Last minute Christmas gifts for parents and kids

Gifts for adoptive families: books about adoption, multicultural toys, and worthy charities

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2012 — Christmas is coming.  For those procrastinators among us, there’s still a bit of time left to shop for gifts for adoptive and foster care parents and kids. 

From books about adoption to otherwise hard-to-find multicultural dolls, there are some great holiday gifts a quick click away.  

And, as we buy gifts for our friends and family, we may want to think about giving to organizations that help less fortunate children.  With that in mind, I have assembled a short list of worthy charities that help oprhaned children and those living in foster care.  Why not leave a comment and suggest some of your favorite charities?


Despite America’s great diversity, it remains as difficult as ever to find toys and dolls that reflect that diversity. Sleepysoft sells biracial, Hispanic, black, and Asian dolls for babies and children.

Children of The World sells a variety of multicultural dolls, as well as world music and also ornaments from Korea and China, which make great stocking stuffers.

Books and Films

Goodreads has a large selection of adoption books, spanning the gamut from books aimed at parents to toddlers.

The book In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You to Know About Adoption by Elisabeth O’Toole is  a good present to give to adoptive parents or those adoptive-parents-to-be on your gift list.  It’s also aimed at family members and close friends.  It explains what it is really like to be an adoptive parent, what parents go through to get there and what they’re most sensitive talking about.  This can also be a good gift (and a subtle hint) to family and friends.

The Mulberry Bird is a classic story that’s recently been reissued.  The tale of a struggling mother bird who makes the difficult decision to give up her baby bird in an order to live him a secure life with another family is ideal for parents to read to young adopted children.

Journey to Jemima is Bradley Gregg’s documentary film about a couple’s international adoption experience.  The film follows them as they spend a month in the country of Kazakhstan as they meet their daughter and other children at the orphan house at Semi-Palatinsk.

Charitable Giving

Children’s Friend, based in Rhode Island, helps children living below the poverty level through a variety of means—from social services to education to counseling.  The non-profit also assists birth parents, adoptive families and foster care families in making sure every child is cared for and reaches his or her potential.  You can give directly or through the United Fund if you designate your check to Children’s Friend.

A birthday cake may seem like simple thing, but to children in foster care it symbolizes far more than a sweet treat; it sends a signal someone cares about them.  Cakes4Kids is a nonprofit that delivers birthday cakes to children in foster care in the San Francisco Bay area.

Casey Family Programs is laser-focused on improving the child welfare system for foster care kids in the United States, working with families, children and governmental decision makers.

Founded and run by a mother of two adopted girls from Vietnam, Charitable Dreams  assists poor children and their families in rural Vietnam.  This organization helps combat poverty and to keep families in tact in an effort to reduce the number of children placed in orphanages.

Both Ends Burning aims to promote adoption for children without families.  The organization works with world leaders on creating solutions to barriers to adoption and fostering awareness of the issues facing orphaned children.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption does not take any government funding for the work it does on behalf of the millions of kids in the U.S and around the world who do not have a family.  The organization relies solely on donations to do its valuable work.

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Andrea Poe

Andrea Poe is a veteran journalist, whose work has appeared in thousands of publications, including Town & Country, Marie Claire and Entrepreneur.  She is the author of several books and her work has appeared in many others, including anthologies and college textbooks. 

Andrea serves as editor of the Travel & Food section at The Washington Times Communities.  Her love of travel has led her to cover everything from remote villages in the Andes to her hometown of New York, from Paris to Pittsburgh, from Beijing to the Bahamas.  No matter where she travels, she likes to uncover the unusual and share with readers those often-overlooked aspects of a place and its people.  She dubs her column Raven’s Eye as a nod to her illustrious (and, yes, infamous) relative, Edgar Allan Poe, a writer who knew more than a little something about the quirky and unique.  

Andrea is also mother to Maxine, who was adopted from Vietnam in 2006, and is the inspiration for The Red Thread column on adoption at The Washington Times Communities.   Andrea is currently at work on a book on international adoption.

In addition to her work as mother, writer and traveler, she is the founder and president of Media Branding International, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations craft and promote their image in media outlets around the globe.

Find Andrea at andpoe@Twitter, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Contact Andrea Poe


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