Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

by Sherrie Eldridge

I started reading this book before we left for China. I brought it with me with plans to read a bit on the plane but I was a little to wired to get through it. Now that we are back and completely settled in I have finally finished the book.

I will first say that this is not a feel good book, it brings up a lot of topics that will be uncomfortable for adoptive parents. It is a fairly controversial book. It tends to be a bit biased and dwells on the negative aspects of adoption. If you read any of the online reviews of the book many adoptees claim to fail to relate to many of the "things" that the book discusses. I guess the rule of thumb when reading it is don't freak out and think that your child is going to have all of these negative feelings about their adoption. But, I want to try to get a balanced perspective on things so I believe that reading about the possible negative aspects of adoption is worthwhile. After all, the book is written by an adoptee whose experiences and feeling can't just be discounted.

Some of the "things" that the book discusses are loss, grief, and fear of abandonment. The book discusses each of these and gives examples of how the adoptee may experience them. The book then goes on to give examples on how parents can support and help their children work through these feelings.

The book seems to focus a bit more on domestic adoption rather than international adoption. Many of the "things" with domestic adoption need to be handled differently for international adoptions. The author was adopted domestically in the 1940s so she is writing from her own experiences. Adoption is dealt with a lot differently/thoughtfully these days so hopefully our children will have an easier time resolving any issues they are feeling.

Overall I felt the book was a worthwhile read. There are sections of the book that can really make you see things from an adoptee's perspective in ways I had not previously considered. The suggestions on "What Parents Can Do" at the end of each chapter is a worthwhile reference for introducing conversations that may uncomfortable for our children to bring up. Even if our daughter never feels any of these "things" I feel better prepared knowing where her feelings may be coming from.

1 comment:

Two Pearls / New England H Family said...

I bought this book many months ago but haven't read it yet. I am enjoying "Are Those Kids Yours?" about raising children that are of a different race. It's been interesting, but it's not a page turner. Just something to read 10-20 pages at a time and let soak in. Like you said, things to be aware of for the future.