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Posted September 4, 2003
Gulden and Bartels-Rabb cover a large number of issues that adoptive parents would greatly benefit knowing about, even if some don¿t apply to their personal situation, such as adoption of an older child and the consequent issue of bonding and attachment and re-naming the child. Also, the book offers a great bibliography. I could identify with several points brought up. Preplacement and postplacement stress (and joy!) is one issue I can still vividly remember. Also the fact that parenting adopted children is, in fact, different from parenting birth children. In our case, I found this to be especially true during the first year of our daughter¿s life when nature had not prepared me for the arrival of a child. Our daughter was four days old and loved around the clock. However, I found that the difference between her and our two birth children lasted only as long as the milk flowed. After that, I saw three unique individuals, and as the years went by, the issue of adoption was no more a household word than the issue of biological birth. We spoke lovingly of her birthmother and brought her up at special events, yet our daughter, very easy-going in temperament, never seemed to suffer an identity crisis or later, an interest in searching. When her birthmother appeared 29 years later, she began a cordial relationship with her but claims that the reunion has not made her whole while before she was fragmented. She had merely made a new friend. Perhaps our daughter was like the little eleven-year old boy quoted by Gulden and Bartels-Rabb: ¿You know all those things you¿ve been saying about my birth parents? Well, I¿ve come to the conclusion that those poor suckers lost a good thing.¿ It would be nice if all adopted kids felt as confident, but that¿s sadly not true. Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?
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