From the Cover of Let’s Talk About It: Adoption by Fred Rogers
What is a “family”?
My sister was adopted into our family when I was eleven years old. My mother and father became her mother and father. All of a sudden I was no longer an “only child” in the family. Understanding all of that came very gradually for me — and for my sister.
Different children find different ways to handle their feelings about adoption: How they want to talk about it, or even if they want to talk about it, will be an individual decision.
You, of course, know your child best, so I hope you will adapt the ideas in this book for him or her. That’s one of the reasons we call this series of books “Let’s Talk About it.” It’s an invitation for you and your child to take what we offer and talk about it in your own ways… ways that feel right for you and your family.
“Let’s Talk About It” is also a way of saying that when we share our uncertainties (even about difficult things) with people who care about us, we often find that our feelings can be much more manageable. Even when there aren’t answers, it can help just to know that the people we love care about our questions and the feelings that go along with them.
That’s what your family really is — a group of people who care about who you are deep inside. Bloodlines and love lines don’t necessarily coincide. When it comes to growing into a healthy, whole, and fulfilled human being, it is love that counts the most.
Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]
What Our Family Thought:
Fred Rogers entertained and taught so many children (including myself) through his show, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. The initial thought in our minds were wondering if the voice of the 1970s and 1980s would be able to resound effectively to adoptive families in the present.
The book was written elementary school aged children. However, children ages 3 to early 5 would also more than likely benefit from this literary tool. This book is a great read for adoptive families or those families wanting to learn a little bit more about the unique qualities that make up an adoptive family.
The photographs in this book are noticeably dated. My smallest son verbally mentioned that the girls had strange and older clothes on. However, the families and situations depicted on the pages are very much an asset for connecting your adoptive kids to this book. We would not be surprised if your kids were to understand their feelings and family better with the pictures. Parents should also note that this book did a adequate job of representing several different races of children. There were a couple of images of Caucasian parents with an Asian daughter. It would have been nice to see some other interracial families.
Our family felt that this book did a great job of exploring the qualities of a family. Your family will get to explore the positive emotions and qualities of a family such as comforting each other or laughing together. You will also get to introduce the negative things that a family has to work through such as getting angry at your parents. This book does a great job of affirming the idea to children that they may have questions or various feelings about their adoption.
Overall our family believes that this book is a great tool for starting discussions about adoption and family. If parents are nervous about having these conversations, the book would also be simply a good stand alone read to allow kids to have information given to them so they can come back to parents with questions at a later time.
However, if you’re wondering how to start a conversation, you can always use the discussion questions below.
- How many people are in your family?
- When are times that you feel happy in your family?
- Can you or your parent(s) think of a time you got angry with your parent(s)?
- Why were you so angry?
- Do you still belong in your family even after you got angry? How do you know?
- Do you have any questions about your adoption?
- Is it okay to ask your parent(s) about your adoption or birth family? What do your parents think?
- Why does your mom/dad think you belong in their family? What do they like about you?