It doesn’t matter who is reading this book to the child listening to it; the story reminds all of us that the magic of each relationship with our children is unique and important.
The illustrations are beautiful and show animals dancing, moons smiling, and music notes blowing through the wind. The pictures show the world a happier place because of a child.
National Adoption Day is a great way to bring awareness to children needing homes; it is also a day when many families’ dreams come true. Story books are a great way to celebrate families brought together through adoption, but if you want to see real adoption stories, check out these heartwarming snapshots on the National Adoption Day website.