In on It | a book review


Are you in on it? Do you know the adoption process and everything involved? Perhaps you are hoping to know more so you can support a close friend or family member?

“In on it:  What adoptive parents would like you to know about adoption” is a guide for relatives and friends. Written by Elisabeth O’Toole, a mother to three children through adoption, she has gone through the adoption journey and understands the ‘ins and outs’ of what the process can feel like to families.

If you are just starting the adoption process or are perhaps interested in adoption, this is a great introduction to the process! Yes, it is written for those close to the people going through the paperwork and looking to add a child to their family. But, her perspective is valuable if you are pursuing adoption! She gives some examples of things that people unknowingly might say or do to others in the adoption community. These insights are important to think about and discuss.

If you are a family member or a close friend of someone going through adoption, this book is a great read! It allows you to hear from an adoptive parent and how you can support the adoptive parent(s) in your life. The book gives insight into the process they are undertaking, emotions they might experience, some suggestions of things for you to think about, and gives ideas of how you can support them.

I read this book while we were well into the home study process and awaiting approval. I appreciate her writing style as it allows you to understand what some of the feelings are that prospective adoptive parents may have experienced. It also gives ways you can support them through the process in conversation, and in time, energy, etc. once the adoption takes place. The writing style is very fluid and is makes it an enjoyable read!

Chapter Outline:

Introduction:  People in grocery stores

  1. Deciding to adopt
  2. Adoption and loss
  3. The adoption process:  Fingerprints, documents, and The Wait
  4. Digging deeper:  Beyond the paperwork
  5. Welcoming the whole child:  Personal histories
  6. The child’s right to privacy
  7. Talking about adoption
  8. People will ask you questions:  Representing the child and adoption
  9. Both an adoptive family and just another family

Conclusion:  You’re in on it, too

Conversation starters:  Questions to prompt discussion

Additional adoption resources for friends and relatives


If you purchase this book for a glimpse into the adoption process, I’d ask that when you’re done, please consider sharing it with a family member!

I hope you decide to be ‘in on it’ and check out this book. Or, perhaps you know someone who would benefit from reading.

To purchase the book on Amazon, here is a link.

The Journey Begins

During this time, we are working on our home study. What does a home study entail? Here are a few things we had to prepare:

  • physicals
  • fire audit
  • fire escape plan
  • safety audit
  • driver’s licenses
  • social security cards
  • health insurance
  • auto insurance
  • health forms signed by doctors
  • well water test
  • BCI & FBI checks
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificate
  • tax returns
  • proof of income
  • financial form
  • utility bills
  • references
  • adoption culture class
  • book list of reading + homework
  • adoption online class

“Keep calm and fill out the next form!”


Well, once all this paperwork comes together, this picture resembles the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though the paperwork trail seems like a daunting task right now, there’s a purpose and a plan behind ALL of it!