Adopting an older child is “not for wimps,” as one social worker so aptly puts it. Kids who are no longer babies come with histories, fully formed personalities, and intense anger over what they have lost. They grieve, misbehave, and may feel like “houseguests” for a long time.
But they also bring joy, laughter, and great resilience in the face of enormous loss. They play, love, and remind us all of what’s truly important: a family of our own.
In Our Own, dozens of adoptive families “tell it like it is” about the joys and challenges of adopting an older child. Their stories are backed up by the author’s thorough research, interviews with professionals, and opinions from adults who were adopted as children. The book covers both domestic and international adoption of children from preschool age through puberty.
It helps parents and parents-to-be find answers to all those terrifying questions:
- Do I have what it takes to adopt and parent an older child?
- How do I choose an agency and find a child to adopt?
- How can I tell if my child is grieving, and what can I do to comfort him?
- Why is my daughter hoarding food?
- How can we help our son bond to us?
- What should I do when my son throws a tantrum?
- Is it a good idea to change our daughter’s name?
- Should I let my son call his birthmother?
- How can I teach my daughter to cope with racism?
- How can we get our son the help he needs in school?
- My daughter is too friendly with strangers—does she have attachment disorder?
- How do I choose a therapist?
Filled with compassion, humor, and common sense, this is the essential handbook for anyone adopting an older child.
About the author
Trish Maskew is the mother of three, including two children who were adopted at ages five and nine. She has also been a foster parent. She worked as a program coordinator for an adoption agency, and later was president of Ethica, a nonprofit organization that promotes ethical adoption practices. She currently is an attorney living and working in Washington, D.C. She drew on her own experiences, as well as interviews with dozens of families and individuals, to write Our Own.