A first-rate examination of the older-child adoption process which reckons with the feelings and reactions of everyone involved--new and foster parents, adoptive and biological children, and the intermediating social workers. Jewett characterizes the entire sequence from the viewpoint of each participant without neglecting the red-tape snafus that can delay or distress, and uses five composite cases to illumine the more common stumbling blocks and dividends. Older children often arrive with a clutch of troubles--low self-esteem and similar expressions of early deprivation--which adopting parents can misread unless properly prepared. Other frequent manifestations of adaptation include separation anxiety, impulsive and regressive behavior (bedwetting and overeating), and, especially among teenagers, grand-scale manipulations. Jewett, a social worker, calls on Virginia Satir's ""mobile"" image of the family to demonstrate the delicate balance mechanism a new child jiggles, and quotes freely from similarly pertinent professional sources--Bettelheim, Bowlby, Fraiberg, Sula Wolff, Redl and Wineman, Treischman, Whittaker and Brendtro. Broader in scope than either Carney's personalized No More Here and There or Kadushin's academic Adopting Older Children, and--judging from the jacket photo of 10 happy kids (3 biological, 7 adopted)--written from good experience.