Friday Five: Books I’m Reading to Prepare for Foster Care

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We’ve officially started the process to become foster parents! Like, literally just started. We’ve submitted our background checks and had our first interview with the social worker. After doing some research and talking with the social worker, here are the books I’m reading to prepare for foster care! *I’m sure there will be more than these 5, but you gotta start somewhere!

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Our social worker recommended this book, but it’s been on my reading list since my son was born. It’s a great parenting book in general, detailing the neuroscience behind your child’s developing brain, and how best to communicate with and discipline your child based on where they’re at in their development.

The Connected Child by David R. Cross, Karyn B. Purvis, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine

This book is written specifically for adoptive and foster parents. This book discusses the range of backgrounds the child might be coming from, and how that will affect their development. Reading this in tandem with “Whole-Brain Child” definitely helped me to begin to wrap my head around the difficulties any child has as their brains and skills are developing, and how to help a child with developmental delays.

Rage Against the Minivan by Kristen Howerton

This is one of those books that I found sort of unintentionally. I added it to my reading list after someone recommended it as a parenting book (it’s not really). I tend to choose the next book I read at random, or based on whatever is available at the library, and that’s what happened here. The audiobook was available and I was about to drive a couple of hours, so I added it, not really knowing what I was getting into. Kristen dealt with infertility, and she has two children who joined her family through adoption, and she had two children biologically. I listened to this book before being diagnosed with endometriosis, but after we had been TTC for a year and a half. Adopting and fostering have been on my mind since my son was born, but we hadn’t reached out to any agencies yet. Rage begins with a chapter on infertility, and the next chapter is the story of her first adoption. This book is actually very funny, but I cried for my entire drive. What she says about infertility is so spot-on, and the way she talks about the love, joy, and inherent heartache with adoption was beautiful. Her book is also great because she doesn’t sugarcoat parenthood.

Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin

By the time I read this book, we had already signed up for an orientation with a local foster care agency. Now, at its core, this book is a fantastic resource for Black foster-parent-hopefuls, especially single women. Nefertiti Austin, as a single woman, wanted to adopt a Black baby boy from foster care, and when she began on her journey, there were very few resources available to her. Few if any adoption books are written by single women or Black women, so she wrote her own book! It gives amazing insight into the fostering-to-adopt, from a practical and emotional standpoint.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

This is the only book on this list that I haven’t read yet, but I am so excited to! The social worker recommended this book as well. As someone with PTSD, I know the toll that trauma can take on the body. But I experienced trauma as a full-grown woman, not while I was still developing! This book outlines not only the effects that trauma can have on the brain, mind, and body, but also how to begin the healing process. Very, very excited about this one! If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

If you’re interested in getting any of these books on thriftbooks.com, just click on the hyperlink! If you spend $30, we both get a free book (: and who doesn’t love free books?

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