Front Cover


By Jody A. Dean, Ph.D.
Illustrated by Susie Lee Jin

A Book To Help Children Through Adoption
and Other Family Transitions

This is the story of Roxie, a dachshund dog, as she makes the transition from her temporary "Foster" home to her new "Forever" home. Based on a real dog and her experiences, the book is designed to help children through the often complicated process of adoption and other family transitions – such as welcoming adopted children into their home, joining step-families and blended groupings, or moving between one separated parent and another.

Just like Roxie, adopted children can undergo a wide range of emotions when facing these transitions, joining a new family in a new home, with unknown surroundings and circumstances. Through Roxie’s story, the book shows children that it is perfectly normal to be afraid or anxious, and to ask questions, and most importantly that they are moving into a loving, caring family and everything will be all right. Roxie’s transition allows children to understand and express how they feel in an easy and fun way.

The book comes with a Parent and Therapist Guide for Adoptive Families written by a professional therapist, Renee Smola, MS, LPC, to help adult caregivers and adoptive parents in guiding children through the transition process. The Parent Guide can help parents answer questions, craft talking-points and formulate discussions with the children about adoption. Parents thinking about adopting or having to explain adoption to their biological children will also find the guide useful.

The Therapist Guide was written for clinicians to serve as an adjunct to therapy with children in transition, be it adoption, step or blended family or adding a new sibling. The guide can apply to children in any situation involving change, excitement, fear and anxiety.

There is also a photo-section in the book with information about the real Roxie, including her e-mail contact so that children can talk directly with Roxie and ask her questions about adoption and other challenges they may not want to ask their caregivers – a safe way for children to express their feelings without feeling threatened.

Individual answers to the children’s questions are crafted by Roxie’s real adoptive mother, Jody A. Dean, Ph.D., a psychologist with 28 years experience specializing in children and adolescents.

Children can immediately contact Roxie at Meet the Real Roxie.

Why I Wrote ROXIE the DOXIE

By Jody A. Dean

Roxie is my 6-year old dapple-colored dachshund who lived with another family until I "rescued" her into my family of two other dogs about four years ago. The idea to use Roxie’s numerous experiences to help kids and teens navigate their difficult life-situations came to me in two ways:

  • First, as I watched Roxie’s confidence grow and her personality bloom while she successfully integrated into my home with the other dogs – she changed from being under-socialized to now, a very social happy dog, especially during her obedience and socialization classes. Roxie has gone on to win many American Kennel Club titles at dachshund competitions.
  • Second, from my work as a psychologist working for 28 years with kids and adolescents – watching them suffer, often in silence, as they went through difficult life-experiences feeling isolated and alone.

Roxie the Doxie serves as a living, breathing mascot for kids and teens facing fear yet having the courage to move forward, try new things, work hard and persevere. In today’s world full of social media influences, mixed messages about who we are, school bullies, increasing isolation, higher rates of childhood and teenaged depression and anxiety, Roxie shows that in real life, it’s okay to be scared and still move forward.

Often, kids use animals in books to express their feelings, by talking about how the characters in the book feel and how the kids might feel in their place. The Roxie the Doxie books give everyone who is going through a difficult time or situation an animal friend who understands how they feel. Roxie will even answer their email if they wish to talk to her (see Meet the Real Roxie for details)

Roxie the Doxie
New Dog in School

The next book in the Roxie the Doxie Series, finds Roxie starting her first day at dog training class, where she faces the same challenges and fears that all kids face: having to make new friends and navigate new social situations, along with lots of schoolwork. Roxie’s story shows children that they are not the only ones who are scared and excited – but if they work hard, over time their resilience will pay off.