Chapter one covers an adoptee’s fantasies and curiosity about their birth family. Throughout the book, Danea reinforces the normalcy of a teenager’s feelings, emotions, and curiosity. She makes it very plain that everyone experiences these feelings, fantasies, and emotions at some time in their lives. She validates a teenager’s rights to feelings, whatever those feelings might be, and rights to information. She encourages journaling to help teenagers work through their feelings and track their progress.
Danea states in the book that it is natural for an adopted teenager to “try to close the gaps by creating images in your mind to fit your story.” She says that teenagers may “try to fill in the missing pieces by acting in ways you imagine your birthparents would act.” Danea makes it clear to teens that their birth parents have grown up since placing them for adoption. Unless the teen can get updated information about the birthparents, it wouldn’t make sense to try to act like them because chances are they are no longer doing the things the same way.
I promised to write some more about individual chapters in Adopted Teens Only A Survival Guide to Adolescence. The first chapter in the book is titled, “Am I Normal,” and covers just about every question an adopted teenager would ponder. My review of this very useful book can be read by following this link. As I mentioned in the review, this book is a tool for adoptees to work through emotional adoption issues that they may be experiencing. It may also be useful to adoptive parents to help them understand what their teenagers are thinking about and why they are wondering if they are normal. The book was written by Danea Gorbett and published by iUniverse.
Danea offers challenges in each chapter, possible solutions, and plans that a teenager could implement. She recommends that the teenagers set deadlines so they won’t be tempted to procrastinate. She encourages teenagers to be responsible and earn their parents’ trust to have more freedom and responsibility.
She handles tough questions throughout the book. One deals with abandonment. Danea makes it clear that adoptees’ birthparents did not abandon them. “Your birth mother did not abandon you. She made a plan to have someone else, more capable than herself, take care of you.”
I am impressed with the thoroughness of the book. I plan to encourage my adopted children to read it and may read parts of it aloud to them. Hopefully, we can engage in family discussions about some of these difficult subjects. I am quite sure my children have some of these questions, fears, and thoughts.
Photo Credit iUniverse 2007, Review requested by Meagan Morris, Publicist. Photo provided by Meagan Morris 03/25/08