Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

By Betsy Keefer; Jayne E. Schooler et al. | Go to book overview

"ADOPTED," hushed voices whisper "given up," "thrown away" "adopted, adopted, adopted." i walk around, like today in the stores and it feels like everyone can see right through me and knows all about me.


SUMMARY
Knowing how to encourage a child to communicate about the issues of his past is a challenge for parents. Utilizing the tools discussed in this chapter will hopefully enable parents and children to open doors to healthy family communication.
QUESTIONS
1. In what ways is a lifebook valuable for an adopted child?
2. What challenges do you see in putting together a lifebook for your child?
3. How can you overcome these challenges?
4. What other tools do you see as particularly helpful?
5. Are there any tools that you do not completely understand how to use?
6. What other tools have you used that are not discussed in this chapter?

NOTES
1.
Denise Goodman, "Seven Reasons Why Children Need a Lifebook," in Jayne Schooler and Betsy Keefer, Mystery History: Helping Adopted Children Understand the Past. A training curriculum for foster and adopted parents. ( Columbus, Ohio: Institute for Human Services, 1998).
2.
Schooler and Keefer.
3.
Judith Rycus and Ronald Hughes, Field Guide to Child Welfare. ( Washington: D.C. CWLA Press, Columbus, Ohio: Institute for Human Services, 1998).
4.
Adapted with permission, from Fahlberg, A Child's Journey Through Placement ( Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1991), 341-42.
5.
Rycus and Hughes, 978.
6.
Ibid.
7.
Jayne Schooler, The Whole Life Adoption Book ( Colorado Springs: Pinon Press, 1993), 136-37.
8.
Vera Fahlberg, phone interview, July 13, 1999.
9.
Fahlberg, Child's Journey, 356.
10.
Ibid.
11.
Kathryn Brohl, Working with Traumatized Children ( Washington, D.C.: CWLA Press, 1996).
12.
The story is taken entirely from Fahlberg, Child's Journey, and is used with permission of the author.
13.
Beth Anthony, "A Place for Mike." Guideposts Magazine, July 1999. Used with permission.
14.
Sue Pelleg, LISW, MSSA, has had extensive experience working with children, first as an elementary school teacher then as a caseworker and therapist.

-135-

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