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Let’s Learn about Adoption – Book Review

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From the Cover of Let’s Learn About Adoption: The Adoption Club Therapeutic Workbook on Adoption and Its Many Different Forms by Regina M. Kupecky, LSW:

“There are many kinds of adoption—and in this workbook the children of The Adoption Club learn about all of them!

The children of the Adoption Club are all different. There’s Mary who was adopted from China by her single mum; Alice who is still in touch with her birth parents in an ‘open adoption’; siblings Angela and Michael who lived in different homes for many years but are now back together; Robert who loves to do stunts in his wheelchair and Alexander who grew up with lots of children in a care home.

Written for counselors and therapists working with children aged 5–11, as well as adoptive parents, this workbook is designed to help children understand adoption in its many forms. It is one of a set of five interactive therapeutic workbooks featuring The Adoption Club written to address the key emotional and psychological challenges adopted children often experience. They provide and approachable, interactive and playful way to help children to learn about themselves and have fun at the same time.”

Regina M. Kupecky, LSW, has a Master’s Degree from John Carroll University. She has worked in the field of adoption for over 30 years. She currently works with children with attachment disorder and their families at The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio (www.abcofohio.net) and conducts training nationally and internationally on many adoption and attachment-related topics. Regina is the co-author with Dr. Gregory C. Keck of the best-selling books Adopting the Hurt Child and Parenting the Hurt Child.


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 target audience is adopted children and their families. Adoptees in the book represent foster care, domestic, kinship, and international adoptions by single, married, and same-sex parents. The adoptions represented vary in levels of openness with birth families, in placement with or separate from siblings, and in cultural compositions. This is one book in a series of therapeutic workbooks by Regina Kupecky (our interview with Regina Kupecky). One child (adoptee) reviewer enjoyed reading about the characters’ adoption stories and liked the questions that were asked in the book stating, “It gives me courage to talk about things I didn’t want to talk about before.” Another child (adoptee) reviewer did not like that there were workbook questions after each page or so of the story as it “interrupts the story too much,” but said that the book overall was good to use for discussion. We will note that while reviewing the book, we read the book and answered the questions in entirety in one sitting. Realistically, with the intensity of topics and emotions discussed, it would be better to break it up into several times of sitting down and reading and discussing, which would make the questions not seem so frequent. Overall our reviewers found the book helpful in starting healthy conversations about the situations and emotions involved in adoptions, and we highly recommend this book along with the other books in this series.


Buy From Our Links and Support Transfiguring Adoption:


It’s Your Turn:

Use the therapeutic discussion questions and activities in the book. Then keep the discussion going with others.

  1. What did your family like or dislike about this book?
  2. Was this book helpful for your family?

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Friends, Bullies, and Staying Safe – Children’s Book Review

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From the Cover of Friends, Bullies and Staying Safe: The Adoption Club Therapeutic Workbook on Friendship by Regina M. Kupecky:

“Friendship is so complicated! The children of The Adoption Club think they are friends—they go to the same school and belong to The Adoption Club.

But what does it mean? Are there different types of friendships? How should you respond to teasing? It’s time for The Adoption Club to explore the confusing world of friendship and bullying.

Written for counselors and therapists working with children aged 5–11, as well as adoptive parents, this workbook is designed to help children explore friends, staying safe and social skills. It is one of a set of five interactive therapeutic workbooks featuring The Adoption Club written to address the key emotional and psychological challenges adopted children often experience. Together, they provide an approachable, interactive and playful way to help children to learn about themselves and have fun at the same time.”

Regina M. Kupecky, LSW, has a Master’s Degree from John Carroll University. She has worked in the field of adoption for over 30 years. She currently works with children with attachment disorder and their families at The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio (www.abcofohio.net) and conducts training nationally and internationally on many adoption and attachment-related topics. Regina is the co-author with Dr. Gregory C. Keck of the best-selling books Adopting the Hurt Child and Parenting the Hurt Child.


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:

The target audience is adopted children. Adoptees in the book represent foster care, domestic, kinship, and international adoptions by single, married, and same-sex parents. This is one of a series of therapeutic workbooks by Regina Kupecky (our interview with Regina Kupecky). Our child (adoptee) reviewer found it helpful and encouraging to read about the hard times the characters in the book were going through and difficulties they had in relationships with peers. The reviewer could particularly relate to difficulties related to making and keeping friends when moving frequently. The reviewer stated that the book shows adoptees what they need to do to make friends and how to handle teasing and bullying related to adoption and said that the questions in the workbook “are outstanding.” The book utilized a circle diagram resembling a target to discuss levels of closeness in relationships. The child reviewer  described the visual as “nice” and “outstanding” and stated that it helps “for you to organize people.” Overall our reviewers found the book helpful and recommend this book along with the other books in this series.


Buy From Our Links and Support Transfiguring Adoption:


It’s Your Turn:

Use the therapeutic discussion questions and activities in the book. Then keep the discussion going with others.

  1. What did your family like or dislike about this book?
  2. Was this book helpful for your family?

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Katie Careful and the Very Sad Smile: Foster Care and Adoption Children’s Book Review

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From the Cover of Katie Careful and the Very Sad Smile: A Therapeutic Parenting Book by Sarah Naish and Rosie Jefferies:

“Katie Careful has just moved in with her siblings and new parents. Even if she’s sad or scared, she smiles and smiles to try to hide her wobbly feelings.

She clings on to her mum’s leg and won’t let go and she even follows her to the toilet, banging on the door to remind her that she’s there. Luckily, her mum understands why Katie acts this way.”


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:

This book targets foster and adoptive families and is written for children ages three to ten. This story explores the themes of hiding feelings, a child’s fear of being moved to a new home if they don’t behave a certain way, clingy behaviors, separation anxiety, and the fear of being forgotten by a caregiver. Like the other books in the series, this tale portrays a true-to-life situation which will allow families to open up to healthy dialogue.

The illustrations in this book are adequate for communicating the concepts and ideas; the book notes that the illustrations have been deliberately left simple to help children focus on the story. The pictures will keep your child engaged throughout the story.

The story centers around Katie Careful, who is a sibling to the children in the other books of the series. As was mentioned above, the story introduces a situation many foster or adoptive families can relate to. This will allow families to utilize this story as a great discussion piece within their home. The book introduces Katie’s motivation for her behaviors and an example of how parents can successfully react to the situation. As always, the books from this series end with a section written to caregivers explaining the reasoning behind trauma-induced behaviors. This last section also explains how therapeutic parents should respond to these problematic situations, all the while explaining the science and psychology in a way in which you don’t have to be a professional therapist to understand.

Our family finds this book very useful. Our children could relate to Katie, and Dalton stated that he can compare himself to her. He shared that this book and the others in the series show that each of the adopted children in the family has “different needs, but each kid lived together in the same family, just like we do.” He appreciated the solutions mentioned in the book and asked to start using two of the strategies specifically.

Transfiguring Adoption overall finds this book very applicable for a foster or adoptive family. Katie Careful and the Very Sad Smile would be a great addition to a foster/adoptive family bookshelf.


Buy From Our Links and Support Transfiguring Adoption:


It’s Your Turn:

Book Discussion Questions:

  1. Why did Katie smile all the time?
  2. Did her smile mean she was happy?
  3. What was Katie scared of? What kind of wobbly feelings did she have? Have you ever had those feelings? If you feel safe, you can share those feelings with your family, and they can help you.
  4. What made Katie feel better?
  5. What can your foster or adoptive parents do to help remind you that you are not forgotten?
  6. Would a parent putting a hand on your shoulder help you?
  7. Is there a secret code word they can say to you?

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