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Books and films for birth siblings

(18 Posts)
greengoose Fri 10-Jul-15 13:25:03

Hi, we are just on stage one of our application to Foster to Adopt. We have a seven and a twelve year old boy, and we are working on ways to include them and hear them through the process. They both understand pretty well, (we have friends who foster and others who have adopted in this way, which helps).
I am specifically looking for ideas on bringing fostering and adopting into the culture of our family, perhaps through films or bedtime reading or tv programmes.... Partly to open natural discussion, and partly to normalise this way of parenting. We already have some little books (like workbooks) from BAAF, which are quite good, but need more, particularly 'mainstream' books and films.
I was also going to help the boys make their own section on what they feel about all this for the portfolio, is this ok/allowed? It seems to me their voice needs to be as much part of this as ours really! (But I'm not sure how much freedom I have here)?
Please don't be really negative about us doing this with birth children, I've had quite a bit of this on forums, and we do know what we are doing and are being very careful and focused on what we feel is right for everyone.

Springtimemama Fri 10-Jul-15 15:34:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

odyssey2001 Fri 10-Jul-15 16:37:21

Stuart Little and Meet the Robinsons come to mind. Might be a little young for your 12 yo though.

odyssey2001 Fri 10-Jul-15 16:39:33

Just found the great article: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6331544

Never thought about Superman. So obvious.

Mondsey Fri 10-Jul-15 18:16:00

Mr Peabody & Sherman, Despicable Me both great kids films with strong adoption themes

greengoose Fri 10-Jul-15 21:22:25

Why didn't I think of any of these? I guess I'm taking it all too literally. Superman is a great one! My younger boy would like Stuart Little too.

I'm finding it hard to find the balance in talking to the boys about fostering while also leaving room for the possibility of adoption. They are far more matter of fact about it than me, and seem to see it as a very obvious thing to do, looking after a baby while the mother gets some help to be able to have her baby back, but if not we would have the baby in our family. I wish it was actually going to be so straight forward! I think half of my struggle is containing my own anxieties about the process, and not assuming how they feel.

They are helping draw our Eco Map over the weekend, they both want to be part of everything...

iwishkidslikedtomatoes Fri 10-Jul-15 22:09:28

Most of the superheroes are not raised by their birth parents it's not just superman. Batman is raised by his Butler/family friend. Spiderman is raised by his aunt and uncle, Robin is actually adopted by batman!, in the comics Iron Man is adopted, the Flash is raised by a cop, as his dad is in jail wrongfully accused of his mother's death.

And as for Disney and Dreamworks...Most recent would be Big Hero 6, where children are raised by their Aunt. I noticed only yesterday Kung Fu Panda is another. However, Despicable Me 2 is my favourite and involves adoption not by a relative.

There is of course 'Juno' but I think that's probably a bit older, maybe 14-15, as there's a lot of swearing and obviously reference to how Juno got pregnant! And as baby is given up as opposed to removed that would likely be different, plus focuses on birth parents more than child! OK, maybe not that one then, I've convinced myself out of it smile

JaneDonne Fri 10-Jul-15 23:14:44

Lots of people here adopted with birth children. You won't get any shit here for that.

Kewcumber Sat 11-Jul-15 23:04:46

Please don't be really negative about us doing this with birth children, I've had quite a bit of this on forums Really? How odd confused

I can;t think of a single adopter who would give anyone a hard time about this (even on other forums I've been on) it's not like they don;t know your motivations and coping strategies don't get crawled all over.

greengoose Mon 13-Jul-15 15:43:55

Thanks for all the great ideas!
Kewcumber, I have been told I am being selfish to consider FtoA when this could be very difficult on my own birth children as we had a birth daughter who died three years ago, and I am taking another path that might lead to loss for the boys of a baby they have come to love. It's not an unfair point. It's not been said unkindly, but obviously my family has thought about this long and hard, and we have talked to many people IRL before even taking these first steps... My boys are on board with what they see primarily as fostering (they understand this well as we have friends who foster, and they have friends who are fostered). They are also resilient beyond their years, they have had to be having grieved their sister, (and it's partly because of how well we understand their vulnerabilities and resilience during the last few years that we feel we are ready to do this now)...
I don't know if I feel strong enough to use MN boards through this process, but I've learned a huge amount from lurking and reading, so thank you already!

