You may be wondering why the title of this post is Book #2: Giving Voice to Siblings, when I haven’t announced the publication of Book #1. I’m happy to say that Book #1 is moving forward. My co-author and I have both had huge life challenges since we began writing. Thankfully, we are committed to the project and plan to finish strong. I’m so excited to share more with you when I can.
I’m interested in many topics related to adoption and parenting children from “hard places.” One has become a passion of mine in recent years.
How do we give voice to siblings when new children from “hard places” join the family?
I’ve written and spoken on this topic. Last week, my friend, Darlene, and I gave a breakout at Called to Love. I spoke about the ways Russ and I failed to give our children voice, and the changes we made when the issue hit us square between the eyes.
Darlene and I gave our kids a list of questions and then shared their answers. We didn’t edit a word; some of the responses from my kids arrived so late that I read them off my phone for the first time in the session. It was honest, vulnerable, and powerful; I cried when I read some of their words.
I loved the breakout and many of the women told us they loved it too.
You can give voice to your children by encouraging them to participate in my project. Not only will this help families prepare to add new children to the family, but it will help siblings who are struggling with the adjustment.
I’m compiling responses to share when I speak and I hope (plan) to publish them in a book. I want to hear from a broad range of ages and experiences. Your children may be glad to have the opportunity to share their thoughts and, like me, you may find it enlightening. I cried over many of my kids’ words, and I’m so thankful that they trusted them with me.
These are the questions:
1. What has been the greatest blessing of adding siblings to your family through adoption/foster care?
2. What has been the greatest difficulty caused by adding siblings to your family through adoption/foster care?
3. What would you recommend to parents who are preparing to add children to their family? How can they best prepare the children currently in the home?
4. How can parents help the transition of adding new siblings go as smoothly as possible?
5. Have you bonded to your siblings and if so, what activities/experiences have helped you bond?
6. Did you have any fears when new kids came into your home?
7. Would you recommend or discourage parents from changing the birth order when bringing in more kids?
8. How has this experience shaped you?
9. What words of advice would you give to somebody whose family is going to adopt new siblings?
10. Please share any final thoughts.
You are welcome to interview your children and compile their answers, or if they are old enough, they can reply themselves. They can answer all of the questions, or only the ones that interest them – although I would love to read as many answers as possible.
Please include a bit of information on family size and ages of kids, age of the child responding, and the number of years the siblings have been home.
Please note, this is not a question intended only for children born into the family. It is also for adopted children whose families later added children from “hard places” through adoption and foster care.
I plan to use first names in the book, but will also use pseudonyms or “anonymous” if respondents prefer.
Please email responses to me: [email protected]
I am so excited about this project, friends. I hope you will join me.
You may like to read my earlier posts: