I have two adopted children out of foster care. They are six and eight years old. One is Latino and the other is African American. My husband and I are both Caucasian and see ourselves as a fully blended family. One of our favorite books is Families are Different. Always, we are looking for ways to impress to our children that there are all kinds of different families and that diversity is a good thing. However, now that school is starting, I would appreciate some ideas for how to support my children in the school environment where they might be asked difficult questions from their peers or be given assignments, possibly more challenging for them due to the complexity of adoption.
— Stressed in Ventura
The beginning of a new school year is often both exciting and stressful all at the same time. New teacher, new grade and new school assignments. It takes time to acclimate to the beginning of a school year for children, parents and teachers. Parents want their children to be emotionally and physically safe at school. Adoptive parents know that their children will inevitably face comments and questions about adoption, and they carry the extra worry about whether their child(ren) will find the support they need at these times. Parents know that what happens at school can greatly influence how both children and teens feel about being adopted.
It’s important to have ongoing and reflective communication with your child’s teacher so that he/she is aware of issues that might come up contributing to your child feeling marginalized. Here are some strategies that can be helpful: