There's a lack of positive and uplifting books for an adoptive parent to read, I have found. Much of this is because of the philosophy and beliefs that pervade the culture we live in. I have essentially found that the social services and justice system is not pro-adoption in NZ. And this has been confirmed by our lawyer and other adoptive parents too.
In the 50's and 60's children were removed from their birth mothers and adoption was closed. Bad for everyone concerned. We have seen the effects in our own family and it's not pretty. But the pendulum has swung too far the other way where sometimes it's hard to find any positive viewpoint on adoption at all. The pressure that is placed on young girls (even Sweetpea at 14 years old) to keep the baby is wrong.
*Disclaimer for any birth mums reading this* Don't get me wrong, sometimes it IS good for birth mums to keep their babies and I am all for choice. The choice is YOURS and yours alone right up until you sign the papers. But if you have made up your mind, like Sweetpea did, then support is needed, not coercing.
Recommended adoption literature seems to support this viewpoint with the belief that nothing is as good as the birth mum/ child relationship and the adoptive child is doomed to spend their lives trying to fill the gap left by separation/ loss. One of the books recommended by the adoption social services is the Primal Wound. Oh boy. I read this book at the time when the first adoption possibility we were approached with had failed.
We were away on holiday and I started reading this book. It filled me with a devastating sense of loss that I would never be a "real" mother. Not only could I not produce a child myself but if I was fortunate enough to adopt I would not be able to fully be a mother as I would not be good enough. I drove to the boat ramp to pick up my hubbie and I drove right to the edge of the river. I had one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake. The car jerked forward until I could see down into the river. I wondered how long it would take for someone to find me and I just wanted to end it all. It would have been so easy. I am not how long I sat there but it took a superhuman effort to put the car into reverse and back off. It took me to a bad place that took me months to climb out from.
Yes there is a wound caused at our birth but it's caused by separation from God not from a person. We all have to deal with a primal wound and only Jesus can heal it.
My father-in-law who was adopted helped me deal with some of this loss and poo-pooed the book. As an adoptee (from a closed adoption and very happy for it to remain so) he gave me hope. How I miss that man!
So I am always looking for books to read that are real and balanced. That don't deny adoption issues but are also positive and affirming about adoption. This book I have been reading is fabulous. It presents a rational and balanced perspective on bonding/ attachment and a whole lot of other issues.
It's called "Talking with Young children about adoption" by Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher. I originally got it to know how to start to bring up the topic with Rupi. Our adoption is very open and we want it to be something he has always known about. But the book has turned out o be so much more! I can't recommend it enough.
One of my favourite lines is: "Adoptive parents often lose sight of the fact that their children's nonadopted peers are fighting the same battles and feeling the same pains but are scrapping on fields other than the adoption front, using other metaphors." Ahhh... the sound of sanity!
Another great author (and I think she is adopted herself) is Sherrie Eldridge. Her books are also quite balanced and we got the idea for a life book out of this book. I got both books off Amazon.
So one of the things we are doing is getting a life book together for Rupi. We got ours from Parents inc and it's called MyStory.
It's such fun putting it together and at the beginning of the book there we are along with Sweetpea and J. So hopefully Rupi will start to associate us and him with Sweetpea and J from the beginning.
Because this IS wonderful and positive and amazing. Chosen by Sweetpea and orchestrated by God, a family was made. And we need to read about how incredible it can be and work towards that, not worry about the gaps and lack and focus on the negative! Amen!