The Complete Book of International Adoption

The Complete Book of International Adoption

When my husband and I started our adoption journey, there were a lot of books about international adoption we didn't buy.  This is a major statement from two book lovers, but a true one.  It seemed that the majority of the books on the adoption bookshelves were either too negative (focusing solely on the challenges of parenting a child through adoption), too shallow (treating Guatemalan adoption the same as Russian adoption) or just too dry (and when you're in the middle of paper-chasing, you need a real page turner to keep you going).  So we went against our nature and mined other resources in order to become educated and bolstered throughout the process.  Our minds expanded with new information, though our nightstands lacked the expected adoption reading. 

My nightstand void remained until I received Dawn Davenport's The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child (Broadway Books) to review. Having been in the process with either our daughter (now home) or our son (still in Guatemala ) for 14 months and being blessed/ cursed with an ever-so-slightly obsessive personality, I consider myself to be well-informed about international adoption.  Davenport 's book, however, presented me with even more information than over a year of experience, other research, friendships and internet groups have. Furthermore, it was a pleasure to read. 

The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child actually lives up to its title by carrying its reader through the initial considerations of whether or not you should adopt internationally to adjusting to your child's first months home to celebrating his/ her personal history and birth culture.  It's a great find, with clear, detailed, and up-to-date information on the international adoption process between the U.S. and 17 other countries: China , Russia , Guatemala , South Korea , Ukraine , Kazakhstan , Ethiopia , India , Colombia , Philippines , Haiti , Liberia , Taiwan , Mexico , Poland , Thailand and Vietnam .    

Davenport covers the emotional and practical aspects of international adoption evenly and seamlessly.  Some of my favorite sections dealt with how to find and choose an ethical agency, how to survive the wait, how to travel internationally and still keep your sanity and how to deal with insensitive adoption comments.  To broaden her coverage even more, Davenport includes several pages of perspectives from a variety of adoptive parents at the end of each chapter.   

Best of all, I loved Davenport 's voice.  From her incredible My Prayer for All Children in the beginning of the book to her 50 page-long resource section, she comes across not only as an expert, but as a mom you'd want to sit down and chat with.  Her compassion and sense of humor reach out to you and draw you in.     

Whether you are embarking on your first or fifth international adoption, I highly recommend The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Child as one of the best books on the subject.  Davenport will open your eyes and brighten them as she carries you through the life-changing journey of international adoption.

Author Bio: Violeta Garcia-Mendoza is a Spanish-American poet and writer living in Pennsylvania .  She and her husband have completed the Guatemalan adoption of their daughter, Maya, and are eagerly awaiting the completion of their son's adoption.  Violeta's website is  


Black, White and the Cornrow In Between

Hair Care, Culture and Pride