These e-books both have “foster” in the titles, but they are not just for foster or foster-adoptive families. They are written for any adoptive family dealing with kids who may have trauma in their past. I received both books for the purposes of review, and it made sense to include both reviews in one post, since the intended audience is the same.
SHIELD: A Framework of Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families — by Sharla Kostelyk, founder of Adoption Magazine.
Sharla was a foster parent for eight years, and is an adoptive mom to five children, plus two biological children. She has “been there, done that” — which is why she wrote this book to help foster or adoptive parents remember that caring for yourself first is an absolute necessity so that you can care for the children.
This ebook includes practical suggestions, tips, and sound advice on:
- Preparing for welcoming a new child into your home: financial preparations; scheduling; all those things that will be harder to find time for after the child(ren) move in.
- Setting up a support network for yourself, and how to educate those friends and family on exactly what kind of support you may need.
- The importance of finding a few key people who have the experience to help you along the way or offer an educated listening ear.
- Taking time to educate yourself; things will go much more smoothly if you know what to expect.
- Dealing with your own emotions, and that of the kids.
- Protecting your marriage.
- Making time for relaxation, exercise, sleep, hobbies, and so on to maintain your sanity.
For more information, or to buy, click here: Shield: A Framework of Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families.
The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide: How to heal your child’s trauma and loss— by Carol Lozier.
This “magazine-style” ebook allows busy parents the option of skimming quickly on a particular topic, or reading it in depth, whichever works best at the time. The goal of this ebook is to support adoptive or foster parents and guide them in helping heal their child’s past hurts.
There are three parts to the book:
- Understanding My Child
- Healing My Child’s Past Trauma and Loss
- My Child’s Team
For me personally, I found the most helpful insight in Part One, the “Understanding My Child” section. This section explores healthy attachment, and attachment styles hurt children may have developed to cope; I could identify some of the coping techniques and attachment styles I’ve seen in our home, and found myself nodding along with the “Letter to family and friends” about how to support parents in parenting the adopted child, even when their parenting may not look like how friends and family may think it should be, or how it would be with a child who had not experienced past trauma. Understanding the child’s history is key, as there is usually far more to misbehavior than it seems on the surface, and parents must find the original roots of behaviors in order to deal with them properly. Parent-child separation in early life may cause the core issues of loss, rejection, grief, shame, identity, intimacy, and control.
Part Two focuses on resolving hurtful pasts, and includes many real stories and examples from foster and international adoptions. Though I felt this would be most helpful for parents with children closer to elementary age, there is good insight here, as well as tips on finding a counselor or therapist equipped to help foster/adoptive children.
Part Three shows how to organize a team (both profession and non-professional) to help your child. I think this would be most helpful to foster parents and soon-to-adopt parents in understanding the roles of various people (such as court appointed advocates, judges, case workers, etc), how they can help your child, and how you can make sure to keep good communication with them all to make sure the child does not “fall through the cracks.”
For more information, or to buy this book, click here: The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide.