Parenting in the Eye of the Storm – Adoption Book Review

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From the Cover of Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years by Katie Naftzger:

“Describing the essential skills you need to help your adopted teen confidently face the challenges of growing up, adult adoptee and family therapist Katie Naftzger shares her personal and professional wisdom. Parenting in the Eye of the Storm contains invaluable insights for adoptive parents with simple strategies you can use to prepare your adopted teen for the journey ahead and strengthen the family bond in process.”

Grade:

5 hoots out of 5

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:

The most powerful and important voice for adoptive parents to hear is that of the adoptee. In this book, readers will find the wisdom of not only an adoptee who experienced being adopted internationally, but one who now has years of experience as a therapist working with adoptees and their families to draw upon as well.

Parenting in the Eye of the Storm begins with a chapter that delves into the many layers of loss that adoptees experience describing 8 different losses, some of which are generally not thought about. Ms. Naftzger goes on to explain four parenting tasks she considers essential to parenting an adopted teen. The last three chapters discuss race, privilege and cultural norms, mental health, and self-care. While discussions of race center upon the experience of Asian adoptees, much of what Ms. Naftzger says can be applied beyond to other interracial adoptions.

Throughout the book, adoptive parents will find practical examples, stories of the author’s experiences and those of her clients, questions for introspection, and tips including what to say and what not to say. This book is meant to be read front to back and not used as a reference. Adoptive parents will likely all find some new perspective(s) as a result of reading Parenting in the Eye of the Storm.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. Had you previously considered all eight areas of loss experienced by adoptees discussed in Chapter One?
  2. Which of the 4 parenting tasks do you find most challenging?
  3. Which parenting task do you feel most equipped for?
  4. What do you do for self-care?

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I’d Know You Anywhere My Love – Book Review

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From the Cover of I’d Know You Anywhere My Love by Nancy Tillman:

“Every child is special and unique, but… children also love to dream of being something different. Taking flight, running fast, roaring loudly – there are no limits to children’s imaginations. And no matter where their dreams take them, we are always there, every step of the way.

Bestselling author and artist Nancy Tillman has once again created a book that celebrates the comfort of always, always knowing that you are loved – no matter what you might decide to be.”

Grade:

transfiguring-adoption-four-hoot-book-review

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 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:

This book appears to have been written for the general public and was not necessarily created with foster or adoptive parents in mind. The book seems to be well-suited for children from ages 3-10 or preschool through upper elementary school – due to the heavy attention to images this book would seem to do best on the lower end of the age range we have suggested. Foster and adoptive parents are going to be interested in this book as the theme deals with communicating with children about how special and unique they are to a parent or caregiver.

The illustrations in this book are done in realistic fashion which appears to be paint or ink like. The images are vibrant and compositions themselves tend to have a good fluid motion to allow you child to stay engaged with the story. There is more often than not an animal which is staring straight at the reader from the turn of a page – this eye contact seems to assist in capturing the attention of children.

This tale seems to revolve around the theme of discussing the unique and special person and character of your own child. At the beginning of the book a woman (possibly the mother) begins to relate to a child how she would know the child if they were in a pretend animal form due to the special qualities/traits the child possesses.

This book may have been written with a typical birth family in mind but the book is vague with relaying the identity of the speaker of the book that it could easily relate to a foster or adoptive family. The story is has a rhythmic flow when reading which makes it fun and easy to read to a child. There is little text on each page and the story reads quickly so this seems to be a great book for a quick bedtime story.

Overall, Transfiguring Adoption finds that while this book was not directly created foster or adoptive families, it does a great job of creating an atmosphere where caregivers can tell children they are special and convey what this looks like.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. Would you like to be a snowy white owl? Why?
    Can you say,” Whoo. Whoo?”
  2. How does a bear nose look?
  3. Does your nose look like a bear cub’s nose?
  4. What do you think the blue-footed booby bird’s happy dance look like?
  5. What does your happy dance look like?
  6. Do your mom and/or dad think you’re special? How do you know?

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Get Kids To Sit In A Chair With Leg Fidgets

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It’s been a long time since we have reviewed a fidget, and truthfully, we haven’t tried anything new in a while until recently. We have a couple kiddos (foster and adoptive) in our home right now who really struggle to stay in their seats during meals or other times which they would normally be sitting in a chair. We have in the past let them stand to eat, but this stopped working when standing led to aimless wandering instead of focusing on whatever the task at hand was.

Darren, my husband, had seen on Pinterest a fidget idea which is simply a strip of stretchy spandex material with the ends sewn together which is then stretched around the chair legs. We decided it was worth a try, so for a few bucks we picked up some material from a local craft store, our crafty teen daughter cut it into strips and sewed the ends together, and we wrapped it around the front of our dining room chairs.

Success! This Fidget Does Perform!

The children have different options when using them. They can put their feet behind all of the material for greater resistance when pushing or kicking their legs forward, or they can place their legs between the material for less resistance but also allowing for resistance whether pushing forward or backward. One thing we did not do when creating these fidgets that we have seen online is using wider strips of fabric, which would allow the users to pull the fabric up over their lap simulating the feeling of a weighted lap blanket.

“These fidgets have made a world of difference in activities like eating a meal or sitting down with in-home therapists.”

These fidgets have made a world of difference in activities like eating a meal or sitting down with in-home therapists. The two who have used them have been able to sit and focus much longer than was previously possible, and they really like them. They just swing away and eat or talk. If they begin to get up from the table without reason, which usually happens because they forgot to use the fidget when they first sat down, it just takes a simple, “Are your feet in your fidget?” to get them back and focused.

Now the other kiddos are asking for their own chair fidgets, and we’re thinking it’s time to go get some more spandex!


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