Book #2: Giving Voice to Siblings (and how you can help)

September 2007
September 2007

I’m interested in many topics related to adoption and parenting children from “hard places.” One has become a passion of mine in recent years.

How do we give voice to siblings when new children from “hard places” join the family?

I’ve written and spoken on this topic. Last week, my friend, Darlene, and I gave a breakout at Called to Love. I spoke about the ways Russ and I failed to give our children voice, and the changes we made when the issue hit us square between the eyes.

Darlene and I gave our kids a list of questions and then shared their answers. We didn’t edit a word; some of the responses from my kids arrived so late that I read them off my phone for the first time in the session. It was honest, vulnerable, and powerful; I cried when I read some of their words.

I loved the breakout and many of the women told us they loved it too.

You can give voice to your children by encouraging them to participate in my project. Not only will this help families prepare to add new children to the family, but it will help siblings who are struggling with the adjustment.

I’m compiling responses for my next book. I want to hear from a broad range of ages and experiences. Your children may be glad to have the opportunity to share their thoughts and, like me, you may find it enlightening. I cried over many of my kids’ words, and I’m so thankful that they trusted them with me.

You can find the survey HERE.

You’re welcome to interview your children and fill in their answers, or if they are old enough, they can reply themselves. They can answer all of the questions, or only the ones that interest them – although I would love to read as many answers as possible.

Please include a bit of information on family size and ages of kids, age of the child responding, and the number of years the siblings have been home.

Please note, this is not a question intended only for children born into the family. It is also for adopted children whose families later added children from “hard places” through adoption and foster care.

I plan to use first names in the book, but will also use pseudonyms or “anonymous” if respondents prefer.

I am so excited about this project, friends. I hope you will join me.

You may like to read my earlier posts:

Giving Voice to Siblings Part 1

Giving Voice to Siblings Part 2

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Jacqueline
    November 23, 2015

    Glad that you thought to include the voices of adopted children who also face these issues when new children are added to the family. I will see if my children would like to comment

    1. Lisa Qualls
      November 25, 2015

      Jacqueline, I was trying to figure out how to word that well, and I'm glad you responded. Thank you. I hope your kids will be interested!

  2. Michelle
    November 24, 2015

    Hi Lisa,
    LOVE this. So excited to ask my bio kids to respond to these questions. I'm wondering if that date is flexible at all. I am asking for their responses as a Christmas present to me, but my freshman son is drowning in schoolwork and exams. Hoping we can get their thoughts to you:)

    1. Lisa Qualls
      November 25, 2015

      Michelle, the date is very flexible. I imagine I'll be gathering responses over a period of time. Thank you!

  3. Katie
    December 1, 2015

    Do you have a link you could share of when you spoke on this topic? Is there audio available?

    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 1, 2015

      I wish I did. Maybe that will be my first podcast.

  4. Allie
    December 9, 2015

    I second a podcast please! I've read your posts on giving siblings a voice but I am looking for more guidance. We recently bought home two kids from hard places (ages 5 and 3) with two kids already at home (ages 6 and 4). The two at home are struggling and I have no idea what to do! Do you have any articles/guidance? Thanks!


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