11 Moving Books About Adoption & Foster Care

The definition of "family" isn't as narrow as some people might think. Some families are bound by genetics, but others are held together by love alone. If you want to read moving stories about parents opening up their hearts to kids in need or get a look at what it's like inside the foster care system, check out the eye-opening books listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Found Family Stories: Our 11 Picks

Title Author
1. Three Little Words Ashley Rhodes-Courter
2. Every Time We Say Goodbye Jamie Zeppa
3. The Marvelous Journey Home John M. Simmons
4. Things to Do When It’s Raining Marissa Stapley
5. Everything You Ever Wanted Jillian Lauren
6. Waiting in the Wings Jeanette Vaughan
7. Dreams of My Mothers Joel L.A. Peterson
8. All I Love and Know Judith Frank
9. Choosing to SEE Mary Beth Chapman
10. Ginny Moon Benjamin Ludwig
11. Hope’s Boy Andrew Bridge

Fun Family Activities

Whether you have biological or adopted children, family bonding is both fulfilling and fun.

8 Great Films About Adoption & Foster Care

  1. Philomena (2013)
  2. Despicable Me (2010)
  3. Manchester by the Sea (2016)
  4. Juno (2007)
  5. Black or White (2014)
  6. Room for One More (1952)
  7. Annie (2014)
  8. Martian Child (2007)

The Power of Adoption

In Depth

For kids and teens who have been adopted or fostered, finding a family is a unique journey that can be difficult to talk about. In these heartwarming books, readers will discover stories about the ways in which people from different walks of life can create a loving family structure. Here, in no particular order, are some wonderful books about adoption and foster care.

In the #1 spot is "Three Little Words" by Ashely Rhodes-Courter. Starting from the age of three, Ashley was sent to fourteen different foster homes in the space of nine years. With caseworkers struggling to place her in the right environment and abusive foster families treating her like an unwanted servant, Ashley longed to be able to return to her biological mother.

In this memoir, the problems of the foster system are painfully exposed as the author tries to reconcile her many different childhoods with her undying love for her mother.

In this memoir, the problems of the foster system are painfully exposed as the author tries to reconcile her many different childhoods with her undying love for her mother.

At #2 is Jamie Zeppa's "Every Time We Say Goodbye." When Grace Turner's mother dies during World War II, she's devastated. But even in the midst of her grief, she finds something to look forward to: the upcoming birth of her son. Grace does her best as a single mother, but her sister, spurred on by the strict moral code of the time, believes she can offer the boy a better family life.

As Zeppa's novel moves forward, the story of the Turner line, plagued by trauma, abandonment, and absence, unfolds over the course of years. For anyone who's ever dealt with a distant or absent parent, this is an essential, if difficult, read.

For #3, we find "The Marvelous Journey Home" by John M. Simmons. Mike and Laura love their life in America. They have two nearly-grown sons at home, and they adore their family. When the couple decides to adopt two Russian orphans, five-year-old Katya and two-year-old Luba, they imagine that everything will go smoothly.

They have two nearly-grown sons at home, and they adore their family.

However, taking in their new family members soon proves more difficult than they ever dreamed, with so much bureaucratic red tape to deal with. This fictionalized account is based on the author's real experiences with the adoption process.

At #4 is Marissa Stapley's "Things To Do When It's Raining." As children, friends Mae and Gabriel found refuge at the home of Mae's grandparents. As the two grew up together, they found themselves falling deeply in love, until life events pulled them apart. Now, the friends have come back to the place where it all began to help their adoptive parents in their waning years.

Perhaps they'll be able to find a way to heal the collective wounds of their past by coming together once more. That is, if Mae can find it in herself to forgive Gabe's betrayal.

Perhaps they'll be able to find a way to heal the collective wounds of their past by coming together once more.

Coming in at #5 is "Everything You Ever Wanted" by Jillian Lauren. In her youth, Jillian wasn't one for being tied down. She lived out her young adult life by partying, experimenting with drugs and becoming a harem girl, as chronicled in her bestselling memoir. Once the smoke of her twenties cleared, however, she found herself in a stable relationship with her husband, preparing to adopt a child from Ethiopia with special needs. Lauren describes her battle with the demons of her past and her struggle to come to terms with her new identity as a mother devoted to the son who needs her almost as much as she needs him.

For #6, we get Jeanette Vaughan's "Waiting in the Wings." Jana knows she was adopted. But that knowledge doesn't make her feel any more secure in her identity as an adult. Instead, she wants answers. Why did her birth mother give her up? In the third book of the "Flying Solo" series, Jana's past and present collide, bringing her down a path of discovery to find out where her true origins lie.

At #7 is "Dreams of My Mothers" by Joel L.A. Peterson. Young is the product of a love affair between his mother, a Korean woman, and his father, a U.S. soldier who promises to return after the war to build a life with both of them. Young's father never returns, and his mother ends up having to give her son up for adoption, despite her fierce desire to keep him with her. Young is soon adopted by a Swedish family that gives him a new name and a new identity. But even as he grows to love his adopted family, he can't forget his birth mother.

Young is soon adopted by a Swedish family that gives him a new name and a new identity.

At #8 is Judith Frank's "All I Love and Know." Daniel and Matthew love their life in the liberal town of Northampton, Massachusetts. They're content to keep building their relationship together, until a tragedy forces them to rapidly expand their family. After Daniel's brother dies during a bombing in Israel, it's up to the couple to adopt his two orphaned children. But with mounting tensions between their new family and Daniel's conservative relatives, they'll have to fight to stay together.

In the #9 spot is Mary Beth Chapman's "Choosing to SEE." After struggling with deep depression for years and losing a child of her own, Mary Beth Chapman was struggling with her faith. Then, inspiration struck. When Chapman and her husband started the charity Show Hope, they didn't expect the outpouring of support they received from parents, or the sheer number of individuals eager to take advantage of their financial assistance program for adopters.

By providing a better way for families of all kinds to grow, the Chapmans were allowed entry into a world full of hope, promise, and new beginnings.

By providing a better way for families of all kinds to grow, the Chapmans were allowed entry into a world full of hope, promise, and new beginnings.

At #10 is "Ginny Moon" by Benjamin Ludwig. Ginny is fourteen years old, autistic, and looking for a place she can finally call home. After she meets her fourth foster family, she knows that this could be her forever home. However, she's still determined to follow through with her top secret plan of escape, no matter how settled and safe she feels with the Moon family. With a new baby on the way and Ginny starting to think no one will ever understand her, it's going to take some serious bonding for her to feel like this is where she truly belongs.

Finally, at #11, is Andrew Bridge's "Hope's Boy." Growing up, Andrew adored his mother, Hope. Despite their impoverished circumstances, the two found a way to live their lives together for seven years, until Hope's mental illness made it impossible for her to care for him any longer. After entering the foster system as a child, Andrew spent the next eleven years of his life trying to find a stable place to live, all the while missing his mother and wishing she could find a way to leave her institution and rescue him.

Andrew's passion for academics and his commitment to excelling in school earned him praise and scholarships that opened up his world and showed him the beauty, potential, and worth of his life in the same way that his mother did. In this searing memoir, readers get a glimpse into how the influence of teachers and mentors can turn a young person's life around.