I think when many people think of an expectant mother making an adoption plan, they think of the stereotypical sixteen-year-old high school student experiencing her first unplanned pregnancy. But that is just a stereotype. In fact, many of today’s birthmothers have a child at home they are parenting who is older than the child they placed.
How do you explain adoption to these kids who typically are just one year to four or five years older than the child the parent is placing or has placed? There are a lot of adoption books out there that explain adoption to children. However, these are usually for the adopted children themselves, not the birth siblings of adopted children. But there is one book, Sam’s Sister written by Juliet Bond, that will help a placing mother or birthmother explain adoption to the child she is parenting.
In Sam’s Sister, we are introduced to Rosa and her mother, Maria. Maria is pregnant and making an adoption plan and must explain this situation to Rosa. The book begins with Rosa noticing that her mother seems different and quiet. Finally, Maria sits her down to explain that she has been so quiet because she has been worried. She explains that there is a baby in her tummy whom they cannot care for.
She then explains that they will give the baby to a family that has everything they need to care for him. Of course, Rosa has the questions that every child will ask, like “Will the family take me, too?”
Maria also says that although they won’t live together, Rosa and the baby will be siblings. Rosa meets the adoptive parents and also goes to the hospital when her mom gives birth. At the hospital, the adoptive parents visit and tell Rosa that the baby’s name will be Sam. They ask Rosa and her mother to pick out the baby’s middle name.
At home, Maria and Rosa talk about how even though they are happy that the baby has a good family, sometimes they will still be sad. The book ends with Rosa and her mother going to visit the baby and his adoptive parents.
I think this book is well thought out and well written and helps explain adoption in a simple way that a child can understand. The child’s fears are reassured through the book, and it opens the doors to more discussions about adoption. If you are looking for a book to help you explain adoption to the child you are parenting, this book may just be the answer.