HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: We’re All Not the Same, But We’re Still Family: An Adoption and Birth Family Story
Authors: Theresa Fraser and Eric E. W. Fraser
Publisher: Loving Healing Press, 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1615994793 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1615994793 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1615994786 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1615994785 Paperback
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 5 – 8
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Fraser, Theresa, and Fraser, Eric E. W. We’re All Not the Same, But We’re Still Family: An Adoption and Birth Family Story (Published in 2019 by Loving Healing Press, 5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105). Thirteen year old Deshaun moved in with his foster-to-adoption family when he was two years old and was officially adopted when he was six, so now he lives with his adoptive parents, brother, and sister. He loves his family but has always wondered about his biological parents. Does he look like them? Did they love him? And can they stand on one leg for a long time as he can? With the support of his adoptive parents, Deshaun seeks to find his biological family. Will he be able to locate them? If he does, what will their reaction be? And how will it affect his relationship with his adoptive family?
Having adopted both of our sons, I found that this book covers the exact questions and issues that were discussed in our pre-adoption training. The story was written for adoptive families to explore the benefits of adoption openness. In her “For Parents and Caregivers Only” at the back of the book, co-author Theresa Harris, a therapist and adoptive mother, warns, “Openness may not always be positive for families.” But when it is a positive experience, it can help to address the important themes of identity, attachment, grief, and loss that adopted children (and their parents) often have to deal with.
Co-author Eric Fraser is a seventeen year old adoptee who, like Deshaun, found some of his birth family when he was in middle school too. We’re All Not the Same, but We’re Still Family would be a great resource to help both adoptive parents and children to open a conversation where they can discuss feelings about adoption, imagine what openness might mean for them, acknowledge similarities and differences among family members, and explore whether an expanded sense of family is possible for their circumstances. It could also help to promote a better understanding by the general population for the feelings that young adoptees face.