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A Family For Every Child

Tax I.D. 20-4151057

Christy Obie-Barrett,
Executive Director

1675 West 11th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97402

Fax: 541-343-2866

Reading List Suggestions for Adoptive Parents

Childrens Books.........Booklets........Websites/Other

I. Adult Books:

The Reason I Jump:The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Naoki Higashida

You've never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

Fostering Love: One Foster Parent's Journey
Dr. John Degarmo

Through the sleepless nights with drug-addicted babies, the battles with angry teens, and the tears from such tremendous sadness, John DeGarmo learns that to follow God's call in his life means to take up His cross in his own home. Fostering Love: One Foster Parent's Journey is the true-life account of his experience as a foster parent, along with his wife and their own three children, as he followed God's call to take foster children into his home.

The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss
Carol Lozier LCSW

The first part of The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide effortlessly explains topics that are pertinent to adoptive and foster families including: the four attachment styles, detachment (which leads to attachment disorders) and unique family issues, such as: family triangles and birth families. All attachment styles are clearly explained along with practical strategies, scripts, and stories to show parents how to create a healthy attachment or relationship. Many families struggle with triangulation where one person feels like an outsider in the family; the book illustrates how to change this unhealthy dynamic. The subject of birth family raises many questions and feelings for parents, and this chapter shows options through numerous family examples. This information will be helpful to the newly arrived home family as well as the experienced family. Adopted and foster children enter a family with a history of loss and/or trauma. In the second half of the book practical strategies, vignettes, and tips teach parents how to maintain a calm home, manage their child's behavior, and heal their child's trauma and loss through the guidance of step-by-step instruction. Since most opportunities to heal a child's loss or trauma occurs in the home, this part of the book equips parents to re-create an incident with a better outcome forming a healing experience. As a result of early deprivation, children may see a few to many professionals, and typically are also involved in school or community activities. Commonly, parents believe that a provider will manage their child's care but in actuality, this is often not the case. The third part of the book explains how parents can arrange, monitor, and coordinate their child's mental and physical health care.

The Foster Parenting Toolbox
Kim Phagan-Hansel

The Foster Parenting Toolbox is 464 pages of incredibly helpful information to foster parents in the trenches and any other professional who is a part of the child's team. It would be a terrific resource to get potential Heart Gallery parents up to speed on adopting children from foster care.

A foster parent who has recently reviewed it said. "The Foster Parenting Toolbox is a comprehensive resource that provides 24-hour support from a superior panel of experts. This one volume has collected the best information and advice available. There are articles about child developmental stages, emotional health, attachment and the effects of abuse. This book also reinforces the importance of adults working together with the same goals: protecting, supporting and nurturing children. The Foster Parenting Toolbox is cleverly laid out in smart chapters that helps the overwhelmed foster parent find that vital piece of advice, reassurance or inspiration quickly. EMK Press and Editor Kim Phagan-Hansel should be congratulated on championing this much-needed and very powerful resource." Veronica Brown, foster parent to teen boys.

Adoption, The Best Gift: A handbook for prospective adoptive parents
Nikki Biers

Recommended reading from our Linked-In mailing list

Hattie's Advocate
Mathew W. Hoffman & Krista Hoffman

This book is a witty and intriguing look into the world of foster care through the eyes of a foster parent. It breaks down the expectations and regulations that parents in foster care are faced with, and it touches on the problems in government policy that affect foster children. It does all this while thoroughly entertaining the reader. It is an indispensable resource for anyone considering adoption or foster care and a great read for just about anyone else.

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
Ross W. Greene

Amazon Review: "What's an explosive child? A child who responds to routine problems with extreme frustration-crying, screaming, swearing, kicking, hitting, biting, spitting, destroying property, and worse. A child whose frequent, severe outbursts leave his or her parents feeling frustrated, scared, worried, and desperate for help. Most of these parents have tried everything-reasoning, explaining, punishing, sticker charts, therapy, medication-but to no avail. They can't figure out why their child acts the way he or she does; they wonder why the strategies that work for other kids don't work for theirs; and they don′t know what to do instead."