Kewcumber Mon 13-Jul-15 16:23:44

greengoose the thing with adoption that I learnt when I started the process about 12 years ago now, is that unlike "normal" life we nearly all come with a back story.

I don't say this to be dismissive of your own terrible loss that has lead you here but to reassure you that part of having your own story is that you become more understanding of others' stories even if they aren't the same or even similar to yours. We all start from a place of slight difference, of loss of some sort and we are all parenting children with a loss of some sort with varying degrees of differences from the norm.

My friends and family have (on the whole) been very supportive of DS's adoption but I feel a kinship with other adopters (even those on here that I've never met) that is hard to explain to people who haven't been through it. I also find fellow "understanders" very often in parents of children with special needs who also understand what it is to be a different kind of family and to make decisions that other people never need to contemplate.

If you get something out of lurking then that's great but pleased don't feel scared to post if you feel the urge. My experience of the MN adoption board is like no other - we are a peculiar disparate bunch, we tend to be a bunch of hard old cows who shoot from the hip be quite astonishingly rude, don't suffer fools gladly and don't pussy foot around when something needs to be said. But equally I have never met a more supportive, wiser, well-informed and empathetic group when we need to be.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that my journey through adoptive parenting would have been harder and lonelier without the people on this board.

MotherBare Mon 13-Jul-15 20:55:22

The Christmas Bunny (think that's the title). It's on Netflix.

Kewcumber Mon 13-Jul-15 20:56:45

I like Despicable Me best for that age group.

greengoose Mon 13-Jul-15 20:58:29

Thanks for that Kew, I will bear it in mind. We have just had call from SW to book our end of stage one visit, so getting a bit more real now... We shall see what happens next! I've worked with looked-after children and their carers all my adult life, but never experienced things from this angle before!

I guess I'm used to my stories on MN ending badly, (Because of what has happened not due to posters, who have been amazing most of the time.... I have a Woolly Hug at the end of my bed to prove how amazing MN has been), but it makes me reluctant to begin another story until I know how it will end (not that we ever do)!

greengoose Mon 13-Jul-15 20:59:29

Off to update our film library, thanks for all the advice!

Kewcumber Mon 13-Jul-15 21:12:12

Perhaps you could post under an adoption specific name and change back when you feel things are settled enough.

64x32x24 Tue 14-Jul-15 15:45:47

Hiya Greengoose,
I am so sorry for your loss.

We did FtA with a BC but he was much younger and I can't recommend any books for your age kids. But I wanted to say that what we did is we approached it all from a fostering 'attitude'. Like what you describe above, DS was quite straightforward about this. We didn't talk about having a new sibling, instead we talked about a baby/child coming to live with us so we could look after them, perhaps temporarily, because their parent(s) couldn't. I figured perhaps it would be helpful to you in some way for me to share my experiences:

We found that despite us explicitly asking friends/teachers etc. to approach it that way, as soon as DD was placed, everybody was asking DS about his new sister. So although we were talking the fostering talk, everybody else was talking the adoption talk. Just as a warning, for yourself - sometimes it is best to tell 'outsiders' nothing about the 'A' part of FtA.

On the other hand, despite all that interference from outside, I was surprised at how much DS held on to the fostering attitude. Once matching panel was over and the placement had changed to an adoption placement, we started talking the adoption talk, but DS was quite resistant! It took quite a while for him to let go of the fostering attitude.

However, now all is good and there is (I think) no doubt in DS' mind that DD is his sister. smile

Wishing you best of luck on your journey.

greengoose Tue 14-Jul-15 21:43:52

Thanks for that 64x32x24. It's really useful to hear how it's been for you, I have already had a bit of bother with family hanging onto the adopt part and ignoring the foster part! For my own sanity I am very much thinking we are fostering which is helped by knowing other foster carers I think.
It's still really early days, but I'm aware we are having so much input and training and it's our role to prepare our boys just as well!
It's good to hear that your family is now securely yours, it can't have been easy!

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