Monday, May 9, 2011

Wounded Children Healing Homes

Wounded Children
Healing Homes
How Traumatized Children Impact 
Adoptive and Foster Families
Jayne Schooler
Betsy Keefer Smalley, LSW
Timothy J Callahan, PSYD

I recently finished this book.  It was recommended at the Empowered to Connect conference.  I found this book to be a good read that I could readily identify with.  So much so that I felt I could've written most of the chapters from my own personal experience.

This book is a compilation describing the dynamics of bringing a traumatized child into a home from several different perspectives.  It delves into what actually happens when a child can not fulfill expectations or when a parent has unresolved trauma.  It describes the dangers and pitfalls that are so common among "trauma mamas".  The impact affects not only the moms and dads, but their extended families, friends, church family, and other networks.  It covers the different ways that a difficult placement may affect the other children living in the home.  The anatomy of an adoption disruption is also discussed, as well as how to avoid going there.  Common school issues are explored followed by a chapter on working with the school for the best possible outcome.  The importance of parental self-care and some ideas to achieve that are presented.

Having already had the experience of bringing home a daughter with trauma, I can agree with the content of this book.  The authors are right on target and have a very good working understanding of the dynamics involved.  Most of all, Wounded Children Healing Homes validated my experience.  I am not alone and I am not crazy.  :-)  It led to some thoughtful introspection about my own past and what I bring to the table.  I gained some valuable insight into my older kids' perspectives leading to several "ouch" moments.  However, I had some "A-Ha!" moments as it related to the school issues and learning.

All in all, I think it would be a very valuable book for adoption agencies to suggest or require for prospective adoptive couples looking at older child adoption.  It would be sobering and enlightening to those who have not truly thought through the implications of committing to a child from hard places.  It would also be useful for those just starting on the journey once their child is home. 

Blessings to you,


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