Where should you start if you are considering adoption? Reading books written by experts in the adoption field is a great way to begin your family’s adoption journey. These books will also be your friends as you parent your child for years to come! In the world of adoption, there is NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY EXPERT RESOURCES!
Having an open mind and a spirit of humility is so important as you begin this journey. You must understand that your good intentions and love for your adopted child will not be enough. Adoption is exciting and beautiful and ordained by God. But it is also loss and grief. Children who have the need to be adopted will deal with trauma on some level, even those adopted at birth. (Don’t believe me? Pick up book #2 on my list.) We owe it to our adopted children to be as prepared as possible when we bring them into our homes. This journey is hard. But it is so worth the fight.
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Adopted For Life by Russell Moore
Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches by Russell Moore is the first adoption related book that I picked up. And it’s always the first one I recommend to Christian parents. This book digs deeper into why hurting and orphaned children should matter to us as Christians. And why adoption should be supported and encouraged by the Church. This quote sums it up best. “When we adopt – and we encourage a culture of adoption in our churches and communities – we’re picturing something that’s true about God. We, like Jesus, see what our Father is doing and do likewise (John 5:19). And what our Father is doing, it turns out, is fighting for orphans, making them sons and daughters.”
“The doctrine of adoption―God’s decision to adopt sinful men and women into his family―stands at the heart of Christianity. In light of this, Christians’ efforts to adopt beautifully illustrate the truth of the gospel. In this popular-level and practical manifesto, Russell Moore encourages Christians to adopt children and to help other Christian families to do the same. He shows that adoption is not just about couples who have struggled to have children. Rather, it’s about an entire culture within evangelicalism―a culture that sees adoption as part of the Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself.”
The Connected child by karyn purvis
The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by the late Karyn Purvis is a must read for adoptive parents. Purvis held a PhD in developmental psychology and ran the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University. She was the co-creator of Trust-Based Relational Intervention, which is an attachment-based, trauma-informed system designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. The Connected Child guides you step by step through behaviors an adoptive parent can expect to see in their children. It will show you the places of trauma from which those behaviors stem. And how to handle those behaviors in a way that forms lasting attachments between you and your child.
“The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion.
Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you:
- Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child
- Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders
- Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened”
The Connected Parent by Karyn Purvis & Lisa Qualls
The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment by Karyn Purvis & Lisa Qualls is an excellent and important read. It shares with readers the science behind our children’s struggles and adds in stories, scripts, and tips on behavioral intervention. It is a manual for how we can aid in the healing of our children from hard places.
“Parenting under the best of circumstances can be difficult. And raising children who have come to your home from “hard places,” who have their own set of unique needs, brings even more challenges. You may have discovered that the techniques that worked with your birth children are not working with your adopted child.
Renowned child-development expert Dr. Karyn Purvis gives you practical advice and powerful tools you can use to encourage secure attachment in your family. You will benefit from Karyn’s decades of clinical research and real-world experience. Coauthor Lisa Qualls demonstrates how you can successfully implement these strategies in your home, just as she did in hers.
You will learn how to simplify your approach using scripts and nurture your child. Combat chronic fear, teach respect, and develop other valuable tools to facilitate a healing connection with your child.
The Connected Parent will help you lovingly guide your children and bring renewed hope and restoration to your family.”
The Whole Brained child by daniel siegel & Tina Payne bryson
“In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.
Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.”
Confessions of an adoptive parent by mike berry
“Adopting a child brings its own unique set of challenges only another parent facing the same uphill climb could possibly understand. From parenting children with traumatic pasts, to dealing with attachment issues, to raising a child with special needs, it can sometimes be a struggle just getting through the day.
Mike Berry knows the loneliness and isolation you can easily feel in your particular parenting role—because he’s been there. He’s still there, and he wants to give you the hope and encouragement you so desperately need.
There are plenty of how-to guides out there on parenting. But this one-of-a-kind book is specifically designed to address your needs as a parent of an adopted or foster child. With a refreshing dose of honesty, empathy, and care, you’ll discover you are definitely not alone on your journey. And God has a very special plan for you and your family”.
Wounded Children Healing Homes by Jayne Schooler
“Why doesn’t our child return our love? What are we failing to understand? What are we failing to do? These questions can fill the minds of adoptive parents caring for wounded, traumatized children. Families often enter into this experience with high expectations for their child and for themselves. But are broadsided by shattered assumptions. This book addresses the reality of those unmet expectations. And offers validation and solutions for the challenges of parenting deeply traumatized and emotionally disturbed children.”
Love Me, Feed Me by Katja Rowell
This book “is a relationship-building, practical guide to help fostering and adoptive families enjoy family meals. And raise children who eat a variety of foods and grow to have the body that is right for them.
Grounded in science, but made real with the often heart-breaking and inspiring words of parents who have been there, Dr. Katja Rowell helps readers understand and address feeding challenges, from simple picky eating to entrenched food obsession, oral motor and developmental delays, “feeding clinic failures,” and more. Though written primarily for the adoptive and fostering audience, Rowell, aka, the “Feeding Doctor,” shares that her clients are more alike than different. “This book is a distillation of the advice and support I provide all my families as they transform a troubled feeding relationship into a healthy one. And bring peace and joy back to the family table.”
Image Bearers by Herbie Newell
“Being pro-life means that not only do we see abortion as a murder. But we also see our apathy against injustice outside of the womb as a coconspirator in the fight for life. It means that we fight for racial equality. It means that we love the woman walking into the abortion clinic passionately with the love of Christ. And it means we embrace life no matter what label may be attached to a person’s identity. There are many books written about being pro-life, the pro-life and right-to-life movement, and combating abortion arguments. But my hope is this small volume will bring awareness that the pro-life movement ethic is so much bigger in presenting a case for life than just being pro-birth.”
If you’re still reading, I’m so proud of you! I know that was a lot of information. Don’t stress, just pick the book that sounds the best and dive in. This is a marathon, not a sprint! We started our adoption journey 9 years ago, are in the process of adopting our 6th child, and I still read everything I can get my hands on. I’m not crazy enough to believe I have it all figured out! If adoption is something your family is seriously considering, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comments. I’d love to share more with you about how to get started on the process of make a hurting child your forever son or daughter!
“We don’t strut into their stories with a cape on our shoulders; we crawl into them with the cross on our backs.” – Jason Johnson