Resources

Check back often. This page is updated regularly.

Anthologies & Essays 

Decoding Our Origins: The Lived Experiences of Colombian Adoptees (2017) by Abby Forero-Hilty, Rita Esmeralda Naranio, Paul Aboulafia, & 18 others.

It’s Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, & Open Adoption (2017) ed. by Brooke Randolph

Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace (2014) by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston (Author), Julie Stromberg (Editor), Karen Pickell (Editor), and Jennifer Anastasi (Editor)

I wish You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Birth Mother of Ae Ran Won to Their Children (1999) ed. by Sara Darow

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age: An Anthology (2014) Ed. Laura Dennis

Somebody’s Child: Stories About Adoption (2011) Edited by Bruce Gillespie and Lynne Van Luven

Snowflakes: A Flurry of Adoption Stories-By, For and About Children and Teens (2010) by Teresa Kelleher

Once They Hear My Name: Korean adoptees and their journeys toward identity (2008) by Ellen Lee, Marilyn Lammert and Mary Anne Hess

Outsiders Within (2006) by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin

Sacred Connections: Stories of Adoption Essays (2000) by Mary Ann Koenig


Children &  Juvenile Fiction 

Half a World Away (2015) by Cynthia Kadohata

Girl in Reverse (2014) by Barbara Stuber

Three Names of Me (2006) by Mary Cummings


Memoirs by Adoptees

Beyond Two Worlds: A Taiwanese-American Adoptee’s Memoir & Search for Identity (2017) by Marijane Huang

Mother Me: An Adopted Woman’s Journey to Motherhood  (2011) by Zara H. Phillips

Lucky Girl: A Memoir (2009) by Mei-Ling Hopgood

somebody’s daughter: a novel (2005) by Marie Myung-OK Lee

A Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots (2002) by Katy Robinson

The Language of Blood (2003) by Jane Jeong Trenka

Shadows of a Dark Alley Adoptee: An Adoptee’s Search for Self (2012) by Wendy Barkett


Parenting the Adopted Child

Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Parenting the Teen Years (2017) by Katie Naftzger, LICSW

Parenting in Transracial Adoption: Real Questions and Real Answers (2016) by Jane Hoyt-Oliver,  Hope Haslam Straughan & Jane E. Schooler

Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love (2006) by Michael Orlans & Terry M. Levy

The Out of Sync Child (2006) by Jane Kranowitz

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parent (2002) by Deborah D. Gray

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow (2002) by G. Keck, PhD and R. Kupecky, L.S.W.


Other Books Relevant to Adoption

Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists (2014) by Janine Myung Ja (Author), Vance Twins (Compiler), Michael Allen Potter (Editor), Allen Vance (Editor)

Message from an Unknown Mother: Stories of Loss and Love (2012) by Xinran

Restorative Grief: A Guide to Healing from Adoption (2010) by Cynthia Christensen Birthmother grief, a type of grief many don’t know at all, yet some know all too well…Restorative Grief is a Bible study written for the sole purpose of restoring broken hearts and shattered lives, by dealing with the pain of separation that follows the extremely emotional events leading up to the relinquishment of a child.

Culture-Keeping: White Mothers, International Adoption, and the Negotiation of Family Difference (2008) by Heather Jacobson

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self  (1992) by David M. Brodzinsky, Ph.D.; Marshall D. Schechter, MD & Robin Marantz Henig

“Are Those Kids Yours?”: American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries (1991) by Cheri Register


Websites 

Lost Daughters – Writing adoption from a place of empowerment & peace. The mission of the writers/contributors of Lost Daughters is: “To provide an adoptee-centric space that brings readers the perspectives and narratives of adopted women, and to highlight their strength, resiliency, and wisdom.”

The Donaldson Adoption Institute – Working to improve the lives of children and families across the country and world through research, education, and advocacy that lead to better laws, policies, and practices.

Gazillion Strong – Non-profit counterpart to Land of Gazillion Adoptees, LLC

Adoption Referral & Information Service (Website) This organization works to connect adoptive families with useful resources, information and professionals, i.e., resources on pre- and post-adoption and resources for adult adoptees.


Documentaries

Closure: A Documentary About Adoption  (2015) Angela, an African American, was adopted at age 4 by a white couple in a large, multiracial family in Washington State. She was adopted from foster care in the state of Tennessee under the terms of closed adoption. As she grew older, questions haunted Angela regarding her birth story, and she set out to find answers. She travels across the country to ultimately meet her birth mother and other members of her birth family who never knew she was born. I highly recommend seeing this documentary.

Somewhere Between (2012)  Award-winning film directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton about four teenaged girls adopted from China who reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness and grapple with issues of race, gender, and identity more acutely than most their age.

The Invisible Red Thread (2012) – The Invisible Red Thread follows fifteen year old Vivian Lum from Canada to China to discover the land she was adopted from as an infant.

Struggle for Identity Special Edition DVD (2007)  – This DVD includes the original Struggle for Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption and Struggle for Identity: A Conversation 10 Years Later, featuring members of the original Struggle cast, bonus scenes, transcripts, and more.


