Anyone who’s been a reader of the magazine for a while will know that I’m a big fan of using books to help our children understand adoption. Lots of the books we’ve read are written by adopters to help their children understand the process.
All of these books have been a huge help with life story work and helping our girls to understand adoption and how they came to live with us. But what they’ve really needed is a book from an adopted child’s perspective. So, when Lillybelle’s mum contacted me and asked if we’d like to review her book and journal, I jumped at the chance. I was kindly gifted a copy of the book and journal so that I could write this review.
Our eldest daughter is nine. We introduced life story work and adoption early on so that it’s all she’s ever known. She’s mainly taken everything in her stride, but I know she would benefit from being able to talk to or read about other adopted children’s experiences. “In my own words” therefore fits the bill for what she needs.
“In my own words”
The book is written by Lillybelle who starts sharing her story when she was six. The early part of the book is about her time in foster care and how she felt about being told she and her brother were going to be adopted. I think this will be invaluable to older children who are moving to their adoptive placement. Particularly because she was worried because her new parents were strangers.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for a young child to be told they’re moving to live with pretty much complete strangers. That’s a big ask. And reading about Lillybelle’s worries and feeling about that time really brought the enormity of it home to me.
The next part of the book is written several years later when Lillybelle is 11. She looks back at how she felt when she moved to live with her new family. And what her life has been like since then. It also shares how she feels about her birth family. I think this part will be so helpful to our girls as they grow up. It will help them to understand that it’s ok to love us but also love and miss their birth family.
It blows my mind whenever I think of everything that adopted children have to come to terms with, often at a very young age. Reading “In my own words” fills me with hope for their future. I think Lillybelle is incredible for sharing her story in the way that she has. It will help so many other adopted children to understand their feelings. I’m sure it will help them understand that although adoption is huge, it’s just a part of who they are and doesn’t define them.
My eldest daughter and I read the book together and it sparked some lovely conversations with her about her time in foster care. We also talked about her birth family. Lillybelle’s book is helping her to know that it’s ok to miss them, even though she doesn’t have any memory of them.
At the moment, she isn’t curious about her birth parents, just her siblings. Her younger sister is and is talking about them a lot. She’s too young to understand what a birth parent is. I’m hoping that reading “In my own words” will help her understand her feelings bit better.
Lillybelle has also created a journal for children to write about their story. I think this will be a great tool for both girls as they get older to write down how they feel about their whole family. Our eldest doesn’t want to start using it yet, but I’m sure it will be a brilliant resource in the future.
“In my own words” is a great resource for adopters as much as it is for adopted children. It’s given me a much greater insight into some of the thoughts and feelings my girls are likely to experience. Thank you Lillybelle for sharing your story.
You can buy “In my own words” and “In YOUR own words” from Amazon. This is an affiliate link to Amazon. That means if you click on the link to the book and buy it, I get paid a fee from Amazon.
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