Most adoptive families know adoption is just different. In more ways than most people can imagine. Our kids often come with more challenges throughout life. They sometimes begin their lives with a loss that can remain with them forever, carried around as a constant grief. Our kids also sometimes give new meaning to that old proverb: it takes a village to raise a child. Think about it: birth parents, foster parents, social workers, adoptive parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles. It can be confusing for adults even so of course it is challenging for kids too. With domestic adoptions, at least, there are three parties: foster parents, birth parents and adoptive parents. The triad is common to adoption and adoptive families. Each member is important to the child. It’s helpful when they are young to give them concrete ways to help them visualize how they fit into the adoption triad, just as it is relevant to all children to figure out where they fit in their traditional family tree.
I hear often from adoptive families because I volunteer as an adoptive parent support group leader in my city. I am also an adoptive parent and I have many friends who are the same. We empathize, talk and build solutions to parenting problems that are adoption related. One of those issues, in fact, one of the very first adoption issues that will raise its head is the Family Tree assignment in grade school. Now, my family tackled this one very differently when we are there, in grade 1 or 2. I can tell you that our teacher was a partner that year and she was very sensitive to adoption. That might not always be the case. Sometimes you might need to develop your own creative strategies to questionable assignments on the curriculum that have potential to upset your child. So, I have a solution to that.
How do I help my adopted child with their family tree assignment?
For Family Day I am sharing numerous family related activities and printables. My wonderful artist built a traditional family tree and we shared that yesterday. Have fun downloading and printing that one out. I was almost going to leave the Family Day printables package as it was when I suddenly thought why not add an alternative family tree for adoptive families like ours. There are WAY too few resources for adoptive families like ours so why not build some? With adoption the path to forever homes is different, and sometimes it is lengthy and winding, but doing an activity like this together can remind your child of how they fit in your family and why they are here and all the people who love and care for him or her.
Happy Family Day!
To print this Family Tree out to do at home you can right click the tiny images above in this post and save and print them or you can click and download and print the PDF right here:
Here is the traditional family tree printable if you want that one too.
Have your child print the names of all his important people in the adoption triad and keep the conversation going. This is so important!
I always recommend using the PDF to get access to the full sized image.