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Review: I Don’t Know Why

In my experience this is exactly what children (adopted & birth children) often say when asked about some of their behaviour. The answer is usually an innocent ‘I don’t know why I did it’.

I have personally read so many books on the subject of adoption and this one provided a new perspective into adoption. In this book the author gives insight to day to day challenges faced by adopted children and adopters. Adopted children and adopters can relate to the experiences of the characters in this book. This provides assurance to children and their adoptive families that they are not alone in their experiences. The story of each character can help children to make sense of their own situations and to clarify their feelings which is a crucial step in a journey towards desirable behaviour.

Most importantly, it helps the adopters understand that their child’s behaviour is not due to their parenting style but due to the emotional hurt that the adopted children bring with them into their new home.

It can also ease the frustration on the adopters’ part when they understand that their adopted child’s behaviour is not as a result of the child being ungrateful of the love and care provided by the adopters, but due to the emotional scars that led into them being adopted.

The size of the book is made easy for the child and adopter to read together. The illustrations in this book makes it child friendly and is written in a way that is easy for the child and any adopter to understand. The page layout of each page comes in a combination of green and light blue colours which can have a calming effect to both the child and adopter during reading time.

The author seems to be knowledgeable about the many challenges faced by the adopters and children. The stories in this book cover a range of issues experienced by children and adopters from diverse cultural backgrounds, children with disabilities, lone parents to name but a few.

I will be using this book as an effective tool when working with children and their families. This book will also be useful to birth children whose parents have adopted a child who is not their birth sibling. The challenges within the home may also result in the adopters’ birth children blaming their parents for choosing to adopt and also blame their adopted sibling. But, this book can help them develop empathy towards a child whose behaviour is different as a result of their traumatic experiences from their birth homes.

I highly recommend this book.

I don’t know why by Annice Thomas was reviewed by K. Mabena, Senior Social Work Practitioner, Adoption Team, United Kingdom