One of my favorite parts about adoption is the connections I’ve made with people all over the globe. I’ve come to know and appreciate an inspiring network of truth-tellers and hope-bringers doing meaningful, sustainable work within the adoption community. I am a more educated, better informed adoptive parent and human being because of these relationships.
This post is for you if:
- You believe foster care or adoption might be the next step for your family.
- You need ideas on how to better support foster & adoptive families.
- You would like to be more involved in caring for foster & adoptive families.
- You want to provide financially for adoptive families AND do some Christmas shopping.
- You have been touched by adoption or foster care in any way.
And if you don’t fit the above criteria, well, that’s fine. I’ll just be over here putting on my bossypants and telling you to read on anyway because there’s some good stuff here.
Below is a list of resources that have encouraged and provided practical support for birth families, adoptees, and many foster & adoptive families. I’ve done the research and compilation for you. So, grab a cup of coffee, unless tea is your thing. Or soda. Whatever. Go on. I’ll wait…
Now, have a seat at your desk or curl up in your favorite chair with your laptop or phone (not the flip kind). All you have to do is scroll down and read. See? Isn’t that easy? The bulk of the work is already done for you.
- Lifesong: “Seeks to mobilize the Church, where each member can provide a unique and special service [related to orphan care]: some to adopt, some to care, some to give.” Lifesong was instrumental in helping us to bring Sam home. They provided matching two grants—one personal matching grant and one through our church. They are an amazing, generous organization.
- Adopt US Kids: “A national project that supports child welfare systems and connects children in foster care with families.” Provides great information for starting the domestic adoption process.
- National Down Syndrome Adoption Network: Led by the kind and fearless Stephanie Thompson, the NDSAN seeks to provide a loving home for kids with Down syndrome. This is the organization that connected us with Sam’s birth family. Stephanie continues to be a part of our lives and we feel privileged to call her ‘friend.’
- Reece’s Rainbow: “The mission of Reece’s Rainbow is to advocate and find families for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants and promoting awareness through an online community, media communications, and other events.” This is an international organization that informed me of the desperate need for kids with special needs to be adopted. If they don’t get adopted, many will age out of their orphanages and often get lost on the streets or are left to languish in poorly run institutions.
- Empowered to Connect: ETC is a ministry that works to connect, encourage and equip families and churches by providing a supportive and authentic community that encourages families on their adoption/foster journey.
- The Post Institute: This is a place where parents and professionals involved in the lives of our most vulnerable and challenging children can find effective solutions, education, and support. They offer educational materials and support services to help parents lead their families on a journey of healing the wounds of complex trauma.
- Cherideejohnson.com. Adoptive parent and writer, Cheri Johnson offers wisdom and encouragement to non-biological moms. She candidly shares her experiences and the hard truths of adoption while graciously offering hope in the midst of the tough seasons. She also provides practical suggestions for how the local Church can be proactive in relating to non-biological parents and offer ongoing support for them and their children. (Side note: Cheri has become a dear friend to me, a clear voice that I trust to point me to the Truth. She’s a real gem.)
- Confessionsofanadoptiveparent.com. Mike & Kristin Berry’s passion is to encourage adoptive families “in the trenches”. They share and speak on a wide range of topics with the goal to offer hope and solidarity to adoptive and foster families.
- SherrieEldridge.com. Author Sherrie Eldridge frequently writes from an adoptee perspective. She talks openly about her life and her wounds, reminding her readers of God’s deep love and acceptance, while offering practical ways to support adoptees.
- www.theadoptedlife.com. This is one of my favorites, especially as it relates to the topic of transracial adoption. Angela Tucker, an adoptee, is the heartbeat of this informative, thought-provoking space, where she endeavors to give adoptees a bigger voice in our culture. Angela & her husband filmed the documentary, Closure, in which Angela shares her quest to find her birth family. It aired on Netflix and is available through purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Closure-Angela-Tucker/dp/B00H8B87ZE.
