“Carol Lozier's book is a clearly written guide to parents and professionals alike. The book is full of good ideas that will help adoptive families in their journey. I immediately chose one of her suggestions to use with my client families. Carol has the gift of explaining to the lay reader easy applications of family therapy principles. The book is a positive one, sure to help adoptive families. It is a welcome addition to the literature.”
– Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA
Author of Nurturing Adoptions and Attaching in Adoption
"The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide" addresses behavioral issues and unique emotional requirements for adopted children of all ages with easy exercises and real life stories to relate to. This is not just a guide to bring hope to you—it is a guide that will help heal your child of the early hurt or trauma they may have experienced.”
– Kay Bratt,
Author of Silent Tears; A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage
– Lindsy Wallace
Foster Mom, Blogger, Crafter
Have I ever mentioned I love to read?
Books are delicious.
Well, some of them are. Some, are just plain bad and only good for spitting out. Bleck. Others are very good for us, but need to be taken in small bites in order to properly digest. Then there are those that are scrumptious and good for you.
Recently, I've been reading one in each of the last two categories. One of them is overwhelming me a bit ... to understate it. It's chuck full with very good information regarding adoption. But alas, when left to marinate on it too long in one sitting I begin to feel downright discouraged. The second book, well I simply gobbled it up. It's The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide (How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss) by Carol Lozier.
In this book 129 pg book, Carol Lozier does not deny the tough stuff our kids from hard places (to borrow a Karen Purvis term) have had and continue to have to endure, but (like Dr. Purvis) she presents it in a way that does not overwhelm me or make things appear hopeless. Neither does it claim to provide the 'three easy steps" to make parenting adopted children effortless and painless. This is going to be hard work! Rather, this book helps parents (and professionals) better understand our children and equips us with truly doable exercises and practical strategies to help them resolve hurts from their past and begin building a healthier foundation to grow from. And have I mentioned it's done in an encouraging way. (Smile.)
Of course you must keep in mind with this glowing review that we are on this side of adoption. The side that is painful in the waiting, but not yet immersed in the throws of the doing. Eric and I haven't had the opportunity to test drive the recommendations with adopted children. However, they are things we will experiment with when the time comesand there are definitely aspects I will begin sharing with Matthew and Grace even now ... for their own personal growth as well as prepping them to be a big brother and big sister to our youngers.
All that said, I think this an excellent book to add to our adoption bookshelf. And one day (Lord willing), I can let you know what I think about it from the "other side."
– Jennifer Sands
Blogger, Adoptive Mom in Waiting
“I see it like this: A child who has suffered early trauma, loss or neglect will very likely join their new family with a layer of ice around them. It might be a thin layer that is easily cracked or it might be very thick. Most adoption books give us tools to help chip away at the ice from the exterior, but your book gives us a step-by-step approach to help melt the ice from the inside out. It is not to say that we can't keep chipping away from the outside, but if we were able to simultaneously melt the ice from the inside, how much quicker would we be able to see the real kid who is hiding underneath?”
– Jeanne P.
Although I normally only review children’s books, I do occasionally make an exception for a book that I can really relate to, and I can definitely relate to “The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide” written by Carol Lozier, MSW.LCSW.
As a foster/potential adoptive parent myself, I can say that far too many resources written about the subject of adoption and foster care are clinical and boring. I have read many of these books in hopes of finding some useful, practical information about the issues I face daily working with troubled kids, but have often been disappointed. However, “The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide” did not disappoint in any way, in fact, I found it to be one of the best resources out there.
So what makes the book so great? First off, it is accessible and easy to use. As the introduction explains, the book is formatted with a magazine style that makes it easy for busy, stressed-out parents to browse through when they want a little inspiration or need information on a particular subject. I did read the book cover to cover, but there are parts of the book I marked and highlighted that I know I will likely return to again and again.
Secondly, the book is filled with advice and knowledge that real people can relate to while they are in the trenches fighting to help the traumatized children who have come into their lives. The part of the book on the various attachment styles was excellent, in fact, I wish it was required reading for every person who obtains a foster or adoption license. Far too many well-meaning people go into foster care and adoption with no real understanding of attachment issues. Without this crucial knowledge, it is nearly impossible to help traumatized children or create a healthy home life for the entire family.
