Monday, 4 May 2015
Bubble Wrapped Children. By Helen Oakwater
I thought I'd write a little review of the above book. So here I go.
I bought it because of the subtitle: 'How social networking is transforming the face of 21st century adoption'. Whether I like it or not it's an issue that is not going away so I was intrigued as to what it would have to say on the matter.
The book is split into four parts with each leading progressively from pre adoption to post adoption and into the complex issues of contact during adolescence finishing with recommendations. These are divided down to short and direct chapters reflecting a broad range of issues covering all perspectives on the adoption triangle (Birth family, adoptee, adopters).
I expected the book to get right to the issue flagged in the title but instead it builds a knowledge base that leads the reader to a deeper understanding of the experiences of adopted children and their birth parents. The reader is then equipped to make more sense of the nature and dynamics of any contact that might occur as the child becomes a young adult. This process of layering knowledge to lead to conclusions and recommendations is very effective and is beneficial for all aspects of contact with birth families.
I often find this kind of book as dull as dishwater, dense and full of psycho technical jargon but this is not the case here. Helen has brought a good balance with chapters that are rich in knowledge and broken into digestible pieces and is relevant to the topic. Small chapters that can be read on the loo, if you know what I mean.
As a family we have recently experienced a Facebook invasion (after I bought the book) then subsequent re establishment of face to face contact. Helen's book documents some of our observations and experiences and would be a useful book to prepare all adoptive families with looming internet access issues.
I think this book offers a rich wealth of insight and theory for adopters at any stage of the process. In some way the subtitle does it a disservice as it may exclude some who would benefit from the wealth of good stuff here. It's a book that feels as though its got it's feet firmly planted in personal experience and as such it feels refreshing.
I would strongly recommend to anyone at the beginning of their adoption journey.
So, thats a thumbs up.