We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at:
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Connected Child

I have really enjoyed reading The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine. One thing I especially liked is that this book gives actual scripts for dialogue with children of all ages. They even provide sample daily schedules for engendering "felt safety". The Connected Child has a direct conversational tone that focuses on parents developing empathy for the child so kids can develop trust. Here is an excerpt from page 5 that I found quite moving:
"We'd like you to visualize a scene: imagine you raised your healthy, biological child in a loving home until he was four. Then somebody kidnapped him and you didn't know if he was dead or alive for three long years. During those years your baby boy was starved and abused. When he is finally, mercifully, returned to you at the age of seven, he is more like a wild and frightened animal than the curious and playful little boy you knew. Grateful to have him back and sensitive to his suffering, you focus on doing whatever he needs to heal from his trauma. You don't take him to the amusement park on his first day home, or bundle him off to day care within a week. You know that he needs weeks and months of daily nurturing and retraining to comfort, guide, and heal him from the harmful experience."

Another thing that was extremely helpful to me was their section on discipline for the adopted child. This is such a complicated topic for any family but especially for the adoptive family and almost none of us AP's were raised experiencing discipline that truly works for the newly adopted child. So how are we supposed to figure it out? The Connected Child is very firm on their stance that unsafe and selfish behavior cannot be tolerated but they truly do give exact details about providing loving, empathetic discipline for the particular set of circumstances involving the adoptive family.

What I wish the book had done differently:
Like much adoption literature, it focused a lot on bringing home the older child. Of course, that info is much needed for many families but since we are adopting a toddler I wish the authors had more clearly identified what issues families were likely to face in adopting from various age groups. The book also spends a lot of time dealing with the effects of institutionalization. Again, with our specific case that is not as pertinent.

I would recommend this book to any adoptive family. The examples are clear and simple to relate to and it's a very easy and encouraging read. The most important thing I think this book has to offer though is a constant reminder to see things from your child's perspective. The book spends a lot of time outlining the emotional and mental processes adoptees go through and the fears they experience.



Unknown said...

hey Rosemary! I liked this book too! though I would agree, most books I read on adoption mainly had advice if you could verbally communicate with your child (older child). But this was a good book, the only other one I've read that I've really liked was "Adoption Parenting- creating a toolbox, building connections" It's a great resource handbook.

Maci Miller said...

So glad you did this Rosemary! It's great to hear first hand what someone thought of a book before bringing it home. You are also motivating me to start reading the ones piled up on my shelf right now. At the top of the list: Toddler Adoption by Weaver's Craft. Did you read this yet? Jeff did and thought it was very good. I will start this (again) tonight and let you know how it is. If I don't let you know soon, email me and get on my case so I finish it! Been so bad about reading lately!

Ellie said...

Thanks for the review! Sounds very good!

Yoli said...

I will definitely pick this one up.