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November is National Adoption Awareness Month

Library has books and resources to help


I recently attended the first birthday party of a little girl who had been adopted by two of my friends. My friends had been married for several years and they had trouble getting pregnant. There were tests and procedures and medicines and poking and prodding until they said, “Enough.”

“But wait,” the doctors said. “We could try this or if you would just inject yourself with that, then maybe it would work.” And the couple thought about it. They thought about the word “maybe” and the pain, both physical and emotional, that could be in store for them. That’s when they decided to consider adoption.

There were naysayers, of course. “You could try so many other things!” or “You’re giving up awfully early!” But at the party when I looked at that sweet girl happily devouring her Minnie Mouse cupcake as more than 40 friends and family members smiled and encouraged her, the wisdom of that couple’s choice was evident. I am so proud of their choice.

There were plenty of hoops to jump through along the way. They started out working toward an international adoption and ended up adopting domestically. Official paperwork had to be filed, money had to be raised and their hopes were dashed a few times before they ultimately found their daughter. Was it worth it? One second at that birthday party and you’d have your answer. I watched grown adults, holding their index fingers up (for 1 year old), with big dopey grins and heard the room explode with touchdown cheers when the little girl held her index finger up.

The West Linn Public Library has books and other resources to help you, whether you have already adopted a child, are looking into it, are interested in the legal aspects or just want to read some heartwarming stories of adoption success.

“Carried in Our Hearts: the Gift of Adoption, Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents” is filled with great first-person stories of adoption including celebrities such as Kristen Davis and Mary-Louise Parker. Scott Simon’s book “Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other” is the story of how Simon and his wife adopted two little girls from China.

Books such as “Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew” are a good way to learn how to strengthen relationships and better understand adopted children. “You Can Adopt: The Adoptive Families Guide” has advice from lawyers, doctors and social workers as well as stories from adoptive families.

Librarians can point you in the right direction for local resources such as the nearest Department of Human Services office or Willamette Christian Church’s adoption and foster care ministry, which can pair you with a family who has gone through the adoption process.

Not everyone can or should adopt. November is National Adoption Awareness Month and that’s the real point: Be aware that adoption is a possibility and that sometimes there are very happy endings ... with Minnie Mouse cupcakes.



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