Our Suggested Reads for National Adoption Month

This November marks the nineteenth annual National Adoption Month (NAM), an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about adoption and its importance throughout the United States:

“Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.” – Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This is US by Daid Marin.

This is US by Daid Marin.

This year, NAM emphasizes the importance of sibling connections for the more than hundred thousand children in U.S. foster care who await permanent adoption. At the annual gala for the non-profit organization Children Awaiting Parents’ annual gala last week, guest speaker and bestselling author Regina Calcaterra recounted her and her siblings’ time in foster care. Her memoir of their traumatic childhood, Etched in Sand highlights the tremendous importance of sibling bonds when parental figures are absent.

Calcaterra’s memoir is one of several recent bestselling books that are concerned with adoption and the U.S. foster care system. Author David Marin’s 2011 memoir This is US – the New All-American Family documents the transforming potential of sibling adoption from a parent’s perspective. In his early forties, a single Marin elected to adopt three Hispanic siblings who had been abandoned by felon parents and then become stuck in the U.S. Social Services system. His powerful memoir is testament to the strength and importance of keeping siblings together during adoption.

Last, but certainly not least, Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train (2013) tells the story of a young Irish immigrant who, as a child, is sent away from New York on a train that regularly transported unwanted and abandoned children from the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful story about resilience in the face of abandonment.

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