We’ve mentioned lately that we’ve been reading lots about adoption and have made several posts about what we’ve been reading. I have to say, with what we’ve read so far, the quality runs the gamut from really good to pretty bad. Some of the children’s books I really like include Sweet Moon Baby, The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born. These three books we will add to our collection in order to talk to our child about adoption. We want to start at an early age so our child has nothing to be ashamed or frightened of when it comes to their adoption.
As for the books for parents, I am less than impressed. It is maddening to me that most of the books I am reading are older books that are trying to convince parents about the benefits of open adoption. We had to read Children of Open Adoption . This is a good book, however outdated. It gives perspective to open adoption and how it benefits children over closed adoption. As you all know, we chose transracial adoption, which is consistent with our beliefs as a couple. Therefore, we chose our second book In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories. I am about half way finished with this book and I have mixed feelings about it. The stories in it are from interviews one of the authors conducted with transracial adoptees. Some of them seem very angry and I am not saying they do not have the right to be angry. However, there is misinformation in this book and some of that information makes me angry. For example:
One adoptee, Jessica, is not a supporter of transracial adoption. When speaking of transracial adoption she says “[it is] carried out in a humanitarian, charitable way; but then after eighteen years, whether you still live in the same home or not, you’re an adult and are left to survive without any debriefing. I don’t know if that’s healthy. I actually know of some cases where the adoptee became schizophrenic. I escaped that. And I say escaped because it’s so easy to become that way.”
Every one is entitled to their opinion, however, schizophrenia is not caused by transracial adoption! As a professional counselor, this makes me angry. Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disease that is caused by genes, environment, different brain chemistry and structure. The National Institute of Mental Health explains schizophrenia. Also, it is my opinion that NO ONE should be described as a disease, a person is not schizophrenic; a person suffers from schizophrenia.
As I continue to read this book, there are stories of those who do support transracial adoption and feel it was the best thing to happen to them. None of the stories I have read do the adoptees blame their parents. Most of them were adopted in the 70s, which puts things in context.
Another book I started to read and have, much to my dismay, decided to not finish is 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. I feel many of the “20 things” are common sense and this book was published in 1999. Again, an older book and, as *E* reminded me, some things seem common sense to us because of our life experience. The author of this book is an adoptee and I feel she has some authority in this area. However, she talks about truths of grief that I cannot agree with in regards to adoptees. I don’t doubt that for some children who are adopted have to process their own grief. However, I don’t think that every time an infant cries, they are crying because they are grieving. That is what I feel this book is saying in some parts. I don’t like giving up on books but I do not agree with this one.