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids - A Guide for Parents and Professionals
Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky

Without avoiding the grim statistics, this book reveals the real hope that hurting children can be healed through adoptive and foster parents, social workers, and others who care. Includes information on foreign adoptions.

It's Heart Work: Being the Village That Raises a Child
Evelyn L. Polk

"It's Heart Work: Being The Village That Raises A Child" is a memoir in which "Ms. Evelyn" shares the joys and pains of counseling, mentoring, parenting,and caring for youth impacted by the circumstances of separation from their biological parents. Her experiences and insights will provide a different perspective and understanding of the mind and "heart set" that underlies the sense of indifference, resistance, anger, and/or rejection they may experience from the children/youth they are reaching out to. ...

The Whole Life Adoption Book: Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family
Jayne Schooler / Thomas C. Atwood

Authors Jayne E. Schooler and Thomas C. Atwood share insights into every aspect of adoption. This powerful resource addresses the needs and concerns facing adoptive parents while offering encouragement for the journey ahead.

The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family
Karyn Purvis

A hope-filled resource for parents who have welcomed children: -- From other countries and cultures -- From troubled backgrounds -- With special behavioral or emotional needs "A tremendous resource for parents and professionals alike." --Thomas Atwood, president and CEO, National Council for Adoption

"A must-read not only for adoptive parents but for all families striving to correct and connect with their children." --Carol S. Kranowitz, M.A., author of The Out-of-Sync Child

"The Connected Child is the literary equivalent of an airline oxygen mask and instructions: place the mask over your own face first, then over the nose of your child. This book first assists the parent, saying, in effect, 'Calm down, you're not the first mom or dad in the world to face this hurdle, breathe deeply, then follow these simple steps.' The sense of not facing these issues alone -- the relief that your child's behavior is not off the charts -- is hugely comforting. Other children have behaved this way; other parents have responded thusly; welcome to the community of therapeutic and joyful adoptive families." Melissa Fay Greene Author of There is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children

The Family of Adoption
Joyce Pavao

Joyce Maguire Pavao dedicates her book The Family of Adoption in part to her two mothers, who died two weeks apart. "They both died of secrecy," she writes. "One could no longer talk, silenced by her disease. One could no longer think or remember.... I love and cherish what each of my mothers endured and imparted.... I refuse to have secrets and I work to change a system that perpetrates them."

Raising Resilient Children
Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein

In this practical handbook for parents, clinical psychologists Brooks and Goldstein draw on their considerable experience working with children and families to demonstrate that parents' core goal should be to instill in their children a sense of inner recourse. "A resilient child is an emotionally healthy child, equipped to successfully confront challenges and bounce back from setbacks," they contend, and to this end they provide 10 parenting "guideposts" for nurturing the kind of resilience that helps children thrive. 

Attaching In Adoption: Practical Tools For Parents
Deborah Gray

Proper attachment is the most fundamental issue in a successful adoption, but what exactly does the term mean? Attaching in Adoption answers that question thoroughly, and it provides solutions to a variety of specific attachment problems.

Raising Children Who Refuse To Be Raised
Dave Ziegler

Raising Children who Refuse to Be Raised is a handbook no natural, foster or adoptive parent should be without. Anyone who lives or works with children with multiple problems who are also frightened, traumatized and angry will benefit from the advice of this master counselor and foster parent.

Telling The Truth To Your Adopted or Foster Child
Betsy Keefer and Jayne Schooler

Answers the question, why do adopted children need the facts about their history, and provides tools that parents can use for the telling.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
Sherrie Eldridge

As both an adoptee and president of Jewel Among Jewels Adoption Network, Eldridge brings an original approach to the topic of adoption. In an attempt to inform adoptive parents of the unique issues adoptees face, she discusses adoptee anger, mourning, and shame and adoption acknowledgment while using case studies to illustrate how parents can better relate to their adopted child. 

Toddlers Adoption: The Weavers Craft
M. Hopkins-Best

When a child is adopted as a toddler, his needs and those of his adoptive family are different from the needs seen in infant or school-age adoptions. Yet few resources are available to deal with these special issues.

