RESOURCES FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS

Throughout the adoption process, there are so many unknowns and firsts. You work to fill out paperwork, get your home ready, and prepare your hearts for a new addition. In our experience, many times parents get home with a child and ask, “Now what?”

There are so many questions that arise when you’re raising a child who has been adopted. When do you tell them they were adopted? What language is hurtful and what is helpful? How do you prepare them for a world that may not see them the way that you do? How do you educate your family and friends?

The questions are numerous and help isn’t always easy to find. It is our desire to walk alongside you as you grow and learn so you can support and love your child and their birth family well. We have compiled a list of resources that we have found useful as adoptees and adoptive parents.

Books

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Taken at Birth – “In 1997 a shocking story made headlines. Thomas Hicks, a small town Georgia doctor, illegally sold more than 200 babies from the back door of his clinic. Jane Blasio has been trying to uncover the mysteries of the Hicks clinic for over 30 years. She is joined by Lisa Joyner and Chris Jacobs as they try to bring closure to those stolen babies desperately searching for their true identities and birth families.”

The Girls Who Went Away – “In this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade. An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Ann Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than a hundred women, as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.”

Before We Were Yours – “Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.”

The Connected Child – “The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion.
Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you:

  • Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child
  • Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders
  • Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened”

The Primal Wound – “The Primal Wound is a book which is revolutionizing the way we think about adoption. In its application of information about pre- and perinatal psychology, attachment, bonding, and loss, it clarifies the effects of separation from the birth mother on adopted children. In addition, it gives those children, whose pain has long been unacknowledged or misunderstood, validation for their feelings, as well as explanations for their behavior. Since its original publication in 1993, The Primal Wound has become a classic in adoption literature and is considered the adoptees’ bible. The insight which is brought to the experiences of abandonment and loss will contribute not only to the healing of adoptees, adoptive families, and birth parents, but will bring understanding and encouragement to anyone who has ever felt abandoned.”

20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew – “The voices of adopted children are poignant, questioning. And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to children’s unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.”

“Imagine you’re comforting a widow. A similar heart goes a long way with adoptees.”
– Cam Lee Small, MS, LPCC

Inside Transracial Adoption – “How can children gain their new families without losing their birth heritage? How can parents best support their children after placement? Transracial adoption is a lifelong journey, complex and challenging. But it can work well for kids and families if parents acknowledge that race and adoption matter and educate themselves to meet the challenges ahead. This book is designed to support transracial adoptive parents in their lifelong learning process.”

Black Baby White Hands – “Here is a brazenly honest glimpse into the mind and heart of that child, a true story for the ages. Jaiya John has opened the floodgates on his own childhood. Black Baby White Hands, a waterfall of jazz splashing over the rocks of pain, love and the honoring of family. Magically, this book finds a way to sing as it cries, and to exude compassion even as it dispels well-entrenched myths. This classic is sure to find itself well worn, stained by tears, and brushed by laughter in the lap of parents, adolescents, educators, students and professionals. Here comes the rain and the sunshine, all at once.”

Articles

Movies/Documentaries

Closure

Angela, an African-American, was raised by a Caucasian couple in a large, multiracial family in Washington State.  She was adopted at the age of one from foster care in the state of Tennessee, under the terms of a closed adoption.  As Angela grew older it became apparent that the unanswered questions about her birth story would continue to haunt her if she did not attempt to find some answers.  Filmed and edited by her husband Bryan, this documentary follows Angela for two years during the search for her birth family.  Several twists and surprising revelations ultimately lead Angela and her family across the country to her place of birth.  It is here where Angela comes face to face with her birth mother for the first time, and meets family members who had never known she was even born – including her birth father.- closuredocumentary.com

Black, White & Us

“Black, White & Us” explores racism in America through the lives of four white families who adopt African American children and must overcome their own inherent biases to become advocates. Is there a way to fix our country’s racial divide? These transracial adoptive families just might provide the answer.