Every foster families’ story is different; however, there are a number of situations – both positive and disappointing – that they are familiar with. To better understand and respond to various situation, many foster parents urn to available support, from social workers to therapists, and even books.
So for National Reading Month this March, we’re helping foster families expand their resource list. Check out our book list with useful stories and insights about different aspects of the foster care and the adoptive journey:
Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care: Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections by Deborah N. Silverstein and Susan Livingston Smith
The parent-child relationship is important, but the connection between siblings – adopted or biological- should receive just as much care and attention. This book explores the complex relationships between adopted and foster children and their new siblings, as well as the bond between them and their biological siblings they may have been separated from. Siblings offers insights on this experience and strategies to help foster these different child-to-child bonds in healthy ways.
Foster Parenting 101: When A Foster Child Leaves by Dr. John DeGarmo
Through all the tough moments foster parents may endure, having to say goodbye to a foster child can be the most difficult. This book outlines the different ways this affects foster families and provides some ways to help everyone make it through this challenging time when it comes.
The Adoptive Parent Toolbox by Mike & Kristin Berry
Biological or adopted, each new child brings a new experience for their parents. This book shares true testimonies from adoptive families all over the world that provide wisdom gleaned from the many lessons learned. These stories illustrate both unique experiences and common obstacles throughout the adoption process and touch on various challenging aspects of the journey that may crop up in everyday life.
Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families by Jayne Schooler, Timothy Callahan and Betsy Keefer Smalley
Parents often experience anxiety when preparing to welcome a new child, whether the child is biological, adopted or taken in from foster care. Those who are expecting a child coming from trauma may experience even more uncertainty. This book is written to address the experience of each party: the child, the parents, as well as others affected by this transition, in order to help calm concerns and navigate expectations.
Adopting the Older Child by Claudia Jarrett
The adoption and/or “fostering” process is a very specific experience, but welcoming an older child into the family is an even more distinct part of that journey. This book is widely considered to be a “classic” among adoption and foster care books, as it was written through the lens of each party (i.e. the child, the parents, as well as others affected by this transition) in order to help calm concerns of the family as a whole and navigate expectations to create a comfortable experience for all.
There is no perfect roadmap to fostering or adopting, but these books can offer lessons and both personal and professional advice that can guide families through the journey.