My Toolbox

If you are in the process of adopting and waiting for your child, I would love to share what my husband and I have learned over the years!  I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can share my failures and successes.  Adoption parenting can be difficult and unlike any other type of parenting, but having support and using connected parenting strategies go a long way.  I am always happy to share over the phone too, especially if it means you can learn from my mistakes!  Please get in touch with me via the “Contact” tab above.

Here are some resources that we’ve found very helpful while navigating parenting!  Especially while waiting to bring a child home, these are wonderful resources that are sure to equip!

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis (very helpful and practical in so many ways – read this)
Attaching Through Love, Hugs & Play by Deborah Gray (book review)
Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray
The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel (book review)
No-Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel (book review)
I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey (not adoption-related, but great for connecting)
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas  (book review)
“Parenting in Your Highest Calling” and 8 Other Myths by Leslie Fields (book review)
Forever Mom by Mary Ostyn (book review)
Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel (not adoption-related, but excellent parenting book)
Self-Regulating/Control Strategies for Children by University of New Mexico (practical ideas to help children calm)

Messages From an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran
Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage by Kay Bratt
Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains by Jenny Bowen
Good Luck Life: Essential Guide to Chinese American Celebrations & Culture by Rosemary Gong (book review)
It’s All Chinese to Me by Pierre Ostrowski (book review)
Somewhere Between film directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (19/20 children from hard places experience some SPD symptoms)
Your Essential Guide to Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder by Angie Voss
Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss
The Out-Of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz (many consider this “the bible” of SPD books)
The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids With Sensory Integration Dysfunction by Carol Kranowitz
Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller

Before You Were Mine: Discovering Your Adopted Child’s Lifestory by Susan TeBos
Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child by Beth O’Malley
W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook by Marilyn Schoettle

Love Me, Feed Me: The Adoptive Parents’ Guide to Ending the Worry About Weight by Katja Rowell
SPOON Foundation Adoption Nutrition website

In On It by Elisabeth O’Toole (resource for relatives and friends of adoptive families)
Ready Or Not: 30 Days of Discovery (guided Bible study to prepare for adoption)

  • April 27, 2014 - 9:48 pm
  • April 16, 2015 - 10:36 am

    Madeleine Melcher - Thank you for sharing this well broken down list- no doubt many of these “tools” can help those who find them. Thank you!

    • May 12, 2015 - 10:40 am

      Nicole Renée - Thanks Madeleine and you’re very welcome!ReplyCancel

  • April 17, 2015 - 11:51 am

    Erin - This is such a great roundup list! It’s always super helpful to have so many resources in one place. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • May 12, 2015 - 10:41 am

      Nicole Renée - You’re welcome! These books have been very helpful to me, and my hope is they will help others as well!ReplyCancel

  • April 19, 2015 - 2:17 pm

    Jenni - This is a great resource, I especially appreciate the resources on nutrition.ReplyCancel

    • May 12, 2015 - 10:41 am

      Nicole Renée - Thanks Jenni! It really doesn’t seem like there’s much out there about nutrition, does there? If you have more, I’d love to know about them!ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2015 - 11:27 am

    Marta - What a great list. But i have had this thought the last few days. I wonder if we can read too much stuff, put things in our head before they are even a reality, worry about things that may never come to be, treat things as a “adopted kid” issue yet it may be just a “kid” issue. As I read a book on adoption and all the plethora of issues that may come with it, I cannot help to think “why am I doing this to myself, why read myself to worry?” Maybe what I should do is wait until I have actually walked that road, and then take whatever comes our way and deal with it then. Isn’t that what we did when we gave birth to our children? I remember being so clueless when I held my son for the first time as a teen mom. Not only was he the only baby I ever held, then they told me I had to breastfeed him because he was hungry! Talk about a learning curve! But I tackled it as it came at me! This will be no different. Maybe I am wrong here. Naive. Thinking something that is way off. Please shine light on this as a mother who has walked this road twice now! I just feel a bit overwhelmed with all the ADOPTION books and what they all describe. It kind of puts unnecessary questions in my heart. I want to be ready, but won’t God provide all that I need if this is truly His will for our family? He has never failed us! Ever! Sorry this is wo long. Ha ha! I am full of questions and thoughts.ReplyCancel

    • June 9, 2015 - 4:51 pm

      Nicole Renée - I know we chatted via email, but I wanted to respond here in case other people have similar questions. I do believe it’s extremely important to prepare as much as possible ahead of time because adoption parenting is oftentimes very different than biological parenting. See my post here:

      But yes, I do agree that some books could be waited on because some of the issues never even surface in some children. The parenting list above is a great start – I think the combination of “The Connected Child,” “The Whole-Brain Child, ” and “No Drama Discipline” are very good preparation. They compliment each other well. I also think reading about attachment is super important, because it requires more intentionality with children who were adopted. And if adopting internationally, I would also read about my child’s birth country. Lastly, Sensory Processing Disorder is prevalent among children from hard places (19/20 children experience some form), so I would also suggest reading through that first book above by Angie Voss.ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2016 - 8:37 pm

    Heather Ephron - Love the book lists. I’m a homeschool mom in the process of adoption and starting my blog.ReplyCancel

    • May 27, 2016 - 9:00 pm

      Nicole Renée - Oh wow! So nice to “meet” you! I will have to stop over to your blog and get to know you a bit! Congratulations on adopting, what type is your family pursuing? It’s a difficult and crazy, but amazingly beautiful journey!ReplyCancel

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