Me and My Family:by Jean Maye

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 Book Review by Valerie Jackson

This is a work book in every sense of the word. It has been devised by Jean Maye who is a qualified social worker whose day to day work and research led her to write a book that is designed to ease the accommodation of a child into their new permanent family. I would assume it is best used for older children who may be able and willing to talk about life in a new setting.The book is divided into three sections.

- The first deals with the adoptive family and how they introduce themselves to their new child. There are pages to write about what the local area has to offer and who is in their family including all important pets.

- The second section is for the child to write about what they would like in their new home and new room.

- The third section is linked to what has happened since the adoption process was completed.

I found this book to be useful but at times rather confusing. It would depend on how much contact, if any, the child has with members of their birth family. For example, there is a page dedicated to birthdays but which family’s?

What it does allow is the opportunity for the child with a trusted adult to talk about issues that may be bothering them or things they are not comfortable with in the new family set-up.

I did appreciate the guidance enclosed in the book on a separate page which stresses that “In every case, how the book is used must remain the child’s choice.” This is such an essential but often omitted aspect of the adoption process.

I can imagine that such a book may sit for years on a book shelf until such time as the adopted child may wish to reflect on life thus far. Adolescents could use it to make sense of how their lives have panned out, especially when they can look back and see their beginnings and what has happened to them since and before adoption.

It is an optimistic and practical book which I would suggest that every adoptive family of a child over the age of three acquires for future use.

Maye, Jean (2011) Me and My Family - a book for adopted children and their families to get to know each other

BAAF

ISBN: 978 1 907585 37 1

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