January 15, 2021 4 min read

Are you considering foster care or adoption?

I believe the Lord has a unique calling for each of our lives, and the way He shows us what that calling isn't always expected. I was in Barnes and Noble one day looking for a Christmas gift. I headed over the the Christian women's section looking for a faith-based book to buy, and I stumbled across Called to Care - Opening Your Heart to Vulnerable Children through Foster Care, Adoption, and Other Life-Giving Ways.

The book cover really stood out to me and I couldn't help but stop and pick it up. As I read the back cover I felt led to buy it. I had always loved children and felt a call to help vulnerable children. Foster care and adoption crossed my mind, but I didn't know much about it.

Reading books, blog posts, and hearing the stories of other foster and adoptive families taught me a lot about the realities of adoption, foster care, and the child welfare system. Taking time to learn about this realm before diving into an application helped me make a better decision about if it was something I was truly interested in.

If you are considering foster care or adoption, I would highly recommend reading books and doing your research before beginning your application to become foster or adoptive parents.

In this blog post I'm sharing 5 books I read before my husband and I began the process of becoming foster parents (or at least partially read, still need to wrap a few up!).

1. Called to Care

foster care book

Called to Care is the first book I read about foster care and adoption. I think it is a great first book to read on this topic. This book does a great job of explaining terminology used in foster care and adoption, the true joy and heartache families experience, and a variety of ways you can help vulnerable children (including options that aren't becoming a foster or adoptive parent).

2. Replanted

foster care book
Replanted is a great resource for prospective foster and adoptive parents and current foster and adoptive families. The authors provide practical advice on how to provide support to foster and adoptive children and families, whether you are a foster or adoptive parent or not.
In the book, the authors outline how foster and adoptive parents can support foster children, how the church can support foster families, and how friends and extended family members can support foster families.
I really appreciated the real-life stories shared by the authors as well. One author is a longtime therapist for foster children and families and another is a foster and adoptive parent. The unique perspectives and experiences provide readers with realistic expectations of what being involved in the foster care and adoption community is like.

3. The Connected Child

foster care book

This book says it is specifically for adoptive families, but many of the same principles apply to foster families. In fact, foster and adoptive parents go through the same training when they get licensed because of the large amount of similarities between the two paths.

Foster and adoptive children experience trauma when they are removed from their biological family's home and placed into a foster or adoptive home. This trauma is in addition to other traumas they have liked experienced in their childhood. Trauma can make it hard for children to form connections with their foster and adoptive parents. The authors in this book share practical advice for foster and adoptive families on how to create a connection with their foster or adoptive children. 

4. Honestly Adoption

foster care book

I loved the layout of Honestly Adoption. The book is written in a "Q&A" format where the authors answer different questions. It makes it really easy to look up specific questions and topics!

Mike and Kristin have a great perspective on foster care and adoption as well. They have been foster and adoptive parents for years and provide great insight on the realities of foster care and adoption.

5. The Body Keeps Score

foster care book

All children in foster care (and all children who are up for adoption), will have experienced some form of trauma by the time they step foot in your home. Whether it is trauma caused by abuse or neglect, or the trauma that comes from being removed from their birth family's home, children in the foster care system have experienced trauma.

As perspective adoptive and foster parents, it's important to educate yourself on the realities of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. The children entering your home will not respond to "typical" parenting and discipline styles. They might be easily triggered or have a hard time forming attachments to you and your family. 

This book talks about how trauma affects the body in humans and its effect on the brain. It was helpful for me to read when walking through my own memories of trauma from my childhood, but also helpful for people considering foster care and adoption.

What are some of your favorite books on foster care and adoption?

Have you read other books that you found helpful in your foster care and adoption journey? Let me know! 

Looking for more resources on this topic?

I release new blog posts and content regularly at taylorwalden.com!

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