The Adoptive Parents' Handbook: A Guide to Healing Trauma and Thriving with Your Foster or Adopted Child
The essential guide to parenting adopted and foster kids--learn to create felt safety, heal attachment trauma, and navigate challenging behaviors and triggers
Children who have been adopted and/or shuttled through the foster-care system experience trauma at a much higher rate than other kids, which can make it difficult for them to trust, relax, regulate their emotions, and connect with their new families. As a parent, learning how to heal attachment trauma, attune to your child's needs, identify triggers, and create felt safety is essential to providing the loving, supportive, and stable home they need to thrive.
Written for parents of adopted and foster kids of all ages, this book offers resources for handling common concerns like sleep issues, food sensitivities, anger, fear, and reactivity. It also provides guidance on navigating transracial adoptions, working through parents' own hang-ups, and recognizing signs of developmental and psychological conditions. The book highlights practical strategies and provides real-life examples to address questions like: • How do I help my adopted child adjust? • Is this kind of behavior "normal"? • How do I help my child live, heal, and thrive with PTSD?
“This book answers so many of the questions I didn’t know how to ask as a foster and adoptive parent. . . . [It is a] book parents will turn to again and again.” —Sherry Colomb, child welfare trainer and foster and adoptive parent
“As I read this wise, well-researched and well-lived book, I could feel my heart clouded by the complexity, heartache, and confusion parents feel when one of their children has known significant trauma. . . . After I finished reading, I understood why there is rich hope and joy for those who embrace this privilege.” —Dan B. Allender, PhD, professor of counseling psychology and founding president of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and author ofThe Healing Path and Healing the Wounded Heart
“Tantrum has written a must-read handbook for parents who are considering or are currently in the throes of the adoption experience. It is a wonderful mix of personal and professional information necessary for a successful adoption journey.” —Cynthia Ridgway, licensed mental health counselor and adoption and trauma specialist
“Easy to read, well organized, and full of information backed up by current research. Highly recommended for all foster and adoptive parents.” —Cathy Wright, foster and adoptive mother
About the Author
BARBARA CUMMINS TANTRUM, MA, LMHC, is trained and experienced in trauma-informed therapy. This includes working with children, adoptive and foster families, adult survivors of trauma and abuse, and marital couples. She is a cofounder of Northwest Trauma Counseling, a Washington State-based private practice specializing in trauma related to adoption and foster care, and author of their PATCH Protocol, a trauma-informed model therapy approach focused specifically on addressing trauma-related issues. A graduate of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology with a master's degree in Counseling Psychology, she conducts training sessions regularly for groups, including social workers, teachers, adoptive and foster parents, and other support groups. In her personal life, Tantrum is herself a foster and adoptive mother and sister.