Institute of Child Development @ Texas Christian University

The TCU Institute of Child Development is affiliated with Texas Christian University. This organization strives to help children suffering the effects of early trauma, abuse or neglect. The institute conducts research to deepen understanding about the complex needs of these children and how and why these harmful experiences can impair development and lead to social, behavioral and emotional problems. We design and promote research-based models for practical interventions that anyone can use to help children heal and reach their highest potential.

This website offers information for adoptive parents, including links to other resources, parent trainings, DVDs, and research on international adoption and case studies.

Institute of Child Development (TCU) – The Healing Family Series (DVDs). Several DVDs providing training and education for parents and professionals on children who have come from hard places. Definitely worth checking out.

The Neurochemistry of Fear – (DVD, 2008) A seminar meant to empower parents and professionals to become healers in the lives of at-risk children, including children who have been harmed, neglected, and/or abused.

Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting Principles  (2010) This DVD is part of an ongoing Lecture Series by Dr. Karyn Purvis, Director of the Institute of Child Development at TCU.

Attachment: Why it Matters – (2 disc DVD set) This video explores the critical role of attachment in a child’s development. Most of us think of attachment as a loving bond between parent and child. But, what happens if a child doesn’t get nurturing, consistent care from a loving parent early in life? Can a parent love a child or a child love a parent, but still not feel securely connected? And what are the consequences of insecure attachments? In this video, adoptive parents share their struggles and successes in pursuit of these answers.  Experts share fascinating and encouraging research, particularly in the field of neuroscience, that reveals how secure attachments can help counter the effects of early trauma. Secure relationships can promote new brain growth and biologically improve a child’s ability to regulate his or her emotions and behavior. Secure attachments dramatically shape a child’s sense of security and how well a child learns to trust – for the rest of his or her life.

The Attachment Dance

Difficulties in attachment and bonding are not uncommon among adoptees despite adoption during infancy into a loving family and secure environment. Children may be too young to articulate what they’re feeling, or what they’ve experienced before and after adoption, yet signs of attachment disorder may manifest in certain behaviors, i.e., difficulty sleeping, sadness, anger, excessive shyness, indiscriminate friendliness, hyperactivity, sensory impairments, aggression. Dr. Karyn Purvis, director of the TCU Institute of Child Development, has devoted the past decade to developing research-based interventions for at-risk children. She helps us to understand the cycle of attachment and how to build a healthy attachment between caregiver and child in the audio below (approximately 1.5 hours).

Over 100 people joined Texans Care at the Texas Capitol on October 3rd to hear Dr. Karyn Purvis speak on The Attachment Dance: How Abuse and Neglect Drive Attachment Problems.

Opening the presentation, Dr. Purvis analyzed drawings that children had made of their families and pointed out indicators that a child either feels a part of a healthy family unit or disconnected from other household members. She then explained the attachment cycle and how it affects a child behaviorally and neurochemically when he or she expresses a need that is met or, conversely, when that need is not met.  The impact of this cycle on a child’s behavior, self-regulation, and mental health were discussed, as well as the importance of touch and sensory stimulation in forming healthy attachment between a baby and caregiver.


Other Resources

Child and Juvenile Information Center in TAIPEI, TAIWAN – This agency provides reunion services for adoptees/adoptive families seeking reunion with birthfamilies in Taiwan.

6 thoughts on “Resources

  1. taraoanhkohli

    There are two books that I got for myself recently that I think you might might want to read and add here (sadly, there aren’t any from Vietnamese mothers).

    “I Wish For You a Beautiful Life” – Sara Dorrow (editor) is a beautiful book of letters written by Korean birthmothers to their children before or right after giving them up for adoption. Priceless for adoptees like myself, wondering what our birthmother’s might have to say to us, and heartbreaking.

    “Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother” – Xinran (a chinese journalist) is a collection of true stories from Chinese birthmothers who gave up or even had to kill their children at birth (the one-child policy), and how they have lived with it years later.

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    Reply
    1. jazzygirl Post author

      Dear Tara,
      Thank you so much for your comments and for the book recommendations! I actually have “Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother” but have not read it yet. I’ll put it on my Resources page, as well as the other book you suggested, which sounds like a really good one. I’m always so happy to hear from other adoptees. Thanks for reaching out, and I hope we can continue to keep in touch 🙂

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  2. nickdevore

    We adopted our daughter from Taiwan in 2006. One book that was helpful for us was “Are Those Kids Yours” by Cheri Register. It was published some time ago so the stats are stale, but I found her frank discussion about interracial adoption to be challenging. She certainly makes you consider whether what you are doing is “best” for the child.

    P.S. Love the blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Marijane Post author

      Thanks, Nick, for recommending “Are Those Kids Yours!” It sounds like a very good book. I like that the author talks about the ethics of uprooting children from their birth heritage and issues on the rights of birth parents. Sounds to be a very “frank discussion” as you mentioned, but a good and necessary one for everyone involved in interracial adoption. I will add it to the list! It’s nice to hear from you, and all the best to you and your family!

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