Adoption/Mental Health Resources
- Parenting The Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal And Grow
- Adopting The Hurt Child: Hope For Families With Special-Needs Kids: A Guide For Parents And Professionals
- Dr. Daniel Hughes – Dr. Hughes is an expert in Reactive Attachment Disorder, and his theories are what were successfully used in in-patient psychiatric care with my middle child and continue to be used in her ongoing out-patient care.
- Attaching In Adoption: Practical Tools For Today’s Parents
- When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide To Parenting With RAD-Reactive Attachment Disorder
- The Connected Child: Bring Hope And Healing To Your Adoptive Family
- Child Mind Institute – Resources
- DDP Network
- Healing The Shame That Binds You
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, Body and the Healing of Trauma
Adoption & Foster Care Policy Resources/Advocacy
- Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches
- Child Mind Institute
- Children’s Rights
- Child Welfare in the 21st Century
Favorite Kids Books
- Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You – I love this gorgeous, reassuring book.
- Have You Filled A Bucket Today: A Guide For Daily Happiness For Kids – I love this book, because it allowed my kids and me to have a common vocabulary about actions that hurt or help. If I said “Are you filling your bucket with what you just said/did?” they would instantly understand what I was talking about and could stop and reconsider their actions. It’s also a great way to compliment a positive action, because I could say “Wow, you really filled that person’s bucket!”
- The Seven Habits Of Happy Kids
- March: Book One – I bought this for my kids at the Newseum, and it’s making the rounds. Great, authentic, accessible way to learn about the Civil Rights movement from one of its leaders.
Marriage & Relationship Resources
It turns out marriage is hard, especially when you enter it the first time at 41-years-old and bring three traumatized children with you. My husband and I have unfortunately ended our three-year marriage, but we did our very best to make it work. The divorce rate of people who adopt is much higher than the already high rate of the general population. We had a tremendous marriage counselor, and I recommend you find one who only does marriage counseling. It’s a specialty like everything else. Here are some resources that benefited my former husband and I. If you have others to recommend, please let me know.
- Healing The Shame That Binds You
- Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy For Dummies
Miscellaneous “Make Your Life Easier” Resources
- The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever – Not one condensed soup recipe here.
- Textured Tresses: The Ultimate Guide To Maintaining And Styling Natural Hair
- Mint – great site to help you stay within your budget and know where you’re spending your money.
Miscellaneous Parenting Resources
Miscellaneous Life Changing Authors
- Brene Brown – I began reading Brene Brown’s books, because of her shame research and ended up learning more about myself than I did about my kids. I love The Gifts of Imperfection so much I keep giving it to friends.
- Pema Chodron – I’ve read Pema Chodron’s books for 10+ years, and I find something new every time I pick one up. My copies are much highlighted, underlined, and starred. And, dogeared.
- Witnessing Whiteness: The Need To Talk About Race And How To Do It
- I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Bi-Racial Children In A Race-Conscious World
- When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression
- Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person
- 11 Ways White American Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism
- We Are One Body: White Christians, Time To Get in the Game
- Racism is not a Mental Illness
Resources for Educators
I am very thankful for the many educators who have very patiently listened when I explained my kids’ unique needs. I’m even more thankful for the teachers who told me midway through the year that they thought I was nuts when I described my kids’ manipulative behavior but had finally seen what I’d been describing! Here are the few resources I’ve found for helping traumatized kids in the classroom. I hope it grows over time, because as we ask more and more of our teachers, this is becoming one of our country’s biggest issues. I’m especially intrigued by the implementation of Restorative Justice in major school districts, and the drastic reduction in suspensions those districts have seen.
- An Open Letter to Educators Who Work With Students Who Have Been Diagnosed With Reactive Attachment Disorder
- Implementing Restorative Justice: A Guide For Schools
- Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools
- Black Girls and School Discipline: Four Researchers Unpack K-12’s Racial Bias
Sexual Abuse Resources
I literally know of no foster child who has not been sexually abused. Rape of a child is about power, not about sex, so I invite you to throw away any assumptions you have about sex as you consider the effects of childhood sexual abuse. Children who have been sexually abused will act out in many ways with other kids of either gender, with adults of either gender, and with animals. Though this is disturbing, to say the least, please behave calmly and with compassion if you learn that children in your life have been sexually abused. Also, ensure that you are taking care of yourself as well, because managing children who are acting out is traumatic for adults. Here are a few resources. Sadly, though there are many men in this world who have been sexually abused, it’s not discussed as openly and I’ve not found resources for men that I’ve read and can recommend. If you have resources for boys/men that you would recommend, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
- Allies in Healing: When The Person You Love Is A Survivor of Childhood Sex Abuse
- The Courage To Heal Workbook: A Guide For Women Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse
- The Courage To Heal: A Guide For Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
Great Adoption/Attachment Stories/Blogs
- This American Life 317: Unconditional Love
- This RAD Mom
- Pittsburgh detective thinks outside the box to help foster kids
Resources by State
Cut it Forward – non-profit providing culturally specific hair and skin care resources for foster and adopted youth of color, and their caregivers.
Parents Helping Parents – Through a network of communities, Parents Helping Parents, Inc., provides education, resources, shared experiences and support to parents whose children, no matter the age, are struggling with substance use disorder.
Know of a great resource I should add to this list? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.