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Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  376 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
"Toddler Adoption" looks at the unique joys and challenges of adopting and parenting a toddler. When a child aged is adopted between the ages of 12 to 36 months, they often show signs of cognitive and emotional immaturity, which can cause behavioral and relational issues. This book offers support and practical tools to help parents prepare for and support the toddler's tra ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Perspectives Pr (first published May 31st 1997)
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Rachel N
Toddler Adoption reads like a text book with a few personal stories mixed in. It is well written and well-organized - a worthwhile purchase. I gleaned some useful insights and I will likely refer back to this book in years to come.

My frustration with adoption books, so far, is that they are so clinical and theoretical, explaining in great detail the challenges of attachment issues and the deep rooted issues from which they stem. While it is certainly valuable to have an understanding of where yo
Jun 04, 2014 Lt rated it did not like it
Before purchasing this book, I would suggest reading up on some of the practices the author recommends. As she writes, "I am an advocate of using therapeutic holding with a rejecting child, and recommend the process described by Dr. Martha Welch".

Children have died from this kind of therapy. "International attention was attracted to the problem of HT (holding therapy) in 2000 when a 10-year-old American girl died in the course of treatment. Other deaths, caused by parents following the advice
Jan 05, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it
I read this not as a potential adoptive parent, but as a survivor of adoption myself. I went to my third set of caregivers at the age of 21 months in what became an international relative adoption, and this book sheds quite a bit of light on what my perceptions and experiences must have been during that time. The author's detailed explanation of attachment difficulties is very enlightening. However, from my own experience (which admittedly did not include a secure attachment to my adopters) the ...more
Desiree Smolin
Jan 01, 2012 Desiree Smolin rated it it was ok
I've been a part of the international adoption community for more than a decade now and had heard over and over again what a great book this is. On the positive side, "Toddler Adoption, the Weaver's Craft" contains absolutely essential information about child development and attachment in children. Information that absolutely every prospective adoptive parent should not just know, but mull over in their minds and hearts. Adoption is simply HARD on children. Seeing it through the eyes of the chil ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Zelda rated it liked it
I'm not sure I'd recommend this book to someone just *thinking* about adoption. That would be like recommending "The Blair Witch Project" to someone just *thinking* about going camping. But, for someone already committed to the idea or in the thick of it, there is valuable information here. Tread cautiously and remember that the author's research is fairly limited in it's scope. Your mileage may vary.
Jan 05, 2011 Haley rated it liked it
Read the first half, skimmed the rest. Made me very sure we were right to adopt a toddler! Which is good since there's no going back now... :) definitely a must-read for those considering or in the midst of a toddler adoption.
Nov 25, 2012 Ami rated it really liked it
Shelves: adoption
Some information in this book won't be surprising to any parent who has already raised toddlers, but chapters 6-8 are essential for those adopting toddlers. This book helped me learn how a toddler will grieve and how to support that grief. Would recommend to anyone adopting a toddler.
Jan 14, 2014 Cassandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents who want to adopt toddlers
Recommended to Cassandra by: an adoptive parent
I can see how this book would be extremely useful for those adopting toddlers. My husband and I are adopting a pre-teen but this book was recommended to us regardless of the age we're adopting. I felt it was very useful in becoming aware of all the potential issues you and your child can face, especially if your child is adopted from an orphanage and has any sort of institutional delays.

That said, this book still has the same issue I have with most adoption books. It details the problems you co
Mar 22, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015, adoption
Kudos to the author for creating a realistic, thorough picture of what it's like to adopt a toddler. The author challenges her readers to question why they want a toddler (do they really want a baby but think it's too hard to get one?) and emphasizes that one must really want a toddler to be successful in raising a happy one. Further, she explains why parents with bio children can't expect their adopted toddlers to behave as their bio kids did at the same age, behavioral/emotional problems that ...more
Jan 06, 2009 smalls rated it really liked it
I have to admit I skimmed most of the first section of this book. Not something I normally do. But I am already convinced of adopting a toddler, so I found much of it more for people who are on the fence or just not sure what age child they want. In the middle section of the book I have been much more thorough. More of the information is pertinent and can be useful as long as you realize the events are not for all toddler adoption cases. Much of it is just typical toddler behaviour. For me much ...more
Feb 02, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: adoption
We're not adopting a toddler, primarily because this will be our first child and we want to experience (however selfish it may be) infancy. I skimmed most of this book and read the parts that seemed appropriate. I think adopting a toddler is a great thing, just not for us. It seems like much of this book is applicable to people adopting slightly younger or older children. I felt like she was calling me out at times by saying that toddler adoption should be deliberate. I think all adoption aspect ...more
Kathy Stinson
Jan 10, 2015 Kathy Stinson rated it liked it
Strong on the issues of grieving and attachment that are common to varying degrees with toddler adoptions.

