Westwood Connections: Connecting Adoptive Families in and Around Westwood
November is National Adoption Awareness Month and Westwood Early Childhood Council and Westwood Library are Celebrating Adoptive Families at the Westwood Senior Center on Saturday November 21, 2015 from 2:00-3:30 pm. Come hear children’s stories and participate in children’s activities. Special guest, Dr. Anne Coleman, Ph.D., LMHC will talk to parents who are in any phase of the adoption journey. Dr. Coleman brings her unique perspective and sensitivity as an adopted person and an adoptive parent. To register go to http://tinyurl.com/weccwwconn
I helped to form Westwood Connections in 2006 while I was on the Westwood Early Childhood Council. Now in its 9th year, it is still close to my heart. We completed our family in 2005 when we adopted our daughter, Rita from China. Over the years, I have compiled and updated an adoption booklist here at the library which I update yearly. Here are my favorite adoption books:
- I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis A woman describes how she went to China to adopt a special baby girl. Based on the authors own experiences. Every time I read this story, it brings a tear to my eye. The illustrations and storyline bring me back to the time when my daughter first came home at 13 months old.
- A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza A little bird named Choco goes in search of a mother. It is a small book with a powerful message. This was a book that I heard about before we met our daughter. I found it in board book form and packed it when my husband journeyed to China to meet our daughter, Rita.
- Just Add One Chinese Sister: An Adoption Story by Patricia McMahon This is a story of a family who have one son and decide to adopt a baby girl from China. This is similar to my own story because we already had a daughter before we decided to adopt to complete our family. Nataniah really wanted a baby sister and eventually, we completed all of the steps to bring Rita home in 2005 when Nataniah was 5.
- Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami Eight-year-old Arun waits impatiently while international adoption paperwork is completed so that he can meet his new baby sister from India. During our adoption process, as we worked with our agency and met social workers, our four-year-old daughter, Nataniah was right there with us. She needed to meet the social worker and helped to get everything ready for her baby sister in China. Like the father in this book, my husband traveled to China alone to meet Rita. There is one special page in the book that shows the reunited family at the baggage claim on the day they came home. We drove to Logan Airport to complete our family in March 2005. Nataniah made a sign that welcomed them home and met Rita with lots of hugs and kisses.
- I’m Adopted! By Shelley Rotnner and Sheila M. Kelly This is a photographic book that shows many, many different adoptive families. I am a photographer, and I love the photos in this book. There is limited text but the pictures tell the story. It can also be used as a talking point for children about their adoption. Over the past 10 years, I have taken many photos of my girls together. They are sisters forever and each photo reminds me how happy I am to have my family.
- Family Matters: Adoption and Foster Care in Children’s Literature by Ruth Lyn Meese This book includes over 100 reviews of works of children’s literature having themes related to adoption and foster care, grouped by grade levels K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Since I work in the children’s room of the Westwood Public Library, I consider this book a wonderful resource. I have used it in the past when I used to talk about children’s books involving adoption at adoption conferences.