BOOKS FOR ADULTS PARENTING OR WORKING WITH ADOPTEES:
- The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier
- Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge
- Under His Wings Adoption Workbook: Truths to Heal Adopted, Orphaned, and Waiting Children’s Hearts by Sherrie Eldridge & Beth Willis Miller (both adoptees)
- The Connected Child: Bring Hope & Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Dr. Karen Purvis
- From Fear to Love by Bryan Post
- Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by Brodzinksy, Schecter, & Henig
- Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families—and America by Adam Pertman
- Talking With Young Children About Adoption by Mary Watkins & Dr. Susan Fischer
- Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens by Debbie Riley & John Meeks
- Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child by Holly Van-Gulden & Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb (a bit dated but chock-full of solid research and relevant material)
- Inside Transracial Adoption: Strength-based, Culture-sensitizing Parenting Strategies for Inter-country or Domestic Adoptive Families That Don’t “Match” by Beth Hall & Gail Steinberg
BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADOPTEES:
- I’ll Never Let You Go by Smriti Prasadam-Halls & Allison Brown
- Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell
- When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner (not technically an adoption-specific book but contains major themes of belonging, worth, & the thoughtfulness of God in creating us)
- A Mother for Coco by Keiko Kasza
- I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze
- Not Quite Narwal by Jessie Sima
- Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin & Meilo So
PRODUCTS THAT GIVE TOWARD ADOPTION:
- Randi Harper joined the business of Monat as a way to help other families with the financial piece of adoption. As an adoptive parent to a little guy with an extra chromosome, Randi says, “We understand the grueling task of fundraising and wanted to bless others now that we’re on ‘the other side.’” She sells naturally-based, vegan, gluten-free, certified cruelty-free hair products. Randi’s work allows you to purchase high quality, eco-friendly hair products while giving toward adoption. Contact her here to learn more: http://combing4cause.mymonat.com/influencer and IG @curlyimpact.
- Cady Driver is an adoptive mom, one of the fiercest adoption advocates I know, and a professional artist. She serves the adoptive community through her artwork as a way to raise funds for adoptive families. Consider purchasing Cady’s artwork or purchase art lessons as a unique gift this holiday season. Your giving will help adoptive families bring their children home. Learn more about Cady’s incredible work and art classes at www.artbycady.com and on Instagram @cady.driver_artist.
- Open Hearts for Orphans. Adoptive mom, Lisa Murphy, started this non-profit after bringing 5 children home from China. Through various programs, OHFO seeks to minister to the needs of orphans worldwide. Lisa and her team provide opportunities to give financially toward medical expenses, adoption grants, and orphan sponsorship. If you are looking to purchase meaningful gifts that will also support global orphan care, please consider what OHFO has to offer, especially this holiday season. Note specifically their beautiful jewelry, their ‘downright loveable’ merchandise (which supports Down syndrome adoption), and Lisa’s book, With An Open Heart. All merchandise is listed in the store section of their website at www.openheartsfororphans.org. You can also find them on Instagram @openheartsfororphansorg.
- Tapestry’s Empowered to Connect: For parents, professionals, ministry leaders who want more authentic, deeper connections with the children they are serving.
- Adoptees On: Adoptees discuss the adoption experience.
- Who Am I Really? Real-life stories from adoptees as they search & find their biological family members.
- The Adoption & Fostering Podcast: Conversations & discussion on contemporary adoption & foster care.
- NPR Episode 10/13/2018. Code Switch: Transracial Adoptees On Their Racial Identity & Sense of Self. Click here to listen: https://www.npr.org/2018/10/13/657201204/code-switch-transracial-adoptees-on-their-racial-identity-and-sense-of-self
INSTAGRAM: There are countless adoption-related Instagrammers. My favorites are listed below. From birth moms to adoptees to other adoptive parents, I am encouraged, challenged, humbled, humored, informed, and inspired by these beautiful voices:
You know, of course, that this is not an exhaustive list but I trust it will get you started or lead you to consider some new voices. With the excessive noise online, I struggle to know where to focus my time when I’m exploring adoption resources. I hope my work can spare you a few hours. And if you think this post might serve someone you know, please share. Thanks!
What adoption and/or foster care resources have been helpful to you and your family?