Review: Rosie’s Family

This post was originally published on on October 25, 2010. Republished here with permission.

rosiesfamilybookEach Adoption Day, we get Jackson a new adoption-related book. This year, I chose Rosie’s Family: An Adoption Story, by Lori Rosove. Rosie is a beagle who is adopted by schnauzers. Jackson loves dogs (and is lobbying to get one), so he initially really liked this book. However, after we read it for the first time, he told me it made him sad. He became upset that he didn’t live with his birthmother. You see, this is the first book we’d read that talked about the loss and confusion associated with adoption.

A brief recap:

  • Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born focuses on the adoptive parents going to pick up a baby girl from the hospital. It is filled with wonder and glee as the little girl asks to hear her story.
  • How I Was Adopted is a matter-of-fact book that introduces adoption and its terminology.
  • A Mother for Choco focuses on the title character finding a mother, and how happy he becomes, even if she doesn’t look like him.
  • I Wished for You focuses on how happy the adoptive mother is to have found her child.
  • We Belong Together simply lists some of the positive aspects of adoption.

In all of these books, everyone is pretty darn happy with adoption. Adoption is just another way to build a family, they say, and no one should feel ashamed or depressed about it.

Rosie is very happy in her family, but she does feel sad about not knowing her birth parents. On one page, she says that she “even got angry” with her adoptive parents for taking her away from her birth parents. She also says that sometimes the kids at school tease her or ask her questions that she can’t answer. These scenarios upset Jackson, and he didn’t want to read this book, or any book about adoption, except A Mother for Choco, until tonight. Tonight, he picked A Mother for Choco and Rosie’s Family.

How did he react? He said he was sad that he wasn’t a dog. He decided that he really wanted to be a dog. So we discussed how life would be different if he were a dog, and then read a book about puppies.

Which only goes to show that you never can tell with kids…

I do think this is a Good Book. Rosie says that she has a picture book of where she lived before, and there is a scene of her going from her birth or foster parents to her adoptive parents. She was obviously an older puppy when she was adopted. She also has a younger brother who is the biological son of her adoptive parents. She’s the only beagle in the bunch.

The book is recommended for 4 to 8 year olds, and I agree with this assessment. Personally, I’d read the other, more positive books before going to this one. In my opinion, it’s better to introduce children to adoption terminology and the positives of adoption before introducing more complicated ideas and the negatives of adoption. But hey, this could just be me.

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