Raising Adopted Children
Lois Ruskai

In this comprehensive exploration of adoption issues (bonding and attachment, family adjustment, contact with biological relatives, etc.), the authoran adoptive parent and the editor of Adopted Child newsletteraims for a wide audience: parents, adoptees, and related professionals.

Older Child Adoption
Grace Robinson

This book is a very helpful tool for those who are planning to adopt an older child. The interviews and stories present a realistic picture of the challenges and opportunities that adoptive parents of older children must face.

Attachment, Trauma, and Healing: Understanding and Treating Attachment Disorder in Children and Families
Michael Orlans/Terry M. Levy

Attachment is the deep and enduring connection established between a child and caregiver in the first few years of life. It profoundly influences every component of the human condition: mind, body, emotions, relationships, and values.

Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting The Adopted Child
Holly Van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb

Required reading for adoptive families, those considering adoption, or professionals in the field. This practical, informative book covers topics of vital importance to adoptive parents with sensitivity and insight. The authors bring years of experience to the complex emotional issues that parents will negotiate, and expert advice on establishing a healthy, loving parent-child relationship.

A Child's Journey Through Placement
Vera Fahlberg

This book MUST be required reading for ALL adoptive families for insuring they have true insight on parenting their child responsivly. Being a mother desperately looking for the "why" my adopted child behaves as he does and "why" four years of traditional treatment hasn't mattered, I now have these answers and far greater insight as to what to do next. Dr. Fahlberg has provided the comprehensive guide for all who care about advocating children with all kinds of behavior and disorder issues. Dr. Fahlberg's "A Child's Journey Through Placement" is the Dr. Spock book for all adoptive parenting - outstanding material, information and very well written.

Review by jfilgo@gdats.com

Primal Wound
Nancy Verrier

As an adoptee, I could not have written this book better myself. It is an extremely insightful book which opened up a world of understanding to myself and also to my loved ones. It helped me understand why I am the way that I am, why I do some of the things that I do, why I struggle with love in my life, and why I have this subconscious fear of abandonment and trust.

This book is a definite "must read" for all parents of adopted children. I know that as a parent you will resist believing in the Primal Wound but you must for the benefit of your children. You will learn to understand your adopted children and will be able to help them throughout their lives - sometimes even in the smallest way, i.e. the simple reassurance that you WILL return home after work.

I met my birth family at 30 years old. Then I read this book a few years later. This book made a difference in my life. It will make a difference in your life, too. Enjoy!

Thank you Nancy Newton Verrier!!

Review by Coco Ventura

Making Sense of Adoption
Lois Ruskai Melina

When to tell, What to tell, and How to tellChildren who are adopted have predictable and often unspoken concerns about themselves and how they joined their families. In this wise and timely guide, Lois Melina, author of the classic manual Raising Adopted Children, helps parents anticipate and respond to those concerns in ways that build self-esteem.

Adopting The Older Child
Claudia L. Jewett

Pros, cons, and how-to's for an increasingly popular option.

Helping Children Cope With Separation and Loss
Claudia Jewett Jarratt

II. Childrens Books:

Hootah's Baby
Joanne Green

Introducing a very special book, written for very specific children: The children of court-ordered relinquishment.

Hootah is a young mother owl whose life-style issue renders her an ineffective parent. Try as she might, she is unable to overcome those problems. Eventually, the great Parliament of Owls steps in to ensure the safety of the baby owl. But does it mean that Hootah does not love her baby? No. Hootah does love her baby, but unfortunately, love alone will not be enough to raise a baby owl. And so, a new, safe and loving home is found.

I Wished for You: an Adoption Story
Marianne Richmond

An adoption story follows a conversation between Barley Bear and his Mama as they curl up in their favorite cuddle spot and discuss how they became a family. Barley asks Mama the questions many adopted children have, and Mama lovingly answers them all.

The Red Thread
Grace Lin

The Red Thread by Grace Lin. Description: A king and queen should be full of joy and contentment, but they both feel a strange pain that worsens every day. Then a peddler's magic spectacles reveal a red thread pulling at each of their hearts. The king and queen know they must follow the thread.

Get Real
Betty Hicks

Destiny, a thirteen-year-old control freak who feels alienated in her messy, haphazard family, helps her adopted best friend when she finds her birth mother and decides to have a relationship with her.

