The Traditional Family Tree Project
Needs an Adoption Twist
My adoption friendly answer:
Print the larger Adoption Mandala file on the left. Cut it out and glue it on top of a picture of a tree. Decorate and add words. When choosing colors and images (maybe photos or pictures from a magazine?) to decorate the mandala, talk about how the upper right section is the birth family. Use the lower right section to say what kind of adoption you or this child/student experienced. Use the lower left section to talk about the adoptive family. And use the upper left section to talk about what the person making this project wants others to know about adoption - and please be sure to allow room for both positive and negative messages.
Another option is to print the four small Adoption Mandalas and use them for individual family members. Or go ahead and make up your own ideas. Use a small Adoption Mandala as the sun or the moon over the family tree.
Seriously, the sky is the limit on how exactly to do this.
More Thoughts & Explanations:
I question the need for a family tree project that doesn't have an adoption narrative. And I encourage you to do the same. Every teacher I have ever met is open to learning if I speak with a calm smile in my voice. Change in the traditional family tree project is a good thing. You as an adult or a child can help make this happen. Schools really need to stop ignoring adoption and blended families as part of their family tree projects!
Simply offer a better narrative now, before you or your student(s) are even assigned this project. Talk to teachers before the school year begins. Or speak with the principal of your local school and ask him/her to announce that family tree projects need to include all kinds of families. Share this webpage with school officials at a board meeting. Or don't. Wait until this assignment comes your way. Do it your own way, but please, go ahead and be a positive influence in public or private education.
Grown adoptees talk a lot about the feeling of isolation, especially looking back on their lives as children working on the traditional family tree project. Help alleviate that pain and isolation for others by sharing this idea today!
I hope you will do this and share it with us here. The images on this page are placeholders until I receive your adoption mandala family tree! I'm waiting...