My life as a White mother of seven children in a blended, multiracial, queer, adoptive family informs my work with EmbraceRace. I’m also a writer, an educator, and a children's book author, and
I'm always searching for perspectives and stories that speak to our
experiences as a diverse family. Four of my children (one daughter who is
of Puerto Rican descent, an African American son and daughter, and a daughter
who identifies as biracial with African American and Irish heritage), came home
to our family at different ages through the foster-adoption system. Below
are some of the resources and books that I and/or my children have found
valuable, particularly with regard to navigating our lives and relationships in
the context of adoption.
More Book Recommendations – middle grade books
- Jung, Mike. Unidentified Suburban Object. Arthur
A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2016. This middle
grade novel is not about adoption, but its story opened up some of the best
conversations I’ve ever had about adoption with two of my children. See my
Embrace Race posts (here
about this book for more information.
- Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion. Penguin RandomHouse,
- Woodson, Jacqueline. Peace, Locomotion. Penguin
RandomHouse, 2009. These
companion verse novels for middle grade readers are about an African American
child in foster care who is separated from his sister. She lives with another
family after their parents tragically die in a fire, and this is one of the few
books I’ve seen that depicts sibling separation as one of the losses that often
More book recommendations – picture books
Here are a few book suggestions that feature families that can be read as transracially adoptive families, though adoption is not mentioned. There are, of course, many other ways that these families can be understood, too.
- Broach, Elise. My Pet Wants a Pet. Illustrated by Eric Barclay. Macmillan, 2018. Adoption isn’t overtly mentioned in this picture book, which has illustrations that can be read as depicting a White adoptive mother with a child of color.
- Schwartz, Amy. Polka Dots for Poppy. Holiday House, 2016. Adoption isn’t overtly mentioned in this picture book, which has illustrations that include characters who appear to be a White single mom with three White daughters, and one daughter who appears Asian. Together, they can be read as an interracial adoptive family.
- Yum, Hyewon. Saturday Is Swimming Day. Penguin RandomHouse, 2018. This is another picture book that can be read as a book about an Asian child with an adoptive White mother.
Finally, two of my own picture books include depictions of adoption:
- Lambert, Megan Dowd. Real Sisters Pretend. Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell. Tilbury House, 2016. (This story was inspired by a conversation I overheard between two of my daughters. It is focused on adoptive siblings in a multiracial, two-mom family who support each other when others don’t recognize their true bonds.)
- Lambert, Megan Dowd. A Kid of Their Own. Charlesbridge, 2020. (This companion title to my first picture book, A Crow of His Own, includes a subplot about a gay male couple adopting a child.)