Guest Author - by Allison Martin
It is a colorfully illustrated story, with a happy tone, for younger children. When the Roberts' planned adoption from China fell through, they looked around the world for their little girl. The story ends with a picture of the happy Roberts family, two parents, three birth children and three children adopted from Vietnam, and the celebration of Danielle's adoption.
Q: How did you come to write your book?
Our daughter Danielle was adopted at age 3 1/2. Because she was so young when we adopted her, yet old enough to understand what was happening, she was cognitively very confused. To help explain the adoption process to her, I made her adoption story into a simple picture book. This way she would have pictures with my words to explain the adoption process.
Q: How can parents share their adoption stories with their children?
Hopefully the language, and basic ideas in this book are simple enough to help your child understand the adoption process. Parents can use this book to help explain adoption to their own children in simple terms. The main idea of the book is that people adopt, because they want to have children.
Q: What advice do you have for parents who have adopted older children?
Adopting older children is a wonderful experience. We have adopted three older children from Vietnam. They were three and a half, five, and seven years old when we adopted them. My favorite thing about older adopted children is that they come with their own stories of their birth country, and can share their Vietnamese culture with their new family. You will enjoy many tales from a far away land.
Practical advice would be to retain your older adopted child one school year to give them extra time to develop a new language and to adjust to their new American/European life style. The older the child is at adoption, the slower the acquisition of a new language. If your child is not blithering in their new language after being home for 6 months, it is important to have that child evaluated for a speech problem or learning difference by the school district. You can also take your child to a Developmental Pediatrician for an evaluation. The younger a child is when you start them in speech therapy, the most success your child will have in language acquisition.
Note: Allison Martin is the director of the Families with Children from Vietnam www.fcvn.org, editor of the Chao Ban Newsletter www.chaobannewsletter.com, and developer of the Adopt Vietnam website www.adoptvietnam.org