Top 10 Tuesday — Adoption Stories

19 Jul

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a Freebie. I decided to feature novels with adoption stories at their heart. The books show the obstacles and emotions from a variety of perspectives — adoptive parents, birth parents, and the adoptees themselves. All are thoughtful and heartfelt depictions of a nuanced subject. I hope you find one to love!

For more TTT posts, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Adoption Stories

Another Way Home by Deborah Raney

Sometimes God’s ways are not at all what we expect . . . and exactly what we need.
Grant and Audrey are adding grandchildren to their family left and right, but middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, have been trying for years with no baby in sight.

Though Danae is ready to consider adoption, Dallas will not even discuss it. Despairing of ever having a family of her own, Danae decides to pour her passion and energies into volunteer work with a newly opened women’s shelter in town. Looking for a good cause to fill her lonely days, she never expects to give her heart to the hurting women she meets there. She’s finally learning to live her life with gratitude, but then heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil—and leave them all forever changed.

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

The Choice by Robert Whitlow

One young woman. Two very different roads. The choice will change everything.

Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ageless woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could . . . and has lived with the consequences.

More than thirty years later, a pregnant teen has come into her life, and Sandy’s long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her choice decision bring life . . . or death?

The Choice shows the struggles of unplanned pregnancy and the courageous act of adoption in a way that I haven’t read before . . .” —Abby Brannam-Johnson, former Planned Parenthood Director and author of Unplanned

“Whitlow captures the struggle of many women trapped in the battle over abortion in a truly sympathetic and affecting way.” —Booklist

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

Out of The Water by Ann Marie Stewart

Irish immigrant Siobhan Kildea’s impetuous flight from a Boston lover in 1919 leads her to a new family in an unfamiliar Montana prison town. After a horrific tragedy impacts her children, her land, and her livelihood, Siobhan makes a heart wrenching decision – with consequences that ripple for decades to come.

Mysteriously linked to Siobhan is Genevieve Marchard, a battlefront nurse in France who returns stateside to find the absence of a certain soldier is her greatest loss; Anna Hanson, a music teacher who tucks herself away in a small Washington town, assuming her secrets are safe; and Erin Ellis, who thinks she and her husband won the lottery when they adopted their daughter, Claire. 

These interconnected stories, spanning three continents and five generations, begin to unravel in 1981 when Claire Ellis sets out to find her biological mother.

With puzzling suspense, unforgettable characters and uncanny insight, Out of the Water is an intoxicating novel of motherhood, secrets, and the profound ramifications our decisions have. Readers will be left wondering: ultimately, is it always better to know the truth?

Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy

A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Dallas hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily. Gloria’s relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman’s apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer. . .or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?

The Still of The Night by Kristen Heitzmann

Though he is professionally successful, the one life Morgan Spencer can’t seem to set straight is his own. Behind his charming rebel facade is a need that drives him toward perfectionand emptiness. Morgan has been haunted for years by the tragic decision his first love made when they were still in high school, but everything changes for him when Jill Runyun reenters his life. And the news she shares will either set him free or bring him to his knees. With her trademark dramatic storytelling, bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann portrays an enthralling journey of two wounded souls who are a led to a place of healing and restoration.

To Know You by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

Julia Whittaker’s rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a “living liver” transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman—someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with—to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she’s never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?

And what if she discovers in her own daughters’ lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she’s probably embarking on a fool’s errand—searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?

In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

Why The Sky is Blue by Susan Meissner

What options does a Christian woman have after she’s brutally assaulted by a stranger . . . and becomes pregnant? That’s the heartrending situation Claire Holland faces. Happily married and the mother of two when she is attacked, Claire begins an incredible journey on the painful pathway to trusting God “in all things”.

When Claire’s husband, Dan, confesses he can’t be a father to the expected child, Claire’s decision to put the baby up for adoption creates a sense of tremendous loss for Claire. Later, unexpected circumstances turn this seeming loss into victory.

This wonderful first novel isn’t a love story . . . but a life story, presenting the twin themes trusting God in tragic circumstances and reaping the rewards that eventually come with sacrificial loving.

12 Responses to “Top 10 Tuesday — Adoption Stories”

  1. lydiaschoch July 19, 2022 at 7:10 am #

    What a great idea for a theme!

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-an-outdoor-adventures-reading-list/

  2. Emily Jane July 19, 2022 at 8:09 am #

    They look cute. I don’t read many books where the characters are adopted.

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My post:
    https://budgettalesblog.wordpress.com/2022/07/19/top-ten-tuesday-storylines-settings-that-make-me-think-of-summer/

  3. Aymee July 19, 2022 at 11:34 am #

    This is a great topic! I never thought to read adoption stories intentionally, although I have read several.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  4. anovelglimpse July 19, 2022 at 1:00 pm #

    I’m going to have to check these out. I am an adoptee and I always find these stories interesting. If you like stories like this, you should check out The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand and Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. Both are excellent.

    • rbclibrary July 19, 2022 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. buffywnabe July 19, 2022 at 2:52 pm #

    Interesting topic choice! I haven’t read any of these, but will check them out! Here’s mine: https://lisalovesliterature.bookblog.io/2022/07/19/top-ten-tuesday-topic-freebie-ten-romance-authors-i-still-need-to-meet/

  6. Courtney @ The Green Mockingbird Blog July 19, 2022 at 3:00 pm #

    The only one I’ve read is Kristen Heitzmann’s.(She’s always a fav). I guess I need to remedy that 🙂 .This is a unique topic idea!

  7. Cindy Davis July 19, 2022 at 4:02 pm #

    Oh I love this!! I recently read and LOVED both Edge of Belonging and Before I called you mine!!

    • rbclibrary July 19, 2022 at 5:18 pm #

      Those two are especially good!

  8. Carla July 26, 2022 at 7:10 am #

    Wow, some of these sound really good and powerful stories. Great choice for this weeks freebie.

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