I just read Foster Care Solutions Practical Tools for Foster Parents. It is a book based on Common Sense Parenting from Girls and Boys Town.
Full disclosure here I worked for Boys and Girls Town of Missouri (Springfield Campus) from 2000 to 2003; both in the emergency placement shelter and in the intensive care female cottage. (note they are not the same organization, though they share a similar mission and “form”) I also worked, from 1992 to 2000, for a group home groups (that is they had several homes) where we lived as a family (co-ed and not intensive care) there I was a full time assit. house parent and also a relief staff / “weekend parent”. Thus, to be honest most of what was in this
book was identical or very similar to material I have been trained on several times. Never hurts to have a good reminder, to read though it all again, but it was not earth shatteringly new to me.
This book was written directly at the target audience of Girls and Boys Town Professional Foster Parents (“Being professional also means that you will agree to work within the rules of the program…this means using the skills you are taught in you initial trainings …” pg 35). Still there is much to glean from the material (“…seeks first to understand, then to be understood.” Pg 28)
Mostly, being a manual for their house / foster parents it is rather dry. Again, it was nothing new for me. Girls and BoysTown, originally Boy’s Town, was founded on Christian principals and I did love these quotes, towards the end of the book: “if you are powerless before evil forces in your life you desperately need to get into touch with “a Higher Power” and “without a spritial foundation external changes will not last (pg 279)
As many of you know I am diving in to my foster care and adoption reading list, with the intention that we will apply to certify in early 2013.
I just finished The Connected Child. The book is essentially ‘Attachment Parenting’ an introduction for the adoptive parent. It was a pleasant easy read. However, having been reading about Attachment Parents (and practicing it) for many years, there was nothing new in it. It was a great interdiction and I do suggest it as a starting point for reading about Attachment Parenting as it related to the foster or adoptive family.
It would be a very valuable read for a parent adopting their first child (or fostering); but since we already have two boys and have been knee deep in parenting since 2005 most of the suggesting and pointers were already well known to me. The Connected Child was a good starting point, and I am glad to see it highly recommended in adoption community, nevertheless I think parents would be better served by reading something (or many somethings) for the Sears Library.
The best advice I found in the book was a way to think about your foster or adoptive child’s background. The author suggests thinking about having a biological child who you have loved and raised for years, and having that child abducted. After several years you get your child back. Then to consider how you would need to help your child to heal from their trauma. Then to consider that is the traumatic background your foster or adoptive child is recovering from.
A worthy read, and a great starting point, but nothing new for me.
I don’t suppose it is much of a secret that The Daddy and I are not done with our family, and I don’t suppose it is much of a secret that we would like to add a daughter to our family. The Daddy and I have been in agreement on adding to our family via adoption since before we were married.
In the spring, after this temporary work assignment is done for The Daddy and once we move to our evermore location in Missouri we will be applying to be foster-to-adopt parents. Actually we applied, were approved (paper application and background checks) to training for fostering in Iowa, attended our first meeting and were scheduled for classes, however that is when we were notified we were “up for a move” (this move we are in the middle of right now). So sadly we stopped training. We did not know just when our move would happen, we were sure we would not have time to wait for a placement, have a placement long enough to move towards adoption and complete an adoption; we did not feel right accepting a straight foster placement either, with no end date and the concern over disrupting a stable placement for a child just because we were moving.
For now there is nothing for me to do, nothing goal directed that is. So I am contenting myself with reading. I am done with Another Place at the Table; and have The Connected child on hold, and waiting for it to arrive at my local library branch. Today I checked out Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish their Adoptive Parents Knew and Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child by Trish Maskew
I have also found a couple of blogs I am reading up on – nothing like feeling “there are people out there walking the walk we feel called to walk”.
Thinking about growing our family again, actually chomping at the bit to start.
Soon it will be time to add to our family again, and I am so excited. The Daddy and I agreed we wanted to add to our family by adoption before we even married; it is something that is very important to both of us. The boys have been asking when they are getting a sister, why they do not have a sister and can we get a little girl for some time. In last February we will be moving, finally, to ‘home’ for me. We will live in the same town my Grand Pat and PaPa. Once we are moved in The Daddy and I are going to apply to be foster parents and start the road to foster to adopt.
The foster to adopt road is a long one, and we know a difficult one. We strongly that our family has something to offer and that there is a little girl out there waiting for us.
We can not apply till we are moved; so March of 2013. In the mean time, I have created a long To Be Read list. This list I have cobbled together from many sources; many of the International Adoption agencies I have looked at in the past have had suggesting reading lists, I belong to a couple of message boards and yahoo groups where I have noted all the recommended books that other “been there, done that” families have shared as useful, and I have been time searching amazon.com too.
This is not my complete list; but it is a start. I will make a page on my bookshelf of my Adoption and Foster Care books; and I will add to that as I find more and study more. This is my general list, I also have several books titles save that address tran-racial adoption, deaf adoption, children with serious attachment issues (like RAD) and siblings or serious special needs and their impact on the family.
All of these books can be found on amazon.com. I however will be working my way though the list at the library; I love the ability to request books they do not have on their shelves. There is realistically no way I will read this whole list, but I continue to add to it so that I have as many resources as possible.
- Adopting a Toddler: What Size Shoes Does She Wear? by Denise Harris Hoppenhauer
- Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids by Gregory C. Keck, et al.
- Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison
- Becoming a Family: Promoting Healthy Attachments with Your Adopted Child by Lark Eshleman
- Before You Were Mine: Discovering Your Adopted Child’s Lifestory by Susan TeBos, Carissa Woodwyk
- Building a Home Within: Meeting the Emotional Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care by Toni Vaughn Heineman (Author), Diane Ehrensaft (Editor)
- Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children by Daniel A. Hughes
- Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can’t Live with Their Parents by Janice Levy
- Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love by Michael Orlans
- Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss, Revised Edition (Non) by Claudia Jewett Jarratt
- LifeBooks : Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child by Beth O’Malley
- New Families, Old Scripts: A Guide to the Language of Trauma and Attachment in Adoptive Families by Caroline Archer
- Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience After Neglect and Trauma by Deborah D. Gray
- Nurturing Attachments: Supporting Children Who Are Fostered or Adopted by Kim S. Golding
- Parenting Other People’s Children: Understanding and Repairing Reactive Attachment Disorder by John L Stoller (Author)
- Parenting the Hurt Child : Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory C. Keck, L.G. Mansfield
- Parenting Your Adopted Older Child: How to Overcome the Unique Challenges and Raise a Happy and Healthy Child by Brenda McCreight
- Practical Tools for Foster Parents by Lana Temple-Plotz (Author), et al.
- Rebuilding Children’s Lives: A Blueprint for Treatment, Foster Parents by Chritena B. Baker (Author), et al.
- Shield: A Framework of Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families
- Successful Foster Care Adoption by Deborah A. Beasley
- Talking with Young Children about Adoption by Mary Watkins
- Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past by Jayne E. Schooler, Betsy Keefer
- The Essential Link: Attachment Information For Adoptive Parents by Susan M. Ward
- The Foster Parenting Toolbox by edited by Kim Phagan-Hanse
- The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Verrier, Nancy Newton Verrier
- Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best
- Welcome Home, Forever Child: A Celebration of Children Adopted as Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Beyond by Christine Mitchell