One of the requirements for my master’s thesis in creative writing was that I compile a list of books pertinent to the thing I was creating, references that might inform either the content or the form of the stories and poems I was writing. My thesis revolved around the lived experiences of adoptees, so I wanted to find published books by and about adoptees.
Have you ever tried searching for adoptee books? If you have, you know that they’re lumped in with the books explaining how to prepare to adopt a child and the books by adoptive parents about raising an adopted child and the books by professionals advising how to deal with an adopted child. Under “adoption” you’ll also find stories of birth parents and accounts of how adoption as a practice began and reports on how adoption as an industry has evolved.
It’s nearly impossible to filter out the adoptee books from the vast number of adoption books sold by major retailers or housed in library systems. Equally impossible is locating the adoptees writing poetry or literary fiction–these works often don’t even make it into the adoption category. I found lists compiled by others who were also interested in adoptee books. A list over here, another list over there–none of them comprehensive.
This idea formed in the back of my mind that we adoptees needed a repository of our own literature, a place where we could easily find each other amid all the adoption noise. And as I’ve found my place in the family of adoptees over the past two and a half years, I’ve been inspired to give something back to this community that continues to enrich my life. I decided I would try to build this resource I imagined.
So, today I am launching a new website, Adoptee Reading Resource. It’s not really done yet. It may never truly be “done,” as I anticipate I’ll always be adding to it. But I’m inviting you all to have a look at my self-assigned research project. I’ll be loading more books to the site every week. I have identified over 160 titles, and I know there are many others I’ve yet to log onto my master list. I’ve loaded more than 50 of these to the site so far.
I know my adoptee community will help grow this resource in ways I could never expand it alone. I’m excited to find out how many adoptee books we’ll discover together!
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