As I was packing an order of Rosie’s Family, An Adoption Story, this morning, I paused to reflect on how different my adoption practice was back in 2001 when I wrote this book.  Back then, a significant proportion, if not the majority, of people that I prepared for adoption, successfully adopted internationally.  While China, with its one child policy and open doors to international adoption, was at the forefront of the destinations that my clients chose, other Asian countries, such as Viet Nam and South Korea, also were popular choices.  My clients, who adopted from these countries, typically faced two major issues when building their family through international adoption.  These were the interracial difference between parent(s) and child and the lack of birth parent information regarding their child.  Many of my clients were concerned about how they would discuss these issues with their child and thus; the issues took centre stage in Rosie’s Family.  In the book, Rosie acknowledges that she looks different from her parents, as she is a beagle while her parents are schnauzers, and shares what her parents’ told her regarding her many questions about this fact of her life.  Also, Rosie reveals that she does not know much about her birth parents and often speculates what they may be like, indicating that they are not a part of her present life.

 Today, with the reduction in children available for international adoption from China and other countries, many of my clients are choosing to adopt domestically.  Therefore, more and more of my clients are building their family with some degree of openness with the birth parent(s) and often are of the same race as their adopted child.  Despite this, Rosie’s Family is selling more copies today than ever.   This tells me that despite the changes, adoption still demands that parents have an understanding of these ‘extra’ issues when raising their adopted child.  Rosie’s Family was written to serve as a tool to help parents have an ongoing and open dialogue with their child about adoption in order to promote a healthy understanding of these inherent issues.  I am absolutely certain that parents who initiate positive discussions about adoption with their child, who answer their child’s questions about their birth history with honesty and sensitivity, and who acknowledge the often deep rooted emotion of fear that their child may experience as a result of being adopted, will forge a deeper connection with their child than a parent who attempts to avoid facing these issues. 

And so, while times have changed and some issues are less predominant than they once were, adoption remains a wonderful way to build a family where the key to success still lays in solid parenting.   Parents must take the time to truly understand the issues that their adopted child may face and embrace whatever resources they can to prevail.   I am so proud that Rosie’s Family has been one such resource and hopefully will continue to be for many years to come!