10 Helpful Resources for Families Impacted by Adoption or Foster Care

November 8, 2016 | Posted In Pre+Post Adoption Support


Welcoming a child into your home is the beginning of a new season that often requires support for the unfamiliar challenges you find yourself facing. This season lives in the tension between beauty and difficulty. Many others have walked this journey before you, and there is help along the way.

The resources listed below have been helpful for many of our staff members and the families we serve, and we hope they will also be impactful for you on your journey.

  1. The Connected Child, co-authored by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross, has helped countless adoptive and foster parents better connect with their children as they seek to love and care for them in a way that honors God. 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 child, effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders, and discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened.
  2. Created To Connect: A Christian’s Guide to The Connected Child, was created by Dr. Karyn Purvis, along with Michael and Amy Monroe, to help illuminate the biblical principles that serve as the foundation for the philosophy and interventions detailed in Dr. Purvis’ book. This study guide is designed to help adoptive and foster parents better understand how to build strong and lasting connections with their children, and is ideal for use in small groups as well as by individuals or couples. The guide can also be downloaded for free here!
  3. The Empowered To Connect website features an online library of articles, audio, and video presentations covering a wide variety of topics for adoptive and foster parents, as well as ministry leaders and professionals. You can search the online library or sign up to receive email updates.
  4. The TCU Institute of Child Development has put together a number of video resources to teach the principles of Trust-Based Relational Intervention®. The Healing Families DVDs are especially helpful for those parenting children impacted by adoption or foster care. The Institute also provides several introductory videos free of charge on their website.
  5. The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, provides 12 strategies to promote healthy brain development and help integrate our children’s right brain (emotional) and left brain (logic). It teaches parents how to connect with their children when emotions are high and then practice with their children a different, healthier way to process those difficult feelings. We think this is a must-read for every adoptive and foster parent.
  6. Carol Kranowitz’s The Out-of-Sync Child broke new ground by identifying Sensory Processing Disorder, a common but frequently misdiagnosed problem in which the central nervous system misinterprets messages from the senses. This newly revised edition features additional information from recent research on vision and hearing deficits, motor skill problems, nutrition and picky eaters, ADHA, autism, and other related disorders. If you find this book to be helpful, you may also enjoy The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun.
  7. As an adoptive mother in the role of healing parent, Debra Dulio Jones gained insight into knowing God as her healer through lessons she learned in her relationship with her son, Dane. In her transparent and humorous way, Debra shares how she went from living as a “spiritual orphan” to a trusting daughter in her daily walk with God in her book God, Are You Nice or Mean?
  8. Cindy R. Lee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works as the co-founder and Executive Director of the HALO Project, a 10-week intensive intervention for foster and adoptive families. Recognizing the power of children’s books to heal, she is also the author of a several children’s books that are designed to teach Trust-Based Relational Intervention® principles. Proceeds from the books are being donated to HALO Project and the TCU Institute of Child Development.
  9. Anatomy of the Soul, authored by Dr. Curt Thompson, provides valuable insight for parents into the all-important topic of attachment. It examines the process of paying close attention to our brains and our relationships—a process that not only strengthens our awareness of their existence, but enhances our ability to become more joyful, courageous, kind, and secure as we interact with those around us.
  10. 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. Wounded Children, Healing Homes, written by Jayne Schooler, Betsy Keefer Smalley, and Timothy J. Callahan, addresses the reality of those unmet expectations, and offers validation and solutions for the challenges of parenting children who have experienced trauma.

Other recommended resources:

TBRI® For Teens DVD from the TCU Institute of Child Development

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J. Siegel

Trust-Based Caregiving: A TBRI® Pocket Guide from the TCU Institute of Child Development

Attaching Through Love, Hugs and Play: Simple Strategies to Help Build Connections with Your Child by Deborah D. Gray

Games and Activities for Attaching With Your Child by Deborah D. Gray and Megan Clarke

I Love You Rituals by Becky A. Bailey

Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell

No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Attachments: Why You Love, Feel, and Act the Way You Do by Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Gary  Sibcy

Parenting Is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us In Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Fields

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D.

Yes Day! By Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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