What To Read If You're a Parent to a Child of Trauma

Let’s get reading! Here is a compilation of books on Adoption, Foster Care, Trauma and Healing, Attachment, International Development, Race, Kids books, and so much more. Although we have read some of these books, many of these books have come as recommendations from adoptive/ foster parents, professionals in each of these fields, development workers, etc., and are books we have not read. Thank you so much to the many people who gave us these incredible book recommendations, we are excited to read them alongside you and learn with you!

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You are more than a foster kid. -From a former foster kid.

My name is Brittaney. I'm a midwest girl turned loyal New Englander. Former foster kiddo, current foster mama. I’m married to my sweet husband, Justin, and this coming November we will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. Over the last three years we have fostered three amazing kids and hope to adopt our son out of foster care late this summer. Foster care has always been apart of my story. I was adopted out of foster care when I was seven and was gifted this beautiful life that I am incredibly proud of. I have always wanted to gift that to someone else one day, which lead me to becoming a foster parent.

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We Adopted Siblings To Keep Family Together

Nearly three years ago, Aaron and I encountered a major life change. Suddenly, three incredible kiddos moved in with us for an indefinite amount of time. And then those three kids became five, then four, then five again… then suddenly six and now seven. Oh yes, you read that correctly. Today, Aaron and I share our five-bedroom home with seven incredible children that our whole world now revolves around. And we’re happy to do so because these kids belong together – they’re siblings. 

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I'm Single, I'm 29 and I've had 23 Foster Kids.

My name is MK Hill. I’m a 29 year old single foster and adoptive mom living in Memphis, TN. I began my foster care journey 4 years ago after returning home from a year of living and working abroad in 11 different countries. Before that trip I had traveled to Guatemala over 20 times and even thought I would move there one day to work in a children’s home long term. I have always longed to open my home to vulnerable children and after encountering one woman in Memphis, my life was forever changed.

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I Get Too Attached

And the children who leave our home? They deal with the inevitable loss of losing family yet again. This whole thing is–at its core–broken. But, along with their loss, they carry with them the gift of attachment. They take with them the love we poured into them and the picture we’ve given them of what family is and can be. In our getting “too attached,” they get to learn what attachment is. 

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Words From A Single Foster Mom

I had a hard abusive childhood and it was really dark and difficult to navigate by myself. As I grew up, I became committed to not letting others sit in that same kind of darkness by themselves. This is why I started fostering, because I wanted to help families become whole, healthy, and healed. I’m Shea, I am a life coach for people who have been touched by trauma, as well as a foster mom, a biological mom, and I am also a single parent. My biological daughter is thirteen years old and I have long-term placement of a 5 month old baby boy. I received my foster license in January 2018 and have had 10 kids in my home since then. 

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Yes We Said It, We Love Fostering Teens

We’ve fostered 17 kids and adopted our two sons, ages 13 and 7. At this point, my husband and I only foster sex-trafficked teens and LGBTQ+ youth- two demographics of kids in care that are unfairly overrepresented. We just had our 15-year-old foster son reunify after several awesome months with him.

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4 Things I've Learned As A Single Foster Mom

But now I’m a parent - to other people’s children.  I LOVE the parenting part; caring for these children is my greatest joy.  I’ve got a lot of experience with infants and kids and feel pretty comfortable there.  But foster care isn’t regular parenting.  It’s parenting on a roller coaster, with lots of other people involved.  I’m still processing all that I’ve learned over the last year, but here are a few of my takeaways 18 months into this gig…

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How Learning About Sex Trafficking Changed My Life

When people first hear about sex trafficking, most assume that children are abducted and then sold into the industry, when in fact traffickers are incredibly resourceful, convincing & manipulative when luring their potential victims.  A victim’s heightened needs or perceived needs are not being met which causes the vulnerable to look elsewhere. By establishing a superficial relationship and using various techniques, the trafficker will gradually manipulate them into the commercial sex industry. They take time to familiarize themselves with the victim’s individual vulnerabilities such as shelter, food, attention, love, acceptance, friendship, money, etc., in order to convince the victim that those needs will be met by him/her. 

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Trafficking: Their Captivity is Psychological Not Physical 

In Romania, trafficking mostly stems from poverty, lack of opportunity, and unmet emotional and relational needs. It doesn’t matter if they are from a family or an orphanage, if a child has faced neglect, abuse or a toxic living environment, it’s extremely likely that their most basic human needs of safety, love and belonging have not been met. This makes them very easy to manipulate. An easy example is if the father has left the family, a trafficker will enter the picture and say, “I know your dad left you, but I would never do that to you. I will always be here. It’s you and me forever.” 

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A Lunch Date That Changed Our Lives Forever

Both of us 23 years old, my head was spinning as Sarah told me how she’d come to Asia after being promised a decent paying job at a restaurant. Because it was difficult to find a job at home, and because (not unlike me) she was excited to travel and see the world, she accepted the job, received all her travel documents, and got on a plane. Once she arrived, she was received by another Ugandan woman who took her passport and told her that she owed $5,000 for everything they’d done for her, but there was no restaurant. The only job was prostitution.

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A Social Worker Fighting for Family Reunification in Uganda

Family reunification is important to me because I believe that the protection of the family unit is fundamental to a child’s wellbeing. Every child deserves the right to grow up in a loving and safe home where family values are instilled and there is a great sense of belonging. The family unit also protects cultural values, which are often lost in long-term separation cases. 

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Learning To Walk Alongside Birth Families

I find it to be a great honor to get to meet someone at what is quite possibly the lowest place they will experience – having their children removed – and say I am here with you, you are loved, and I believe that you can do this. When I meet a new biological parent, I always try to picture myself getting down low to meet them eye to eye in the place they are currently sitting emotionally. It is too hard to help carry the load unless you get down under it with them.

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How I Got My Kids Back Part 2

Something felt different when Steffany reached out. I knew that she was in desperate need of support but I needed to see a parent who was willing to meet me half way in this journey… and Steffany did just that and more. Watching her fall and get back up and seeing her determination to get her kids back inspired me beyond words.

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