This is truly a unique book. What is Adoption? explains the concept of adoption in a healthy and complete way with terms that children can easily understand. What is Adoption? is geared toward non-adopted children and this fact adds to the uniqueness of this book as there are very few, if any other resources out there of this quality for non-adopted children. I have already used this book within my own home to educate a young friend with positive results.
The Story Line
Violet and Alex are good friends. One day Alex trusts Violet to see his lifebook and thus she learns that her best friend is adopted. This brings up a lot of questions within Violet so she turns to her mom for some answers. Violet learns many valuable lessons about adoption, such as:
- Families are formed in many different ways.
- The fact that there is another mother as illustrations of a birthmother are shown.
- Children are adopted for many different reasons and at different ages.
- Each family is unique and made up of different people who care and love each other.
- Appropriate and clear adoption language is addressed, such as the word "real" not being an O.K. term.
- The adoption plan and court is explained very quickly, but enough for a child to grasp.
- Each adoption story is different and private.
Violet also spends time talking with Alex's mom as she has concerns about Alex being a permanent part of their family. Violet ends with a complete and age appropriate education on the subject of adoption. Children reading or hearing What is Adoption?
will enjoy the story and learn along with Violet.
Special Section - Notes to Adults
The final page of What is Adoption? is a section entitled: Notes to Adults. Here several key points are made regarding appropriate adoption language. I happen to agree with much of what is written here as I have encountered rude remarks about my family as an adoptive parent. But I happen to agree with another review of What is Adoption?, that found this section to be written in a commanding way that could put off some people. I know that I didn't enjoy the overall tone of this section.
From a Young Reader - Caleb age 9
My daughter has a good friend named Caleb. He has been around our family for the past 4 years. This year he has been making observations about our family. He has told my daughter on several occasions that she doesn't have any "real" brothers because her's are all adopted. I have heard these comments and asked him if since the boys are not real, then am I their fake mom. He said, "Well, yeah. Kinda." I didn't know how to address this with him. I then received What is Adoption?
for review. I allowed Caleb to read it and asked him for his own quick review. After spending several minutes reading, he brought the book back to my desk. "Caleb," I asked. "Has this book changed your mind and feelings on what a real family is and that Jordan's brothers are her brothers?" His eyes widened, he nodded his head, and simply said, "Yeah." He then handed me a note with his review that read:
"A great book to learn about friends who are adopted."
How can I give a stronger, more positive review than that?
About the Authors
Sofia Stergianis, MSW is an experienced adoption professional and Rita McDowall, M.ED. works in the adult education field. Both are adoptive parents.
What is Adoption? Helping non-adopted children understand adoption
is a must have teaching tool for the classroom or the livingroom.
What is Adoption? Helping non-adopted children understand adoption is recommended for children ages 5+.
(Published by Wisdom Press, 2006