I would have found this book even more valuable had the author surveyed a larger field of families who'd adopted toddlers. Given the number of international adoptions in the survey, I would have appreciated more insight into the issue of language acquisition too. But I grant that I may be asking too much.

Toddler Adoption is a huge subject and this book does an admirable job of providing an
Feb 19, 2011 Meredith rated it it was ok
I read this book two months before bringing home my toddler from Ethiopia. It scared the hell out of me. I guess it's always good to expect the worst and hope for the best. Of course, every child is different, but our toddler has adjusted and attached to us like a dream, and none of the nightmarish behaviors described in this book have thus far manifested. That being said, adopting older children is not for the faint of heart; the main message of this book, that adopted children are not blank sl ...more
May 14, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
This is the only book I know of focused on toddler adoption. It's good. But we need a new book, a bunch of them on this topic. There are so many people adopting toddlers that this subject deserves more specific research and writing. I found this book a little bleak. Turns out Moses hasn't struggled with barely any of these issues, and after reading this book, I didn't even know it was possible for things to go this well. But I am a prepare for the worst kind of person, so I appreciated the cando ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Laura marked it as to-read
I'm moving this back to "to read" for a little while. I think it will be a good resource, if we adopt a toddler, but for now, I feel like I'm on information over-load...and to be honest, what I've read so far in this book about attachment and toddler adoption is freaking me out a little. I found The Connected Child to be really helpful, positive, and proactive on some of these issue. Maybe she gets into more practical approaches later in the book.
Oct 28, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This book was required reading for our adoption. It is enlightening, but scary at the same time. This book only talks about all the bad things that can happen with adopting a toddler. It will be a good reference when we do get our toddler but at the time i first read this- I don't have him or her yet and this book about freaked me out. It will go on my reference shelf- maybe i will update this after we adopt to see if it was actually useful when we have a child.
Apr 25, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: adoption, read-2008
I did not like this book. While much of the book may be what an adoptive parent should realistically expect, it puts toddler adoption in a very negative light. Sure, there are issues inherent with, and unique to toddler adoption, however, the joys so far outweigh the negatives. I can see it being a good book to reference as issues arise, however, it hasn't been worthwhile to me; I could not make it through the book and probably never will.
Apr 09, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
i wasn't super into this book the first time i read it, but once my daughter came home at 16 months old i revisited and found it helpful. the writing style isn't super organized and i think that's what put me off the first time. but there is definitely good info in here on what your toddler will go thru as he or she makes her transition into your family, along with some good suggestions for helping foster attachment.
Dec 30, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional Resource

