Summer Reading: Adoptive Parenting


international adoptionReady or not, summer is here! The warm weather has moved in, the jackets have been packed away, the air conditioning is on and the days are now filled with sunshine and time at the pool. With summer here that means summer reading lists for you while you are on the beach or maybe just in your backyard.  We hope you spend time reading about adoptive parenting this summer, no matter where you are in the adoption process!

The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family, by Karyn B. Purvis and David R. Cross. We LOVE this book here at MLJ Adoptions. The principles that Dr. Karyn Purvis and David Cross touch on are methods that can be applied in every adoptive family. If you have already read this book, we encourage you read it again. As adoption professionals and adoptive parents, each time we read it, we are able to better understand different aspects of parenting a child from a hard place.

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary strategies to nurture your child‚Äôs developing mind, by Daniel J Siegel M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D. This book is excellent at helping adoptive parents get inside the mind of a child and really understand how they are developing. A deeper understanding of a child’s brain enables adoptive parents to know how to best meet the child’s needs. Siegel and Bryson’s principles are based on substantial research, but they have made the concepts understandable, simple and relateable to the struggles that children face.

The Out-of-Sync Child , by Carol Kranowitz, M.A. also The Out-of ‚ÄďSync Child has Fun, by Carol Kranowitz, M.A. This book helps to introduce parents to Sensory Processing Disorder, gives numerous examples, and explains how this can impact your child. Parents find the first book (The Out-of-Sync Child) easy to relate to, and helpful in identifying behaviors in their own child(ren). The second book (The Out-Of-Sync Child has Fun) is all about activities to do with your child who suffers from¬†Sensory Processing Disorder. These fun and therapeutic activities are helpful in meeting your child‚Äôs needs and moving them towards a place of healing; the methods are also beneficial for children who do not have Sensory Processing Disorder.

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow , by Gregory C. Keck, PHD. and Regina M. Kupecky, LSW. Bringing a child into your home that is hurting is not an easy thing to do. It requires a deep understanding of their wounds, and a long-term commitment to their healing. Dr. Keck and Ms. Kupecky give effective suggestion, insight and advice for parents who are struggling with a child who has experienced deep hurts and possesses wounds from a traumatic childhood. Parents should not feel alone in helping their child cope and this book leaves many parents feel understood. Many have stated this book was helpful in their adoption journey, helping parents to feel that hope is not lost and bringing their child to a place of healing.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things, by Sara Hagerty. While Sara’s faith journey has been shaped by her struggle with infertility and adoption, making it an excellent read for a family going through the ups-and-downs of an international adoption, it is a story about waiting on God. She vulnerably shares about difficulties in her marriage, the loneliness in infertility and the challenges of raising children from hard places. Readers, regardless of being able to relate with Sara’s infertility struggles, will be able to understand the pain of waiting and unmet expectation mixed with the joy of learning about God through life’s peaks and valleys.

Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir, by Jillian Lauren. This is a Jillian Lauren’s memoir about her encounter with the power of love. She tells the story adding to her family¬†by adopting an¬†Ethiopian child with special needs. Lauren’s memoir is story driven and includes personal anecdotes about her own journey. While it should not be considered a how-to, it is an excellent example of how adoption can change your life, and your family, for the better.

Hopefully you will add some of these books to your summer list. They are terrific resources for families on their international adoption journey, or those who are interested in learning more about how adoption affects families and children. We would love to hear any suggestions you have for adoption related books. Happy reading!




Brittany Smith works as a full-time Home Study Assistant with MLJ Adoptions. Adoption and orphan care became a passion for her on a mission trip to China with Show Hope, an adoption and orphan care advocacy organization.