”Adopted and Loved Forever” written by Annetta E. Dellinger, illustrated by Janet McDonnell, revised edition published in 2008. This book features a young Asian adoptee, whose parents are white. The book is written from the adoptee's perspective and discusses her connection with her parents, ways that her family is both unique and similar to other families, and how adoption plays a role in her Christian faith.
This book focuses on the child’s unique family, her preciousness to her parents and God, and touches on how she processes thoughts about adoption. Children need these affirmations, however, this book does not address complex feelings of loss and identity.
The book also says that God gave the young adoptee her parents and that God brought them together. I believe that these statements can be reassuring, however, it is important for children know that God did not plan them to be separated from their first families, and this book misses out on the opportunity to teach this well.
There is one line in the book that stands out to me: “I try to show Jesus how happy I am for giving me my mom and dad by obeying them and by showing them how much I love them.” This sentiment is troubling. Firstly, because no one would ever write this line in a book about a non-adopted child. Adoptees do not have to be any more grateful than biological children are thankful for their parents. Secondly, adoptees often struggle with repressing emotion, perfectionism, fear of rejection, and trying to earn the love of those around them. I find this problematic. I, as a devout follower of Jesus, show Jesus that I love him by submitting to his authority in my life. I will encourage my children to do the same, and I want my children to live lives that are full of graciousness and gratitude. However, I cannot read these words without significant worry that kids would think they have to suppress their feelings in order to be good Christians. I think that is counter biblical, unhealthy and dangerous. These are subtle messages that inform our worldview and faith.
Recommended: I don’t dislike everything, but I really miss what it DOESN’T say. It's another missed opportunity.