7 Books Every Foster, Adoptive, And Special-Needs Parent Should Read.

One of our greatest passions is equipping foster, adoptive, and special needs parents with the best resources available. Recently, I compiled a list of the top 7 books every foster, adoptive, and special needs parents should read.

Woman reads book near fireplace

If any of my middle or high school teachers, or college professors came across this post, they would laugh. That’s because I barely read a book through my school days (if you call cramming an hour before a class reading… :-)). Can’t recall one time I read an entire book, cover-to-cover throughout my childhood or college career. So, the fact that I later became an author and blogger, and now sharing a post on book recommendations, is irony in it’s finest form. Seriously though, in my adult years (the past 10 to be exact), I’ve found incredible value in reading books, especially in my continuing education as a parent. There are a few titles I believe to be critical-consumption as it relates to our unique journey.

How To Form Healthy Partnerships With Your Child’s School.

Season 5, Episode 47- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

One of the biggest struggles foster and adoptive parents have, is formulating a healthy partnership with their child’s school. Usually this has to do with IEP meetings. In this episode, however, we are looking at a different angle.

Podcast Art- S5-E47.001

In the past we’ve discussed, in-depth, IEP meetings, how to advocate for your child, what to say and not say, do and not do, and which important details you need to disclose to better advocate for your child, and his or her special need. But what about your child who doesn’t have an IEP, or need one? Educationally, they are on track, but they’ve still come from a place of trauma. How do you effectively communicate these details to better equip the school, and ensure the best possible school year for teacher and student alike? Today, we share valuable keys you can utilize as you and your child’s school prepare for the upcoming school year…

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3 Reasons Traditional Parenting Doesn’t Work With Kids From Trauma.

If you’ve parented a child from a traumatic past for any length of time, you already know that traditional parenting techniques do not work. But, have you ever stopped to consider why, or what you could do differently?

Sad little girl sitting in a corner

Kristin and I both grew up in traditional households, with parents who used traditional techniques in raising us both. There were rules and restrictions, guidelines and boundaries. And if said rules, restrictions, guidelines and boundaries were crossed, BAM, consequences were enforced. No questions asked. From all accounts, these techniques worked. We both grew up to be responsible adults who knew the difference between right and wrong. But, we also never endured significant trauma as children.

How To Raise A Multi-Racial Family In A Not-So-Multi-Racial World.

Season 5, Episode 46- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

A vast majority of foster and adoptive families are multi-racial. But, in this day and age, our culture still has many divides when it comes to race. How do you raise a multi-racial family in the middle of it?

S5-E46 Art.001

In 2002 we were thrust into parenthood, seemingly overnight. We knew our daughter was on the way, we just didn’t know when. Then suddenly, poof…she was here. While we didn’t receive massively offensive comments for being two white people, in white suburbia, with a black daughter, we did have well-meaning people say things that were not-so-well-meaning (at least it seemed this way). We feared the future. We questioned, “How can we raise our baby in a world that is so misunderstanding and divided?”

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The #1 Reason You Should Never Choose Foster Care.

Foster care has gained a global spotlight over the past few years thanks, in part, to movies and media coverage. Many people are choosing this path. But, there’s a right reason and a wrong reason to choose this journey.

Do Not Enter

“I wish we could do away with the term foster-t0-adopt,” my friend said, as we chatted briefly during a conference a few days ago. “It communicates the wrong message to people who are entering the process. We should call it, foster-to-reunify.” She was referring to the underlying intention some have in entering the journey, to build a family by fostering. Not specifically the program of fostering-to-adopt. I nodded as I listened. She was completely right. Foster to adopt IS misleading at times!!

Because, I’m Not Ready To Talk About My Child’s Story.

Sometimes you feel that you owe the world an explanation. You don’t! You feel your child’s choices, behavior, or lack of social interaction, warrant a full-blown summary. They don’t. Here’s why…

Diverse group of people holding question signs

I’m going to do my best to give you, foster and adoptive parent who feels isolated, a voice right now. You who’ve grown tired of fielding question after question after question about your child’s special need, recent public outburst, suspension, arrest or social shortcomings. I’m going to do everything in my power to walk in your shoes and let you know you are not alone. I want you to know, as we begin, that your family’s business is nobody else’s business on the face of God’s green earth!

You Know What Surprises Me Most As A Foster Parent?

*Editor’s Note- This is a guest post by our good friend Lisa Qualls. She is a writer, speaker, mom of 12, and the creator of One Thankful Mom, where she writes about motherhood, adoption, faith, and grief. Lisa is a mom by birth and adoption. Along with her husband Russ, their adoption journey has been marked by joy as well as challenges of trauma and attachment. You can visit her blog here, and connect with her on Facebook here.

Out of all the twists, turns, triumphs, and defeats that are often a part of the foster care journey, there are beautiful blessings in disguise when you least expect it.

Curvy autumn road

You know what surprises me most – what I would never have expected? The relationship we have with my Zoe’s* family.

Last week Zoe’s mom had one of her regular weekly visits with Zoe and her sisters, but this time it was at our house. When I arrived to pick her up, she had ingredients for a meal packed in grocery bags, ready to cook for her kids when she got here. The little girls were dropped off by their foster mom and quickly ran outside to play with my son while their mom cooked and chatted with Zoe at the kitchen island.

How Will I Ever Get Over The Anger I Feel Toward My Child?

Over the past few months, we’ve been inundated with emails asking this question. We get it. We’ve felt it. We’ve been there. And here’s what we have to say about it.

Father-son serious talk

Sometimes I nod feverishly when I read through emails from readers who pour their broken hearts out. Sometimes I forget to actually hit reply because I’m so engrossed in the pain they are sharing with me. Their son has pushed them to the edge with his behavior…held the entire family hostage…traumatized his younger brothers and sisters to the point of everyone needing therapy…disrupted any ounce of a normal life.