Very informative while simultaneously easy to absorb. I especially appreciated the supportive encouraging tone throughout the book. It was very reassuring even when addressing complications such as special needs, attachment difficulties, and post adoption stressors.
Jan 07, 2013 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone considering adoption, family and friends of adoptive parents
After reading the first chapter I wondered why anyone would adopt a toddler, but the author's tone softens up a bit in subsequent chapters. There's no sugar-coating and Hopkins-Best presents the challenges and rewards as thoroughly as possible. She combines her first-hand knowledge of adopting a toddler internationally with anecdotes gathered from other adoptive families.
Sheila Derr
Sep 03, 2007 Sheila Derr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adoption
This is an amazingly thorough book! While we have yet to complete our own adoption, we found this book to be very helpful in preparing for the arrival of a toddler. There are many differences between a biological and adopted child, particularly toddlers...this book is a helpful tool in preparing through those days of 'expecting.'
Mar 20, 2008 Shannan marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
Obviously I am gearing up for when we get Ruby. Anyone else know of any good adoption books? Including childrens books...I would love to have some childrens books at home about adoption. If you think about it a lot of children's characters were adopted: Harry Potter
Sleeping Beauty
Stuart Little
Kind of interesting
Dec 25, 2014 Lora rated it really liked it
I read this fourteen or so years ago when we were preparing to adopt. The author made some very valuable points on incorporating a toddler into the family, what the toddler will encounter, and helping the toddler preserve aspects of his culture. The author relates her adoption of a South American child and what that process was like.
Jul 11, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book was interesting. I really liked that fact that there was more room for different parenting styles in this book. Ms. Hopkins-Best's personal accounts of how things developed with her child Gustavo were inspiring.
Sep 06, 2013 H3idi rated it it was amazing
I bring this book out time and again. Bought it when we were selected to adopt a toddler, and it's proven useful for adoptive parents.

Would likely be a good read for extended family of adopted kids.
Jan 16, 2012 Mirande rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book. It has a great number of anecdotes within the larger text, and these are fascinating/hopeful/helpful/worrying/realistic. An older book, just slightly outdated in some ways, but not in the more important ones.
May 04, 2009 Kristy rated it it was ok
Reading as part of adoption education requirements. Mason will be nearly 3 when we finally get him home.
Mar 01, 2011 Karla rated it it was amazing
At excellent resource for adoption, especially children 12-48 months. Great insights and well written. I would recommend for anyone wanting to know more about attachment and adoption in general.
Sep 01, 2011 Linda added it
I would definitly recommend this book to anyone looking into adopting a child from foster care. Lots of good information.
Feb 25, 2008 Carrie rated it it was ok
This is written like a doctoral thesis and is tough to digest. I'm sure there is good information in there, I just couldn't finish it.
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The Physical Transference of Care and Saying Good-bye

"A toddler cannot participate in a discussion of the transition process or be expected o understand a verbal explanation. [They benefit] tremendously by experiencing the physical transference of care, and by witnessing the former caregiver's permission and support for [their new guardians] to assume their role. The toddler pays careful attention to the former caregiver's face and voice, listening and watching as [they talk] to [their new guardians] and invites the [guardians'] assumption of the caregiver's role. The attached toddler is very perceptive of [their] caregiver's emotions and will pick up on nonverbal cues from that person as to how [they] should respond to [their] new family. Children who do not have he chance to exchange good-byes or to receive permission to move on are more likely to have an extended period of grieving and to sustain additional damage to their basic sense of trust and security, to their self-esteem, and to their ability to initiate and sustain strong relationships as they grow up. The younger the child, the more important it is that there be direct contact between parents and past caregiveres. A toddler is going to feel conflicting loyalties if [they] are made to feel on some level that [they] must choose between [their] former caregiver and [their] new guardians ...”
“Crying is therapeutic Most people can relate to the calming and stress reducing effect of a “good cry.” Grieving children should be supported in their need to cry. Unfortunately, children sometimes suppress their tears, thinking that they can control their pain if they control their crying. Parents may find their child’s pain very stressful or threatening and may therefore knowingly or unknowingly suppress natural expressions of grief. They may try to distract the child by promising a treat if he stops crying; cutting the feelings short (“Hush, hush”); minimizing the feelings (“You’re OK now”); contradicting his reality (“You’re going to love it here”); criticizing (“Stop making such a fuss”); embarrassing (“You’re too big to act like such a baby”); or threatening (“Stop it right now or I’ll give you something to cry about”). Crying should be supported with empathy and nurturing. It might be helpful to say something like, “I can tell that you are feeling very bad. Maybe it is because we were just looking at pictures of Nana, and you’re thinking about her now and missing her. Let’s sit here together for a while and I’ll rub your back.” Don’t rush the toddler’s grief before she is ready to let go of it. When the crying has subsided, offer a cold glass of juice or a walk outside. Often, children are more receptive to being cuddled, making eye contact, and other attachment strategies after an episode of acute sadness.” 1 likes
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