Bringing Asha Home
Uma Krishnaswami

Arun is eager to be a big brother, but he and his parents must wait patiently for the baby they hope to adopt from India to join their family.

Megan's Birthday Tree: A Story About Open Adoption
Laurie Lears

Every year on Megan's birthday, her birth mother Kendra, sends a picture of the tree she planted the day Megan was born. When Kendra decides to get married and move to a new house, Megan worries that she will be forgotten.

You're Not My Real Mother!
Molly Friedrich

An adoptive mother explains to her Asian daughter why she is indeed the girl's "real mother," because of all the different ways she cares for her.

All About Adoption: How Families are Made and How Kids Feel About It
Marc A. Nemiroff

Using simple language and pictures, the book describes the stages of the adoption process and discusses complex feelings commonly felt by adopted children.

Saffy's Angel
Hilary McKay

When thirteen-year-old Saffy learns that she was adopted, her relationships with family members are strained. A trip to Italy, the country of her birth, helps her understand the choices made by the loving adults in her life.

The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption
Jean Davies Okimoto

Across North America, people in four different homes prepare for a special trip China, while four baby girls in China await their new adoptive parents.

A New Barker In The House
Tomie DePaola

Twins Moffie and Morgie are excited when they hear that their family is adopting a three-year-old Hispanic boy.

Parents Wanted
George Harrar

Twelve-year-old Andrew, who has ADD, is adopted by new parents after years of other foster homes. He desperately hopes that he will not mess up the situation.

What Do We Think About Adoption?
Jillian Powell

This book looks at adoption, the feelings of insercurity than can sometimes arise, and the nature of biological parents, adoptive parents, and foster parents.

Tell Me About The Night I Was Born
Jamie Lee Curtis

A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the chrished family story of her birth and adoption.

How I Was Adopted
Joanna Cole

A young girl tells the story of how she came to be her paren'ts child through adoption. Straightforward language explains how a child grows in a mother's body, but how sometimes that child goes to live with another family.

When You Were Born In China: A Memory Book for Children Adopted from China
Sara Dorow
Tells children about social conditions in China when orphans were put up for adoption and the process children go through on their way to adoption.
Carolyn's Story: A Book About an Adopted Girl
Perry Schwartz

A nine-year-old girl describes her life and her feelings about being adopted as a baby in Honduras.

A Mother for Choco
Keiko Kasza

A lonely little bird goes in search of a mother and finds one where he least expected.

If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun
Marie G. Lee

Although reluctant at first, popular seventh grader Alice Larsen forms a friendship with a new student from Korea and comes to appreciate her own Korean heritage.

III. Booklets:

Supporting An Adoption

Pat Holmes

This short, readable book gets straight to the point: Friends and Family often undermine adoptive parents' authority and parental role during the adjustment and attachment process. This causes immediate and long-term problems when we are building an attachment with children who have special attachment needs. This book explains what family and friends should expect during an adoption, how they can help, and how they can stay out of the way when there are problems. It explains some of the health, emotional and behavioral issues that are common to newly adopted children which are different from usual childrearing concerns. Adopted children need prepared and well-supported parents -- it is their most important special need. We NEED for our friends and family to understand what to expect, and this short book is perfect to help get the message through to those who may try to dismiss our concerns at a time when we need their understanding the most. I recommend this book to everyone who knows an adoptive family. I often tell my new adoptive-parent friends to buy 2 or 3 copies, one to keep and the others to hand out when needed. (I didn't get paid to say that, really!)

Review by A Customer

When Friends Ask About Adoption: Question & Answer Guide for Non-Adoptive Parents & Other Caring Adults

Linda Bothun

I disagree with the previous reviewer. I have found this a helpful little book to share with friends and family. It is especially helpful to those who have children who ask questions about their adopted friends. It allows those parents to answer the questions using the correct terminology and avoiding the myths of adoption. It is easy for the adoptive parent to customize to their family situation and preferences.

Review by A Customer

III. Websites/Other    

National Adoption Information Clearinghouse



Adoptive Families Magazine


Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC)


Child Welfare Information Gateway