It’s Not About You

Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, & Open Adoption

It’s Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, & Open Adoption is a book written for adoptive and birth parents and their therapists. After repetitive conversations with adoptees (and sometimes their parents) about reactions to their search and reunion, I knew we needed a book to share with adoptive and birth parents on the topic.

About the Book

It is my honor to present to you a variety of stories on the topic of search, reunion, and open adoption, calling on all members of the adoption triad and those involved with both domestic and international adoptions. I present these stories to you, birth and adoptive parents, as comfort; I want you to know, understand, and find peace in the fact that it’s not about you. Those words, “it’s not about you” can be read as snotty or comforting.

There are times I wanted to take a birth or adoptive parent by the shoulders, look them in the eyes, and make it clear that it’s not about you, and you need to quit making it about you because it does not help you or your (adult) child. There are just as many times that I wanted to assure some that it’s not about you and this drive to search does not mean that you made good choices or bad choices, that your (adult) child sees you as a good parent or a bad parent; you are not evaluated at all, rather this drive is inherent, expected, and natural for all human beings whether adopted or not. The title of this book can be both inflammatory and comforting. I believe different people need to read it in different ways. I hope you understand it in the way that is most helpful to you.

Wendy Barkett

Wendy Barkett

Karen Belanger

Karen Belanger

Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD

Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry

Deanna Binkofsky

Deanna Binkofsky

Maris Blechner, LCSW

Maris Blechner, LCSW

Jeff Chafin

Jeff Chafin

Erik Deckers

Erik Deckers

April Dinwoodie

April Dinwoodie

Deanna Doss Shrodes

Deanna Doss Shrodes

Barbara Freedgood, LCSW

Barbara Freedgood, LCSW

Lynn Grubb

Lynn Grubb

Jodi Haywood

Jodi Haywood

Annie Jacobs

Annie Jacobs

Mary McBride

Mary McBride

Kimberly Paglino

Kimberly Paglino

Deesha Philyaw

Deesha Philyaw

Brooke Randolph, LMHC

Brooke Randolph, LMHC

Joshua Redfern, LCSW

Joshua Redfern, LCSW

Christina Romo

Christina Romo

Lucy Sheen

Lucy Sheen

Kerrie Siegl, LMFT

Kerrie Siegl, LMFT

Gayle Swift

Gayle Swift

Book Reviews

“This book contains short personal accounts about searching, reunions and openness in adoption.  This compilation conveys the wide range of emotions involved for all of those touched by adoption.  Designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of open adoption, this collection features guest offerings by adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents and professionals working in the field.  Painful, personal, candid and beautiful, these stories will give one a deeper understanding of what searching, reunions and open adoption looks like, allowing one to appreciate the many brushstrokes that comprise a family portrait.  Always, the child is placed at the heart of the text.  Overall, open adoption can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved in the process.

This is an essential text for experienced adoption workers or those currently in training. Bottom Line: I highly recommend this poignant and sobering book to others and feel that it should be required reading for adoptive parents, prospective adoptive parents or anyone working in the field of adoption or the child welfare system.”

– Wayne D. Duehn, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus of Social Work, The University of Texas at Arlington

“I’ve been waiting for this book! A good read for all family members of those who are searching. It is incumbent upon all that love adoptees to encourage and support their journey to wholeness. Historically adoption proffered many claims that proved to be totally false. Any person attempting to shame or place guilt on the searching adoptee, needs to be sent to the corner with a pointy hat.”

“I’m a mother who placed her son for adoption in early reunion, a mother who adopted a son in an open adoption, and a Licensed Professional Counselor developing a specialty in adoption issues. I can only wish with my whole heart that I been given this kind of information about adoption prior to making my adoption decisions. It would have made me a better parent. This should be required reading for anyone contemplating or touched by adoption on any level. Excellent book.”

“A book for today’s adoptive families, and tomorrow’s.”

– Maris H Blechner

“I was touched, challenged and enlightened by this collection of stories about adoptees, their struggles, their insights, their journeys toward wholeness. This makes for compelling reading for adoptive parents who are trying to walk in the shoes of their children and straining to imagine what their lives will be like as adult adoptees. I learned lessons that I hope to put to use immediately and read essays that will take me a while to process.

This book provides a much-needed missing piece in the literature about why adoptees’ feelings about birth families need to be acknowledged and honored by all those who work with and care about adoptees. I am grateful for the courage and frankness of those adoptees who shard their stories, as well as for the wisdom provided by therapists and other professionals. It’s a book I’m sure I’ll come back to again and again.”

“The bravery and inspiration found through these stories are invaluable and underscores the truth that the impacts of adoption truly are lifelong. It’s a privilege to hear directly from fellow adoptees in such an unfettered, honest and compassionate way. Bravo!!”

“When I first heard the title “It’s Not About You” for a book on openness and how to talk about all the hard things in adoption, I felt the usual sting that I think most adoptive parents encounter when they are told these very words. “It’s not about you” is intended to convey that the needs of your children come first and that the needs to know about one’s origins and connect to them, feel one’s grief about the losses inherent to adoption and feel safe expressing them should not be taken personally by adoptive parents. It is about learning that the things adopted people struggle with regarding their adoptions should not be taken personally by parents, family or helping professionals so that they can be truly helpful to them by understanding what they really go through.

This book is tremendous effort to convey just that. An anthology of writing from those who have experienced adoption first hand and worked in adoption up close, it is filled with lived wisdom and authentic emotion, stories and advice. A must read for all who live adoption!”

Looking for more to read ?

As an Amazon Influencer, I am able to keep electronic lists of books on a variety of topics to share with those who want to learn more about Adoption, Brainspotting, healthy relationships, and more.*

*This is not an exhaustive list of resources, nor does it mean that all resources included are appropriate for each individual or situation.  This list is not to be considered therapeutic advice or take the place of indivudal or couples counseling. If you purchase something through any of these links, I will earn a very small commission from Amazon. These lists are provided for your convenience and information only.

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