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Adoption Books - Talking to children about adoption

 Talking to your child about adoption

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See also: General Adoption books
International Adoption



Talking With Young Children About Adoption
by Mary Watkins

5 out of 5 starsRead ASAP if you have an adopted baby or child!
Reviewer: tblanchford from Odelzhausen Germany

  In my opinion, you can't read this book too early. As a matter of fact, the earlier the better.

The first thing I realized in reading this book is how young the children are/can be when they start talking and asking questions about their adoption. They're beginning around the age of three in many cases! Our son is 15 months old now and I thought I'd have several years to read this book when in reality I need to be introducing him to the word "adoption" and other phrases about our adopting him now so that he's familiar with the words by the time he can understand them.

The book gives numerous stories of children and how they ask questions and talk about their adoption. What things are important to them to know. How they talk to their friends about adoption. How we as parents need to be truthful right from the very beginning. Explaining why the parents look different from the child. Talking about their tummy-mommy and who she is and why she let someone else adopt him/her. And how the children like to act out the day their parents first saw them (hundreds of times!) and how to deal with that when the child wants to alter the story.

It also addresses the issue of parents who decide not to tell their children about adoption.

This book will give adoptive parents ideas on how to talk (what to say exactly) to their children when they ask some difficult questions. Kids are smart! They ask thorough questions about their adoption and many times they'll ask the questions years before we think they will.

This book has helped me to prepare for my son's questions, whenever they come, and has helped me to see that it's okay to be "freaked out" at the idea of talking to him about it. It's put my mind at ease because now I have a better sense of what to say and how to say it. When to say it is up to your child. We don't have a lot of choice in the matter. When they want to know, they want to know! Or they may think we're hiding something bad from them. This book will help you along the path of discussion and prepare you for some questions and feelings your adopted child may have.

Excellent book for all adoption situations!

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Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past
by Betsy Keefer, Jayne E. Schooler

Practical and Conceptual
Reviewer: aafc from Mesa, AZ

 I loved this book for a variety of reasons. It begins by laying a groundwork of WHY information can be so powerful and destructive in a family. It contrasts that with how openness can build a foundation of honesty between adopted youths and their parents. In that sense it starts out very conceptual. But it does not stop there, it goes on to give very concrete and practical ways you can give your children possibly hurtful information about their pasts in developmentally sensitive ways. I highly recommend this book for anyone who plans on adopting from the foster care system. Sometimes questions come from our kids we don't always know how to answer. This book can help us to do that AND understand how our children respond to those answers.


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Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
by Sherrie Eldridge

5 out of 5 starsEnlightened and Armed for Life!
Reviewer: Lynn Udrasols from USA

 Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew has given me, a middle-aged adoptee, much information relative to my life. At times while reading, I felt like someone was looking in my window and writing specifically about me. In some cases it gave me words to describe remote feelings. In other instances it went ahead with something I had already begun to understand and led me to my own personal conclusion. It identified my fears and worries and linked them to the specific cause. The book helped me to draw conclusions to thoughts and feelings I felt no one understood. I now have an appreciation for some of the attachments I've made that even I thought were strange; a comprehension that my parents were not equipped to handle and did not even know I had abandonment issues; I know that my birth parents put a baby up for adoption, not me; and I know that my extreme fear of rejection that still pops up from time to time is logical and can be handled. I am so grateful that I received this book as a gift and highly recommend it to anyone who is contemplating adoption or to adoptees. It is very easy to read and understand. I read it cover to cover in two sittings and then went back to take my time and think as I read. A great book. 

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Adoption Lifebook:
A Bridge to Your Child's Beginnings

by Cindy Probst

5 out of 5 starsSomeone has finally done it!
Reviewer: Deborah, an adoption professional from MA

    As an adoption professional I see many parents who love their children but struggle with their child's life story. Many children have joined their adoptive families through difficult or challenging circumstances and this can be hard to balance with a parent's joy of welcoming their new family member. Some parents feel that creating a lifebook for their child will focus more on the unpleasant details. I also see children who have in their minds created their own "lifebook" with details that may not be true or accurate such as "my birth mother did not keep me because I was an ugly baby".

   My suggestion is always that their child has already lived this part of their life and would it not be helpful to have these memories written down in a way that the child can better understand them. It is a remarkable process to watch as a child reads their lifebook for the first time and realizes how decisions were made for them or what the circumstances of their adoption were. Each of their smiles and sighs are etched in my memory forever. They finally have a memory and a story that is their own!

   It is welcoming to finally see a message I have always given to adoptive families and feel so strongly about in print. Ms. Probst's book validates and gives permission to many of the feelings that adoptive parents encounter when they begin the journey of writing their child's lifebook. Her belief of taking this journey to head and to heart and not push to just have a book is an invaluable message. By following the steps of this book, a parent is writing for their child the most loving and caring heirloom a child could ever have, a story of their beginnings before they became part of yours.

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