This story was written for adoptive families to explore the benefits of adoption openness. The main character, Deshaun, loves his family but always wondered about his biological family. Does he look like them? Did they love him? With the support of his adoptive parents, Deshaun gets to meet his biological family. They develop an ongoing relationship, so Deshaun feels more stable in his adoptive family, but also develops a comfortable relationship with his birth family. Deshaun and his family are reminded (as we all are) that family can include biological, adopted, foster and kin members.
After reading this book, a child and their family will be able to:
– Discuss feelings about adoption
– Imagine what openness might mean for them
– Acknowledge similarities and differences among family members
– Discuss if an expanded sense of family is possible for their circumstances
“There are many children’s adoption books that address the important themes of identity, attachment, grief and loss; however, very few approach the topic of openness for older children in the in-depth manner that Theresa and Eric do in their book. The emotions that Deshaun describes are typical of many adopted children and could help normalize universal feelings for young adoptees. I would highly recommend this book for all adopted children and will certainly be using it in my practice.”
–Tecla Jenniskens, M.S.W., R.S.W., adoption social worker
“Many foster and adoptive parents fear the consequences of introducing their children to birth parents. This story offers a redemptive look at how parents can remain history keepers for their children by helping them answer important questions about themselves and their origins. This book is a beautiful example of how fearless curiosity and compassion can lead to increased coherence in a child’s story and an expanded sense of family for everyone.”
–Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S, clinical director of Nurture House, executive director of the TraumaPlay Institute and author of A Safe Circle for Little U and Trauma and Play Therapy
“We’re All Not the Same, but We’re Still Family is a lovely book that tackles issues adopted children really think about when they question their identity and place within a family. The authors describe the process of a boy’s search for his biological family, with the full support of his adoptive parents, and the events that brought him into the child welfare system. The illustrator’s rendition of the Skyped meetings between the two families is captivating, while the text gives careful attention to the unification process. I applaud the authors on their inclusion of realistic steps in this complicated process, as we witness a child’s journey to find and complete his family.”
–Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, board certified psychologist and author of Please Explain “Anxiety” to Me!
I’m so thankful I read this book. It opened my mind to another perspective on foster care and adoption. My husband and I want to adopt one day, so to be reminded of the hardship from both biological parents was amazing. When we hear about foster kids, you just think about a parent not able to care for them for whatever reason. Very seldom do you hear about a child blindly taken from one of the parents.
I’m glad this book was written to remind foster/adoptive parents to 1) be mindful of the child’s need to know where they came from and WHO they are from a biological standpoint and 2) to be fair and open minded to the biological parent’s side as well. This child character had a grandmother and siblings who loved him and wanted to be in his life.
This is a great book for the whole adopted family. It is well written and easy to ready. It is one that both the children and parents can get a wealth of knowledge and information from. Thank you for writing this.
From Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com
Inside the book
Deshaun meeting his birth family over a Skype call
About the Authors
Eric Fraser is 17 years old and adopted. Like Deshaun, he found some of his birth family when he was in middle school. He likes lacrosse, skateboarding, and, ice-skating in the wintertime. He is a public speaker and talks about what kids need and value from helping relationships.
Theresa Fraser is Eric’s mom. She and her husband fell in love with Eric the second they saw him. He is an amazing teenager who carries around the love he received from his birth family and ancestors as well as his chosen family.
In her work as a therapist, Theresa believes strongly that families can be defined in many different ways, and often this includes foster/adoptive and birth family members. How blessed all family members are when contact can be shared and it is positive for the child.
Theresa has a variety of certifications that enable her to work effectively with people across the lifespan. She is a Trauma Specialist, Certified Play Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist (Ontario) and Certified Counselling Therapist (Nova Scotia). She has experience using a variety of evidenced based interventions. She has won provincial, national and international awards and has many publications.
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