8. Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
This book chronicles the true-life story of a woman whose family has experienced life's great successes and even greater sorrows. Married to award-winning singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman and mom to six beautiful children, Mary Beth faced the shattering loss of a child under tragic circumstances on May 21, 2008. In honest and simple, yet gripping words she shares her most intimate struggles of faith and trust in God and her ultimate acceptance that her life is truly God's story rather than her own.
9. Pursuing the Pearl by Dannah Gresh
Subtitled "A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children," this book was written in response to the author's own experience as a Caucasian mother raising multiracial children. Each chapter covers a different developmental age and addresses the child's unique needs at that particular stage. Especially helpful are real-life examples of how individual families have dealt with challenging situations and also have prepared their children to be comfortable with their own identities. I found this book to be an excellent resource which I will surely refer to time and again as a proud mother to five beautiful, multiracial children of my own.
10. The Strong-Willed Child by James Dobson
Using the Biblical illustration of the "pearl of great price," Dannah Gresh reminds readers that marriage is a priceless gift well worth the sacrifice and commitment it requires. She writes transparently of personal struggles and victories. In addition, she includes encouraging insights from Christian leaders interviewed in the course of writing this book. Scripture is the basis for each challenging chapter, and each chapter also provides questions for personal reflection and growth.
11. Growing Up Black in White by Kevin D. HofmannThe copy of this book which I obtained was the 1985 edition, which occasionally made for some amusing (dated) reading. However, because the author's advice is rooted in Biblical truth, even 25 years later the basic tenets of the book held true and challenged me in my role as a parent. Dobson does an excellent job of balancing the need for firm, consistent discipline with emotional empathy and understanding towards our children. He encourages parents to be strong leaders in the home while also providing the loving affirmation and acceptance every child needs.
12. Holding Time by Martha G. WelchThis book chronicles the author's memories of growing up as a biracial child adopted by white parents in "racially-charged" Detroit. In some ways it is as much a commentary on life in the era of the 1960's - 80's as it is a discussion of racial realities. Hofmann writes in a readable style and his story is sprinkled with both bittersweet moments and humorous anecdotes. What I took away from the book as a mom through adoption was a greater sensitivity to my children's feelings and the influences that may be affecting them both from within and from without during their growing up years.
Holding time is described in Dr. Welch's book as using "intense physical and emotional contact to reinforce the connection between you and your child." It is a form of therapy initially found to be successful in her work with autistic children and their mothers, and basically involves a private, uninterrupted time of firmly holding one's child despite their struggles and often through their aggression while making eye contact and speaking lovingly to him or her. This book was very helpful to me personally during the transitional months after our toddler sons arrived home from Haiti. Twice I wrote about the "holding time" experience on our adoption blog and those entries can be read below:
Why Mommy Needs Holding Time
When Holding Hurts