National adoption month: First family tree at preschool

September in Clara’s new school is “All About You” month.  Clara had two homework assignments that month, answering some questions and creating a family tree.  This assignment was one that we were prepared for before the adoption.  As part of our pre-adoption education we were given suggestions on how to complete family tree projects in a way that respected the adoption story.

I am thankful we had an opportunity to do this homework so early in her education, to prepare for the tougher questions later in life.

For the All About You questions we wrote:

  1. Clara loves playing with her dogs Zuzu and Yoda
  2. Clara loves to try new foods, but her favorite food to try is what is on your plate
  3. Clara loves to Sing and Dance
  4. Clara’s favorite toy is her Scout doll
  5. Clara’s favorite thing to do is to look at pictures of animals and make sounds like they do.

Clara has such a big family with lots of Grandparents and Great-Grandparents.  We weren’t able to add all of the pictures of her aunts and uncles too. Every student’s plate was put up on the wall as a leaf on a tree branch. As Clara gets older, she will likely include her Birth Family as a branch on her tree and we will enthusiastically help her do so. As you see from the questions and the pictures, adoption is part of our family story, but not all of who we are.

As teachers, I encourage you to remain aware that adoption is only part of the child’s story, that there is a beautiful history that includes adoption, but a wonderful present and future built on love and possibility.

A note from Deborah

I want to say a special thanks to my niece, Renata for sharing her experiences with adoption and early childcare.  I hope each of her posts have been meaningful to you.  If you have any questions for Renata, you can leave them here in the comments below or you can email me and she will supply an answer for you.

Previous posts…

Adoption is Mysterious and Miraculous 

Choosing Daycare


Parent/Teacher Talk about Adoption


  1. says

    thank you, we are in the process of adopting 2 precious little boys from a family member. I wish I had the adoption classes my friends had to help me understand some of the feelings

    • Renata Sledge says

      Hi Pam-I would recommend looking for the Adoption Learning Partners ( website. We went through several of the modules and still use them. They were very helpful. Please feel free to reach out to Deborah and she will pass your email address to me, if you would like to talk, I would happy to share some of our experiences.

  2. says

    As the big sister to some adopted siblings, I can say some of our favorite memories were sharing the “gotcha day” stories. Each was unique. Each was special. And, it is much a part of our family story as the births of each of us.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      This is so nice to hear JoAnn – I love how you call them Gotcha Day stories!! So sweet!