National adoption month: Adoption is mysterious and miraculous

In recognition of National Adoption Month, I have invited my niece, Renata Sledge, to share some of her insights into adoption as it relates to the field of early childhood education.   Renata and Rory are first time parents of their beautiful little girl, my niece, Clara.  Renata and I talk often and I am often surprised at some of the issues their family faces in everyday situations as adoptive parents. I have asked Renata if she would share with all of us a few of her personal experiences and I hope you will take the time to read each of her short but thought provoking posts this week.

Adoption is Mysterious and Miraculous

By Renata Sledge

Adoption is both mysterious and miraculous but it is because it is mysterious and miraculous that people are often extremely curious when they meet an adopted child and his or her family…

That mystery surrounding adoption often leads people to questions like: Why was the child adopted? How was the child adopted? What happened to the birth mother? Where did the child come from? And the list of questions go on…

The ‘need’ or ‘want’ to know…

When a young family enters an early childhood classroom, there is often times a ‘need’ or a ‘want’ to know more about the child or the circumstances surrounding adoption.  It is difficult for parents and teachers to know how to talk about adoption.  I am hopeful these next few posts will give early childhood education teachers and families some ideas of how to approach the topic of adoption in the classroom.

A little bit about Renata…

Renata Sledge is a licensed clinical social worker at a dialysis center in Illinois where she focuses on helping patients and their families adjust to the life changes that come with dialysis.  As a social worker, Renata has also worked with children diagnosed with severe mental illness and exposed to trauma and abuse.  As a music therapist, Renata worked with children who were hospitalized with a variety of illnesses and conditions.  She has also worked with adult cancer patients and families affected by cancer.

Renata’s most important role is being a mother to Clara, who was born in May, 2010.  Renata and her husband are thankful every day for the honor and gift of being Clara’s parents.  Renata is hopeful that sharing her family’s experiences and Clara’s experiences with early childhood education will be helpful to teachers and parents.

Renata’s next post: “Choosing Daycare”


  1. says

    Posting on adoption is a wonderful idea. Often people want to ask questions but they don’t want to be insensitive. Such a beautiful child with a promising future – truly a gift.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      It is hard to find that right balance but I think just knowing that it is important to be sensitive is the right place to start:)