As a foster and now adoptive Mama and a lover of books, I am always looking for new books on foster care, adoption, attachment and parenting. The state of Ohio lets you earn 6 of your training hours through books and movies, which is like a whole day of classes that you don't have to go to! The only caveat is you have to write about what you learned (ew, homework). I figured if I have to write this shit out anyway I might as well post it on the blog so that other moms can see if they want to try the book for themselves :)
Book: Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best
Summary: One thing I loved about this book is that the author is a Mama by way of international adoption; she adopted her son from Peru at 2 years old. I have some favorite books on adoption written by therapists, but the parent perspective has got to be in there somewhere or the book just doesn't resonate. Mary combines information from a study she conducted with personal stories from her son's adoption. The study was based on feedback from a small group of parents who adopted their kids as toddlers, and Mary presents the information she found in an anecdotal way (i.e. it's not boring!)
What I learned: The biggest thing I learned that was reinforced throughout the book was that even though toddlers have limited communication, they understand much more than they can say. The author advocates for toddlers to be involved in every aspect of their adoption and that the adults involved explain the process at length even if they don't think the toddler will understand. The author stressed the importance of previous caregivers supporting the adoption and talking honestly, not sneakily, with the child about saying goodbye. I thought that was powerful; as a foster parent, I tried to do this when reunifying children. It's VERY important for foster parents to be mindful of the need for their support during reunification. In fact, this book is also a helpful read for foster parents caring for babies or toddlers as so much of the information would apply in a reunification situation.
How I'll be applying the principles in this book: All I can say about that is that I bought this book on Amazon Kindle for a reason! And I'm very excited to apply what I've learned during our next adventure. We've figured out what that next step for our family is going to be, and we're so excited! Sharing with family and friends, as well as on the blog, sometime soon-ish...
Here's to the next chapter!