Tuesday Topic: Top Two Adoption Prep Books

This week’s Tuesday Topic comes from a reader who is waiting for a referral.  I bet that many of you can answer this, and I’m interested to see what you have to say:

If you had time to read only two books to prepare you for your adoption, what would they be?  We can’t afford to buy them all, so we need to choose wisely which books to purchase vs. get through the library or borrow from friends.  Which two books could you simply not do without, the ones that you refer to again and again?

If you have adopted children of various ages or special needs, feel free to recommend two books for each particular situation.

Let’s help each other out and give our book recommendations; I’m always ready to add to my library.

I’ll hold your comments until Tuesday, March 30th and post them all at once. I’m looking forward to reading your comments!


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. Betsy
    March 25, 2010

    Adopted for Life by Russell Moore is the one book on adoption we recommend!

  2. April
    March 24, 2010

    Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control by Heather T Forbes and Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray. I wish I had read the first book prior to Grace coming home but am thankful to have found it recently nonetheless! Great question!

  3. Kathrin
    March 25, 2010

    The most important english adoption books are:

    The handbock of international adoption medicine, Laurie C. Miller


    Todler Adoption, Mary Hopkins-Best (not only for people who adopt todlers)

  4. Kerrie
    March 25, 2010

    Parenting With Love an Logic, and Can This Child be Saved, both by Foster Cline. Parenting…gives lots of concrete, creative, and totally usable ideas for non-physical discipline. We adopted the sibling group we fostered (4wks, 21mos, 3yrs at placement and 3, 4, and 6 at adoption), and I would have been caught MUCH less off-guard by some of the things that happened pre-adoption if I had read Can This Child… first. Also, Can This Child… gives some techniques and ideas for children with more hard-core problems (like my eldest daughter). A caution, though: only use them with a (good) therapist's ok.

  5. Carmen
    March 25, 2010

    Hi! We've adopted babies three times, through domestic adoption. Each one has been such a blessing to us! My favorite book is Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge. Every child is different, so some kids have the same fears and "issues" that she talks about, and some don't. One of ours definitely does though, and it's been good to realize that what he's feeling is normal, as well as knowing how to respond when he's three or four and crying because he misses his birthmom. The other one is just a fun adoption stories book, called Loved By Choice, by Susan Horner and Kelly Fordyce Martindale. As an adoptive mom I love stories about adoption and these are all true stories told from different perspectives- birthfamilies, adopted children, and adoptive parents. They're all happy stories- sometimes it's easy to get anxious when you read all the scary stuff about adoption, so this book helps balance it out. Hope that's helpful!

  6. staci
    March 25, 2010

    Attachment in Adoption for sure, but I don't have a solid vote for number 2. I think reading adoptive families blogs has served as an excellent education for the almost 2 years we have been in the process. No, the families aren't experts, but they are walking the walk. And many are honest about what they are experiencing and learning. They are in the trenches. I feel more prepared by reading blogs the last two years than any other child prep book I've ever read…

  7. Robyn
    March 26, 2010

    Definitely You Can Adopt, the new book by the editors of Adoptive Families.
    After that, if you're adopting domestically, I'd say Adopting In America, by Randall Hicks.

  8. Julie Gumm
    March 25, 2010

    Parenting the Hurt Child and The Connected Child

  9. Becky
    March 26, 2010

    One of my very favorite adoption books is "The Connected Child" by Karyn Purvis. The way the information is presented is clear,and easy to understand. The book is chock full of wonderful information and practical application suggestions. Of all the adoption books I read, this one was the most helpful to me. My next favorite book is "Attaching in Adoption" by Deborah Gray.

  10. Julie
    March 27, 2010

    For general adoption books, my top two picks are:

    The Connected Child – by Karyn Purvis
    Attaching in Adoption – by Deborah Gray

    For Kids from hard places, I would highly recommend:

    Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control, vol I and II – by Heather T. Forbes

    And I can't recommend enough, the ultimate story of a loving Father adopting children with big issues:

    The Bible 😀

  11. Brianna
    March 28, 2010

    As for general attachment reading, I definitely recommend "Attaching in Adoption" by Deborah Gray and "The Connected Child" by Karyn Purvis. SO insightful and really open to your eyes to what your child may be dealing with, not to mention they give you some tools to help.

    For people adopting brown-skinned children, I LOVED the book "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla".

    General parenting book, "Hold On to Your Kids". Excellent.

    Amazing book affirming the importance of children and why they matter and why we should help: "Too Small to Ignore: Why Children are the Next Big Thing." (Written by the CEO of Compassion Intl.)

    Ethiopian adoption: "There is No Me Without You."

    I love to read!!! Looking forward to seeing everyone else's answers!

  12. Doonhamer Geordie
    March 30, 2010

    Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control by Heather T Forbes has to be the best book we have ever bought – buy it, now. You won't regret it!


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