Friday, October 15, 2010

Raising Adopted Children--a book response

I just finished reading Raising Adopted Children: Practical, Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina.  It took me awhile to read because I kept going on-line instead, but I finally finished it.  Now it isn't a bad book, and covers a lot of territory, but I confess I was a bit disappointed.  The whole time I was reading it I thought it was the book people kept recommending on WAGI as one of the best books out there that even gives advice on what to do during the teen years.  Turns out that book is Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patti Cogen.  I feel quite happy now that I know it is a different book, because this book just did not strike me as one worth purchasing and highlighting.

That said, I would say this book is a good place to start if you are just starting to think about adoption.  It touches on all the critical issues such as attachment, adjustment, talking about adoption, cultural identity, behavioral problems, and more.  At the same time it is very reassuring and affirming that you can do it; that these "adoption" issues are not insurmountable.  By reading this book you can see which issues you need more information on and can seek books dealing directly with that topic.  Since I am adopting Internationally by choice it did discuss some topics that were not relevant to me like open adoption, contact with biological relatives, and grieving infertility.  However, if you are just approaching the adoption question this book does answer a lot of questions that can help you make your choice.

The one point I found very helpful to be reminded of is that 90% of people of Asian descent develop lactose intolerance.  It did not list the risk of this for Caucasians but it did list the other 3 "races." This seemed odd to me.  My good friend said this shows a presupposition that only Caucasians adopt because Caucasians would know their own risk.  Ummm.  I guess it is a small reminder of white privilege. (My husband says maybe it is because the risk to Caucasians is so low--on-line he found estimates that range from 5-20%).

Well, my point is, we do not currently have anyone lactose intolerant in our family, but we are adopting an Asian child.  Odds appear high that she will develop lactose intolerance, so I will now be able to be on the watch for it.  Thankfully we have many friends who can provide us with good food ideas that do not require cheese.  Which will be good, because though we do eat Chinese food a lot, all of our other dishes require cheese.  We love cheese.  So much so that I told my sister on the phone the other day that we would probably have to eat dinner out since we were out of cheese.  She laughed at me. (My husband also found on-line the reassuring news that some hard cheeses will still be acceptable.)

Anyway, I am glad to have read the book, but I am really looking forward to the other book everyone keeps talking about.



The Raudenbush Family said...

Every little bit of research helps. I've learned a lot of discernment as I've read through books in the 3 years it took us to adopt. For example, a lot of people really liked Attaching in Adoption--or something like that--I did not like it at all and found other sources (like Toddler Adoption) much better in dealing with attachment. It's a challenge to read the stuff and figure out what you can actually take away from it and use and what really isn't worth thinking about again.

Nancy said...

You know... my kiddos love cheese and milk and yogurt was a staple for a long while. May change down the road, but for now, no problems.
Good for you for reading so much!!

Anonymous said...

Have you read the "Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child" yet? My friend is reading it right now and loves I was checking out your book reviews to see if you had reviewed it. :)