If you’re already an adoptive parent, or an individual seeking to better understand children from hard places and the needs of the families they are now part of, this list is a great start.
If you’re looking for suggestions for books that are specific to adopting an older child, a child from foster care, a child with a specific need (i.e. Down’s Syndrome, FASD, Autism, etc.) or from a specific country, please reach out and let me know as I’d love to connect you with support for those specific situations. The resources listed below are for adoption in general.
If you’re local to us, we’d love to get you connected with Miriam’s Heart, the organization we are part of in Central NJ that radically supports families to take action on behalf of foster and adopted children.
Conferences & Retreats
Empowered to Connect – Truly one of a kind, this conference is held annually and simulcasted to hundreds of locations around the country. Featuring speakers from the TCU Institute of Child Development who are experts practitioners in the field of child development and trauma, this 2 day intensive experience will lay the groundwork for an understanding of what it means to parent a child from a hard place.
Tapestry Conference – The Tapestry Conference is intended to help parents, their extended families, counselors, social workers, school teachers, pastors, professionals, and other ministry leaders. It features Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) trained professionals, Empowered to Connect Parent Trainers, Occupational Therapists, adult adoptee panel, and a sensory experience across both days of the event.
Refresh Gatherings (Conferences, Retreats, & Support Groups) – To bring hope, healing, and community to foster and adoptive parents around the country who are struggling to care for children from hard places.
Rejuvenate – a respite retreat for adoptive and foster moms held annually in different regions around the country
Recharge – a respite retreat especially for adoptive dads, hosted by The Sparrow Fund
Together Called – Together Called is an opportunity to come together, a place for husbands and wives to step out of the chaos called everyday life and be encouraged, a place for us to learn and fellowship together as a couple and as a community.
Support Groups & Communities
Replanted – Me too Groups meet on a monthly basis to bring authentic community to foster and adoptive communities. Stepping into foster care, adoption, and safe families fills life with joy and beauty, but it is challenging. Replanted provides much-needed support for families so they do not have to walk this journey alone.
No Hands But Ours is an amazing resource specifically geared towards those considering or in process to adopt from China. They’ve developed a user sourced listing of local adoption support groups. Some are specific to China and some are open to all foster and adoptive families. Click here for the information.
Families with Children from China – local chapters are located around the U.S. This one is the one closest to us in Northern NJ/NYC area, but a simple google search for “Families with Children from China” will connect you with many other local groups.
CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) – one of the biggest leaders in the movement, CAFO offers a variety of programs and ministries. Connect with a Regional Alliance Member near you to access resources and support.
I’m sure a Google search might yield some more local resources for you. Some of those may turn out to be fantastic, and some not so much. Depending on the country you adopt from, there are often active groups on Facebook to connect with for support as well. The “Parenting with Connection” group on Facebook is very large, but one of the key places that many adoptive and foster parents find an online community in which they can be genuine, find wise counsel and encouragement for the journey.
My #1 Must Read for All Parents – Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child
One of those we refer to as a “Game Changer” – The Whole Brain Child (and frankly, anything of Dr. Siegel’s including No Drama Discipline)
The Connected Child – Many refer to it as the “Bible” of connected parenting and attachment
Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft – Don’t let the title fool you – children who are adopted often come to the family at a much younger emotional age than their chronological age. I read this before both of our children came home and would recommend it for anyone bringing home a child 6 or younger especially.
I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet, but so many people I respect suggest it including several connected parenting experts, so I wanted to put it on the list – Beyond Consequences, Logic & Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment Challenged Children with Severe Behaviors
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma – It’s next on my reading list and comes so highly recommended. I can’t wait to dig in!
Podcasts & Online Resources
Everything Empowered to Connect You Tube Channel – Access amazing training and support through these videos from Dr. Karyn Purvis and the TCU Institute of Child Development.
Tapestry’s ETC Podcast – Tapestry is the Adoption & Foster Care Ministry or Irving Bible Church. They partner with ETC and offer this podcast with Chris and Kayla North.