“Adoption—Freedom from Want!”

Children who are orphaned, fostered and adopted feel less alone in the world when they know there are people who love and care about them, no matter what they are going through. It is in the family group that we develop an ability to discuss, to express our opinions, to be ourselves and allow others to be themselves. There are so many valuable life skills that youth can gain by actively engaging in meal time with their family including healthy lifestyle choices, teamwork, sharing, communication and problem solving.


Close your eyes and visualize what it would be like to be a character in Norman Rockwell’s painting Freedom from Want, The Thanksgiving Painting, which depicts an elderly couple serving a fat turkey to a table of happy and eager children and grandchildren—an enduring image of family togetherness, peace and plenty. This is an image of life, family continuity, virtue, homey comfort and abundance as we would like it to be—an ideal that runs strong and deep in our culture and psyche.

The benefits of sharing a meal together as a family are incredible. The value cannot be overstated. There is nothing else quite like it for emphasizing stability, providing support to all of its members, and creating a family bond. The function of a family is to nurture the growth and development of each of its members. Meals provide a regular, consistent opportunity to create a shared experience that is meaningful and offers a sense of belonging to all. Childhood is the most dynamic development period in a person’s lifetime. Habits are formed during this timeframe and children who take part in regular family meals are less likely to smoke, drink alcohol, or use marijuana and other drugs. Children have better grades when their families have dinners together. The family meal provides children with reliable access to parents, as well as providing life skills, such as good manners and mealtime socialization. Shared family meals are more likely to be nutritious, and kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and more likely to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Children who grow up with a strong sense of family connections and family rituals are more likely to become solid, healthy adults.

Judith Land | Adoption Detective

Every meal with my newly discovered birth family has been an exciting memorable event in comfortable relaxed surroundings. The mutual sharing and participation by everyone involved makes every meal a special unforgettable adventure with good food and lively conversation.

If your schedule does not allow regular meal times, plan something fun and out of the ordinary—prepare a thorough breakfast, organize a picnic outing, surprise everyone with a magic meal, or plan a special weekend celebration. Wear a stylish apron. Set a colorful table with your best dishes and cloth napkins. Turn down the lights and burn a candle. In the idealized version of the family meal, the delectable smells and steam simultaneously rise from the casserole to the delight and stimulation of every family member. It is during these times when family members confess, conspire, forgive and repair relationships, discuss expectations and transmit wisdom.



Judith Land | Adoption Detective | FAQ’s

Adoption Story | Parenting & Relationships | Book

About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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