Today is the last day of National Adoption Month. Its a cause near and dear to my heart because, as many of you know, my brother and I are both adopted. Growing up, there weren't that many resources available to my parents to help explain adoption or that showed adopted families. The concept of adoption is often odd and confusing to other children. I think every adopted child at one point or another has experienced some hurtful taunting or teasing on the subject.
In Darren Maddern's new book Adopted Ed he strives to, "Tell a story on adoption...and weave a broad message of understanding, acceptance, and empowerment." The story of Ed is told in a relatable manner, showing how Ed is very much like most children. He likes ice cream, cartoons, and comics. Then one day Ed has an altercation with some bullies, who say cruel things and make him feel very badly. Mom comforts Ed and tells him in a very simple way that, "Adoption is a great act of love. It's a gift of the Heavens sent down from above." That he is special. It also address how adopted children usually want to know more about their birth parents at some point, and that this is normal.
The entire book is told in a very positive manner, it doesn't delve too much into specifics. It focuses on what a positive thing adoption is, how adoptive parents love their kids, and how adoptive parents are...well just mom and dad to their kids. It concludes with some examples of famous adopted people. Adopted Ed is a nice introduction to the concept of adoption. I liked how it began with all the ways Ed is probably just like you. Then goes onto a situation, which sadly many of our kids have experienced...teasing. I thought that would be a good time to stop and talk about empathy and feelings. Then at the end it reinforces that an adopted child is a gift, just like any child is. If I was still teaching kindergarten, I would use this title as a read aloud during my beginning of the year unit on families. It is good to teach that families come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak.
Disclosure: I am reviewing Adopted Ed through a campaign coordinated by One2One Network. A reviewer's copy was provided, however, the opinions expressed within are my own and unbiased.