Before I Met You

I bought a book for the kidlet.  It’s called Before I Met You, by Doris A. Landry, M.S.  Landry is a psychotherapist who has worked with adopted children.  As you might guess from the title, this book covers the unknown period in an adopted child’s life — the time before she was adopted — from being carried in her birth mother’s womb, to birth, possible reasons for abandonment (including the One Child Policy), the orphanage and foster care, and we as adoptive parents come into their child’s life.  It is specifically for girls adopted from China. 

I like the book, except for one thing – the full title of the book is “Before I Met You: A Therapeutic Pre-Adoption Narrative Designed for Children Adopted from China.”  I don’t like all that detail on the cover for a children’s book.  Clearly the book is for parents as well as children.  There’s a nice section in the back that has quite a bit of adult-oriented material about the One-Child Policy and ways to talk to your child about these issues, but I don’t like all this on the cover.  I’d rather it looked like a children’s book.  I don’t particularly care for the word therapeutic on the cover, even if it is therapeutic.  Kids do pick up on therapy being for people who need help and are somehow “damaged” — yup, there’s stigma.  Plus, I don’t like the book appearing clinical, aside from the whole stigma thing.  Can’t it just be a book?

I know someone, through Blogsville, who wrote her own book, specific to her family that covered these issues.  It covered the same time period, but has pictures of her daughter (with lots of pictures) and was specifically her story.  I thought that was very cool and will serve the same purpose.  It wouldn’t be hard to do and would be pretty awesome, in fact.  This book would be a good resource when the time comes.

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2 Responses

  1. There is also a book called “When You Were Born in China” filled with lots of black and white photos — specifically geared toward children, and I think meant as sort of a template for the type of book your friend created with her daughter’s own story. Our old agency recommended it, and I have looked through it briefly, but don’t have enough experience with it to say if I would personally recommend it.

  2. You could use a service such as Shutterfly to create your own book. You could use your own text and pictures and in the end, print out your own hardcover book. I always go through Sugarlips’ books with a sharpie and ink out the parts (such as “mommy couldn’t have a baby in her tummy”) that don’t apply to our family. It would be great to have one that applies only to us. I just wish I knew more about what happened in the first 8 1/2 months of her life before we met her.

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