Saturday, March 13, 2010

How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole

This is my fourth post in a series of posts about adoption themed children's books. If you would like to know more about why I am writing about this topic, go here.

My first post was about A Mother for Choco.
My second post was about Horace.
My third post was about I Wished For You by Marianne Richmond.

How I was Adopted is a children's book, but it starts out with information for the parents to read. First it talks about the importance of sharing your child's individual story with them. Then it goes over how to answer your child's questions and to always be open to talking about adoption. The last section is about raising a child who was adopted.

The story is told from the perspective of the child. She begins by introducing herself. She shares her name, her nickname, where she lives, her favorite things, and what she likes to do. She tells the readers about her family and says that she was adopted. She then asks the reader whether they have been adopted. It gives your child a chance to participate and tell a little about their own adoption story before going forward with the story.

Something you should know before buying this book is that it talks about how she was born. There are drawings of a baby being born and it says, " When a baby is ready to be born, the woman's uterus squeezes and squeezes, and the baby comes out into the world!"

It goes on to say, "I did not grow inside Mommy's uterus, I grew in another woman's uterus."

She then tells her adoption story. It begins with her parents before they began the adoption process. Then she tells us about her parents beginning the adoption process and waiting. Then the excitement when they receive the phone call that there was a baby for them. She talks about going home and says that family and friends came to see her, take pictures of her, and love her.

She tells us all about her childhood by showing her scrapbook of memories. First haircut, crawling, walking, playing with toys, swimming, friends, hugs and kisses with Mom and Dad, etc.

How I Was Adopted ends with:

"I love to hear Mommy and Daddy tell the story of how I was adopted. It's my very own story. Every girl who was adopted has her own story. Every boy who was adopted has his own story. Do you know the story of how you were adopted?"


  1. That sounds like a very sweet book for your child!! :)

  2. What a wonderful book & a great review!

  3. I love that the book encourages the reader/child to share his/her adoption story :)

  4. This does sound great, I really want to encourage Elfe to feel comfortable talking about her adoption. And, I just learned a few days ago that she has actually already seen a baby being born, so that part of the book should be fine for us!

  5. Yay! I love your adoption book reviews! This one sounds like a really great way to start/continue conversations with adopted children. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. :)

  6. What a sweet book! I had no idea this series was out there. Thank you for sharing (and for your review).

  7. Liz, The girl in the story says she was adopted when she was one week old. She then asks, "Do you know how old you were when you were adopted?" That could work well for Elfe because her story isn't exactly like the one in the story, but that is the point. For everyone to share their own story. It gives her a chance to share how old she was.

    That is amazing that she saw a birth and told you about it! I like how the book handles the explanation of her birth.

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  9. I love your posts about the adoption books, what a great resource you have become! I wish these books were around when I was growing up. I was adopted, but not as a baby, it was when I was 4 years old, so I never had to be told that I was adopted or anything. But it would have been nice for my mom to have something to help us have conversations about adoption. Back then, she was told to kind of ignore it and it will go away, which is definitely not the right approach!

  10. Lisa - thanks for the clarification, I was wondering if this book was better for kids adopted at birth than for someone like Elfe, now I know it can cover all situations!

    Elfe is from a very rural area where families live all together in one-room houses, including the livestock - she also told me last week that "a cow and a baby cow" lived in the house too, so I'm thinking she's seen animal births too! Everything is just out in the open for kids to see in a way that it isn't anymore for most kids in the US.

  11. Thanks for reminding me that I have this book! It was given to me at a baby shower by an adoptive mom. I need to get it back out and read to my daughter again now that she is older.