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Heritage Trip Books

From Home to Homeland: What Adoptive Families Need to Know Before making a Return Trip to China,   Edited by D. Jacobs, I. Ponte & L. Wang.

  • This is the definitive and ideal guide for any family contemplating making a return birth country visit.  It has compilations from parents and adopted children alike, and all journeys were not ideal, but offer many learning insights.  This resource also includes several professional insights and is the “classic” for adoptive parents on the edge of planning a return visit.
Wuhu Diary: On Taking My Adopted Daughter Back to Her Hometown in China by Emily Prager
  • This is an account of a return trip Prager made with LuLu, her five-year-old daughter, in an effort to reintroduce LuLu to her roots.  They spend an extended time and go beyond the typical tourist locales as they visit nursery schools and amusement parks.

When You Were Born in China: A Memory Book for Children Adopted from China, by Sara Dorow and Stephen Wunrow

  • It covers various conversational techniques and guidelines for discussions over the adoptees' birth country-China. Strong visual photographs enhance the level of enjoyment and imagination during the explorations of adopted children's initial cultural heritages.

Kids Like Me In China, by Ying Ying Fry and Amy Klatzkin

  • Written from the perspective of an adopted Chinese girl, this book is an overview of her experiences, in which many adoption aspects that adults often struggle to explain are included.

If the World Were a Village:  A Book About the World’s People, by David Smith and Shelagh Armstrong

  • This clever idea is created in this book that reduces the world population of approximately six billion to a more manageable one hundred.  This allows the reader context to understand crucial statistics for comparison and understanding.   This is a delightful resource to help kids and adults understand each of our own unique place that we occupy within the world.

Media  Resources:

“New Year in Ping Wei”; “One Day in Ping Wei”; “Return to Ping Wei”; and “Land of the Dragon”
An excellent culture series of video “slice of life” by www.pearlrivertv.com.  

“Found in China” by Tai-Kai Productions

  • A documentary following a heritage trip to China with a group of families and follows them as they look for clues to their children’s past lives.

Adoption: When Love is Not Enough

  • A documentary which follows an adult Korean adoptee as she faces her adoptive mom’s death and her search for identity and belonging within her family. The film is a compelling and instructive narrative which is followed by insights from adoption professionals.   

Daughter’s Return by Dr. Chang

  • This documentary is a rollercoaster, packed with unexpected events, outpourings of emotion, and a timely engagement of critical issues concerning adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.  This follows to adopted girls from China as they pursue a search for their biological parents.

Daughter from Danang by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco

  • This documentary follows the emotional and physical journey of Heidi, a Vietnamese American adult adoptee as she travels to Vietnam to unite with her birth family.  The reunion that had raised so many hopes and expectations for Heidi becomes filled with tension and misunderstanding as the cultural gulf between Heidi and her Vietnamese family grows.

Reading Resources:

Parenting/Adoption Parenting
Parenting from the Inside Out, by Jeremy P. Tarcher

  • The book focuses on guiding parents through examining their own past experiences to learn from them and thoughtfully consider how to parent their own children, using or eliminating tools that may not fit their child’s needs.

Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control by Heather Forbes and Bryan Post

  • The book presents a parenting paradigm focusing on love and relationship to bring healing and complete connection between parent and child.  The book is a compliment to many seminars on free online resources offered by Heather Forbes.

The Whole Life Adoption Book, by Jayne Schooler

  • It is a practical and straightforward resource book that should be read by adoptive parents. It has describes comprehensive coverage of pre-adoptive issues and useful hints on bringing up adopted children.

Real Parents, Real Children, by Holy van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb

  • This publication is considered a classic "must have" by many adoptive professionals and families. It contains practical advice for parents on how to communicate with their children about their adoptive identities and assist them through any challenges as they mature.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

  • This is a solution guide for common child and parent conflicts. The authors also further discuss emotional management and concerns by looking at how to improve listening skills and understanding issues.

Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge

  • The publication addresses and discusses the complex emotional stresses of adopted children. At the same time, it provides different perspectives from adoptees, adoptive parents and adoption experts.

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft, by Mary Hopkins Best

  • This book offered useful hints for parents who are adopting toddlers. It mainly focused on unique challenges presented at this age and how they might integrate into the adoption experience.

LifeBooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child, by Beth O'Malley

  • This is a sensitive and practical guide for families to help their children understand their unique life-stories.

Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China, by Kay Johnson  

  • This serious text offers an in-depth look at the complex social and geopolitical norms that have come together during the last generation in China that has created the situation in which many Chinese families are forced into unthinkable choices in order to make their lives sustainable.

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline MD and Jim Fay

  • A classic parenting book with extensive insights and strategies for navigating parenting with practical tips.

Adoption Journey Books

Daughter from Afar: A Family's International Adoption Story by Sarah L. Woodard

  • This well-written chronicle of the journey to adoptive parenthood is a great resource for letting others know about the path one must travel to complete an adoption from China.  The author is a mom that approaches motherhood in a dedicated fashion, focusing on bringing all her skills to this most important profession.

The Red Thread: A Grandparent’s Perspective by Grace Braun Upshaw

  • This book offers a rarely written viewpoint – that of a grandparent traveling on an adoption journey and highlighting the experience from a loving grandparent point of view on adoption day and all along the way. 

Our Baby from China by Nancy D'Antonio

  • This book offers a lovely photo essay and chronicles a warm adoption story in the process.

Adoption Themed Children’s Books

A Mother for Choco, by Keiko Kasza

  • This book narrates the story about a mother bear caring for a young bird and it notes that differences would not prevent a good mother from taking good care of her children. Even though the bear and the little bird were different in appearances and life styles, the bear still could be a great mother if she had the patience and love.

We Wanted You by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Peter Catalanotto

  • Parents tell young Enrique how they looked for a child and waited for him and this poetic book is a great fit for interracial adoptive families.

Twice Upon a Time: Born and Adopted, by Leanora Patterson

  • This book is geared to help young children understand the practical logistics of being born as well as being adopted.  This is a very instructive tool to assist children in identifying distinctions between being born, being adopted and how those pieces connect with each other.

The Mulberry Tree Bird, by Anne Braff Brodzinsky

  • It is a story of a young single mother bird caring for her baby bird during her difficult times of great troubles and personal perils. She ultimately decides to place her beloved baby bird in a different bird family that can provide stable and safe shelter (something she failed to do continuously).

Let's Talk about it: Adoption by Mr. Fred Rogers

  • This book is classic Mr. Rogers and offers a wonderful lilting explanation about the normalcy of adoptive families and what is important for families to belong.

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

  • An upbeat story of Lena and how she notices her skin color and her friends' coloring with comparisons to "French toast, cinnamon, honey..." Written by an adoptive Mom this book offers an uncomplicated way of celebrating diversity and is fun.

Adoptive Families are Families for Keeps, by Lisa Cowan and Illustrations by Stephanie Hill 

  • This book highlights the permanence of adoptive family connections and is reassuring for a bedtime reading story.

Forever Fingerprints:  An Amazing Discovery for Adopted Children by Sherrie Eldridge

  • A practical book that offers insights into connections all children share with their birth mothers and practical ways we are each our own unique individual as well.  A delightful and application oriented book.

Books for Children from China

Before I Met You: A Therapeutic Pre-Adoption Narrative Designed for Children Adopted from China, by Doris Landry 

  • This book is a professionally prepared resource to guide parents through the emotional aspects of their adoption story and serves as a guide to parents.  It is thoughtful with deep and caring insights into a family’s personal adoption history.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis

  • A delightful read to a young about the journey to meet a child adopted from China. It provides a warm and engaging account of one woman’s journey to create a family and allows one to accompany her in that joy.  

No Pig's Brain Soup, Please! by Gail Greenberg

  • An explanation of cultures and connections for families and how one girl navigates the mix of cultures she encounters as she matures.

Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story by Carol Antoinette Peacock

  • A lovely child’s story that acknowledges and supports the importance of both the birth mother and an adoptive mom and the unique place each one has in the life of her child.

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes, by Nina Simonds and Leslie Swartz .

  • The book features holidays and includes a brief background and introduces a collection of crafts, recipes and legends for each.

Children Books about Vietnam

When You Were Born in Vietnam by Theresa Bartlett

  • This is a lovely memory and culture book for children adopted from Vietnam, as it gives an overview of the country and culture.

Tet Trung Thu and Mooncake Madness by Linh Song,

  • This book does a wonderful job of celebrating children as well as Vietnam's harvest festival

Journey Home by Lawrence McKay, Jr., illustrated by Dom & Keunhee Lee.

  • Mai accompanies her mother on a journey from the U.S. to Vietnam to search for her mother's birth family. Their only clue is the kite Mai’s mother has had since she first came to the U.S. and was adopted by a white family. Though it is not the main theme of the book, Mai is also a child of Anglo-Vietnamese heritage. This is a gentle, thoughtful story that explores the linking of worlds, loss and rediscovery, as well as the many definitions of family.

How Tiger Got His Stripes:  A Folktale from Vietnam by Rob Cleveland

  • Many years ago, the proudest animal in the jungle was the tiger. This child friendly book (available with corresponding downloadable guide) one learns how Tiger's pride leads him to covet wisdom, and with the help of a wise farmer, Tiger does earn his stripes.

Asian Culture Books for Adults:

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by Chang, Jung

  • A classic true story, recounted by the youngest of three generations of women and their slice of life as China’s history unfolds from the late 1800s to the current generations.  A gripping tale of personal tragedy, triumph and perspective on key historical events in China during this turbulent period of history.
China Road:  A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford
  • This book chronicles of journey of a writers six week road trip in China.  In that process, the author profiles ordinary Chinese people coping with the huge changes in society and the fast pace of development and commerce in China. 

Country Driving:  A Chinese Road Trip by Peter Hessler

  • Hessler takes to the roads and allows us to come along on his journey along the length of the Great Wall.  He also shares his connection to a quickly transforming village near Beijing and his personal connections of families and life in the village.  A delightful, humorous and poignant insight in to growing and modern China.

Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China by Peter Hessler,

  • Peter Hessler tells his experience as living in China's Sichuan Province and describes a world closed to most Westerners. He references ancient history and how it informs current life in China with strong precision.

Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

  • This is a memoir of his experiences as an English teacher for the Peace Corp in Sichuan, China at the time of his experience had only experienced a handful of foreign visitors in Fuling, from which this experience is shared. 

Websites for Asian International Adoptive Families

Childbook.com: features Chinese Children Books, Video's, Audio and computer CD's, and other materials for libraries, ESL Programs, and government institutions for teaching Chinese Culture and Language with secure online ordering.

Pacific Rim Voices is the website of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, which was created in 1996 to encourage the publication and readership of books that will increase understanding about the nations and peoples of the Pacific Rim region.

papertigers.org: featuring Pacific Rim and South Asian peoples and cultures through children's and young adult books. Features interviews, essential reading, resources, and reviews.

http://www.shens.com  Shen’s Bookstore has thousands of books related to multicultural issues for children in grades K-8.

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