Saturday, January 4, 2014

My adoption reading list

This is a rundown of the books I have read thus far.  Yes, I have read every one of these books cover to cover and took extensive notes on the majority.  We are trying our best to be prepared for anything.  These kids are full of surprises and we want to have a basic knowledge of everything we can get our hands on.  We are also collecting a ton of resources (like programs, attachment centers, counselors, people) so that we can draw on experienced ones when a problem occurs.  Some of these books are warm and entertaining, some of hard-hitting and make me a little sick to my stomach.  The vast majority are very hard to read and difficult to wrap my head around.  The problems orphans face in the world are tragic and scary and seem insurmountable.  Hope.  We must cling to hope.  We must try to do all we can for those in the world without families.  Everyone needs a family.
**= faves

**Toddler Adoption by Hopkins-Best:  First opened my eyes to the unique challenges that the toddlers have when being adopted.  Too young to understand what's going on, too old to be unaffected by the confusing move that's happening to them.  This book threw me for a loop but gave me a lot of hope.

Mei Mei by Bowen - pictures of Chinese orphans.  One look in their empty eyes and you feel a little queasy.

Welcome Home! by Lisa Schwartz - a collection of essays written by adoptive families.  So very interesting to read about the way things were done in the past compared to now.  Also to hear perspectives after 20 years have gone by, and some stories from the adoptees.

**The Waiting Child by Champnella - a favorite.  The world stopped and I couldn't put the book down.  I had to know if Xiao Mei Mei comes home!!!

Adopt Without Debt - Not a lot of new information, but was helpful to see how others did it.  It can be done!

The Grace Effect - required reading.  Zack and I read it together and we were intrigued by this family's perspective on the plight of the orphans in Ukraine.  Many of the things in the book were confirmations of what we've heard from many, many others.

When Work and Family Collide - an easy read about keeping family a priority.  A great reminder.  Recommended by someone we met from Christian Children's Home of Ohio.

**How We Love Our Kids - A game changer in parenting.  Learn about yourself and how you parent and small changes can make a huge difference.  A great, great book.

**The Connected Child by Karen Purvys - Dude, if I could just download this whole book to my brain, that would be greeeaaatttt.  All about forming attachment, enhancing brain chemistry, and helping your child process sensory input.  It's like seriously cool stuff.

**Parenting with Love and Logic - the nuts and bolts of our parenting theory.  So, so, cool and so, so, doable.  Every day I think about this book.  We've been practicing some things even on our very young ones!

Love and Logic Magic birth-6 years - tips for a challenging age.  Some helpful insights.

**Loving Our Kids on Purpose - inspired by Love and Logic, it puts the principles in a refreshing Christian perspective that is also freaking hilarious.  (Weird, I know).  Zack and I laughed until our guts ached.  What a great book.  Our favorite of all time.

**The Complete Book of International Adoption - recommended by a fellow prospective adoptive parent.  This book is the international adoption 101, start-here resource.  A great beginning course on everything you are going to need to know.  Shows you where to start.

In On It - what adoptive parents wish their families would know.  A good book, but I can't quite bring myself to make my family read it.  It's a great resource on adoption terminology and sensitivity.

The Edge of Unthinkable - recommended by a friend, this is a great book from the perspective of someone who went through the foster system from an abusive background.  A very important read.

Successful Adoption - the same type of "101" book as The Complete Book of International Adoption, only with a Christian perspective.  That was nice to read those Christian insights.

Adopting the Hurt Child - this one frightened me and had me in tears in the first chapter.  What some children go through just leaves you feeling like a big cloud of black in a dark hole in the bottom of a pit.  They don't mince words in this book, and the stories are horrific.  That being said, they present a lot of hope and tools for healing.  Next on my list are the sister books, Parenting the Hurt Child, and Brothers and Sisters about adopting sibling groups.  Wish me luck!

PAPERWORK - Home study update

A quick home study update.  We met with our social worker a few weeks ago.  She came to our house and got to know us a little bit.  More paperwork came our way, (this is a trend I'm getting used to), and we will be scheduling a few more visits and going to training in Jan and Feb.  These are the last few steps in the home study process - we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!  It's seemed like a long process for just our home study, but we're trying  not to compare our timeline to anyone else's and just trusting where and when God is leading us.  In other news - Zack got a new job! He will transition the end of this month to work for a local nonprofit - 61 Surplus.  Their profits all go to the aid of orphans - how appropriate!  He's excited to do something new.  The school jobs just weren't panning out.  He's working on his CDL and will take the test again mid January. He hopes to get a school bus driving job in the new school year (because the benefits at the school are just flipping awesome), but it looks like the insurance we will get on our own is pretty rad, too.  Just sayin', maybe Pat's prayer came to fruition.  (He prayed that Zack would find a job that he hadn't even thought of).  An old friend texting him randomly asking him if he'd be interested in this position sounds like just the answer to such a prayer.  We are nervous but hopeful.  Also, my parent's house is coming along - which sounds like we will be moving into our new, spacious abode sooner rather than later!  Praise the Lord!  God may have a few more surprises up his sleeve, but it seems like things are really coming together.  We spend each day ready for anything!  Buckle up, kiddo, we're comin' for ya!