Finding My Forever Family – A Book Explaining Adoption
Why The Book?
Finding My Forever Family is a personalised adventure story-book about adoption. In it, your heart-baby learns about adoption, what an extraordinary journey it is, and how they found you – their Forever Family. Research over the years has indicated that one of the most traumatic days for any adoptee is the day that they were told, regardless of howit was done, that they’re adopted. So, the most positive and beneficial way to tell a child that they’ve been adopted is not to tell them at all, but to make it a normal part of their personal narrative. By reading this book to them from very young, they naturally learn that this story is about them.
It is fun, sensitive, and includes important messages to reassure them that they are very special and will be loved forever. By using a combination of human and animal families, the issue of mixed-race families is also addressed sensitively. I consulted extensively with various social workers and adoptees, who were incredibly helpful in assisting me to achieve the balance between an engaging adventure with a few laughs along the way and conveying an important message to adopted children with sensitivity and dignity.
Each book is customised to include the name of your child, any information about their birth (if and when this is available), what you felt or said when you saw them for the very first time, photos and a personal message from you.
The book is written by me, Amelia Meyer. I chose the very talented Zoe Venter to do all of the illustrations, which are also customised to reflect how your child looks.
The book is an A5, soft-cover book with 24 to 26 full-colour pages.
Order a Book
If you’d like to order a book, please send an email to email@example.com with the following information (if and where available):
1. Child’s name:
2. Child’s birth weight:
3. Child’s birth length:
4. Child’s birthplace(hospital and town):
5. Child’s hair colour(this can be as a baby or their distinctive colour now. If your baby was born with dark hair that has become red, and they are better known as a red-head, the illustrations can depict them with red hair):
6. The first distinguishing features that you noticed about them– long eyelashes, curly hair, a birthmark, etc…:
7. Their personality as a baby – curious, funny, playful, serious, etc…:
8. Details about the parents (are you a single parent, a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads? Does dad have strong arms? Does mom have blue eyes? Any basic info that the child will associate with you as his or her parents):
9. Your delivery address:
This personalised adventure costs R450, including delivery to South African addresses. An adoption book makes an excellent gift for your own little one, or for family members or friends that have adopted. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote and banking details to secure your order.
A Bit of Background Info
I’m a mom to a 10-year old whose biological mother died in 2014. I married her dad in 2015 and have, since then, been the only mom she knows. So, we understand that different families have different dynamics, contexts and even disasters that have to become part of a new normal. I understand tough questions and even tougher answers from and for a child that is trying to make sense of a world that usually doesn’t make sense at all.
In 2018, I was approached by an adoptive mother whose social worker had advised that the best way to tell her child that he’s adopted is to normalise it from birth. She suggested that the parents read a story to him from very small that explains adoption and tells him clearly that he has been adopted. I wrote a short story for her according to her personal brief, style and preferences. It wasn’t an adventure, though. It was just a kind way of telling him.
But, right from the beginning, I knew that I had to take this concept further. I knew I’d need to write one in my own style and with my own fun storyline, and make this available to other adoptive families. I didn’t know this was a need that existed until this mother contacted me, and this awareness sparked in me a fuel to dive into a world that is very complex and emotional.
Over the course of a few months, I chatted to, worked with, and cried with a number of respected social workers, play therapists, and adopted children around the country. In these conversations, there were a few main issues that kept coming out; and the most significant of these was the trauma in the child’s rememberingthe day that they were told that they were adopted. Although some parents tried to do it in the kindest and gentlest ways, that day had so many complicated feelings attached to it that it was their worst.
This book is designed and written to help your heart-baby to know that they are adopted, but to learn it in a natural, safe and gradual way. Reading this book to your baby from very young will help you, as adoptive parents, to overcome one of the biggest obstacles in the world of adoption – how and when do I tell my child that they’re adopted?