Lastly, the book addresses issues that cause many foster or adoptive parents to burn out or even give up. Self-care is sometimes entirely left out of the equation when parents try to solve problems, but the truth is that if you don’t take good care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for others in a healthy way. If you continue to neglect your own physical, emotional and mental health, you are bound to add to the problems you and your family are facing instead of solving them.
Overall, this is a great book, one that I would whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who works with troubled children or wishes to do so. For more information about the book or to order a copy, please visit www.forever-families.com.
– Maranda Russell
Foster mom, Children's Author, Blogger
Adoption books can be intimidating. They’re often long and wordy. If you are reading as part of your training, they’re like drinking from a fire hydrant because they cover so many topics to accomodate all the types of adoptions, children, and parenting styles. Mostly likely half the book won’t apply to you but you’re not sure which half. If you’re reading because you need help and support after your child comes home, chances are you don’t have the time to read a 500 page dissertation on attachment issues. You just want your child to live to see the next day.
The first thing I noticed about Carol Lozier’s The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guideis that it is very approachable. The magazine style with real-life stories give the reader a connection to the material that not all books offer. I love the insights into the minds of adoptees and foster children. As healthily attached adults, I think we can take for granted how trauma changes your worldview.
While it is certainly not the only adoption book you’ll ever need (nor does it claim to be), it tackles a topic that I wish more books would…attachment styles. I wish she would have made more of a connection to how much the adoptive parents’ attachment style plays into a parent/child relationship but being aware that there are attachment styles is a good starting point for deeper reading and further exploration.
I really enjoyed Part Two for its practical resources. This part is really a how to like the subtitle claims. I like that they are ideas that work well within the Trust Based Parenting model we have moved to with our kids (specifically Ty). I have already recommended Carol’s book to one family we mentor and I am sure it won’t be the last time.
I want to note here that while this book is a great resource, it cannot take the place of professional therapy. Know your situation well enough to know if you just need a little guidance that this book can offer or if you need professional help.
– Melissa Corkum
Adoptive mom, Blogger
Book critic. That’s the hat I’m wearing for this entry today! Okay, well you can drop the extraordinaire bit. Probably a little much since this is my first critique. I just liked the sound of it, and I thought it made for a more intriguing title.
Okay, so what am I critiquing you ask? Well, recently when I was doing my daily perusal of an adoption site, I found a post which was in search of bloggers willing to review a book for their readers. I’m an avid reader (especially now with all this pre-adoptive reading), and I’d never done this, but thought, what the hell?! It’ll be fun, and hopefully what I have to say will be a useful source of info for some of the people reading my blog. Plus, I get the bonus of access to what sounded like a very hands on and practical book. So I emailed the author, and here I am.
So without further ado, here it is….
The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child’s Trauma and Loss
by Carol Lozier
Being my husband and I are just entering this process, I am voraciously reading anything and everything (books, websites, chat boards, blogs…), I can on adoption. I’ve read a good variety of books so far, but the common theme with the latest onslaught has been attachment, and helping to heal your adopted child. Carol’s book covers these issues and a whole lot more.
The first thing that set this book apart for me was the format. To use Carol’s words, “This book’s format is in a magazine style for overwhelmed and busy parents.” Well I don’t fall into the “overwhelmed and busy parent” category just yet, so I read this book cover to cover. But the magazine formatting allows those whose reading time availability may fluctuate from a little to a lot. I already found the format helpful in being able to quickly locate and re-read particular areas of interest. I was able to put my highlighter and pen away for this book.
The next thing that stood out for me was the way the book is written. Many of the books I’ve read thus far have been very textbook an clinical in their approach. Often those who share knowledge that is common to them, forget that it’s not common to their audience. Carol, despite being a clinical social worker, has broken the information down into practical advice, parenting techniques and exercises that are easy to understand and incorporate.
In other books, I have found myself continuously having to return to previous explanations of exercises when they were revisited. The context of some exercises was not easily relatable to their purpose, and therefore hadn’t stuck in my brain. That is not the case with this book. The exercises are simple and practical. I could actually envision myself going through them as a future parent, and having my child be receptive to them. They made sense, and I could see how they could easily become ongoing and usable tools.
The other thing I liked, was the story telling aspect of the book. It is used heavily, and I think that’s extremely beneficial. When trying to retain information, I think it is always much easier if you can have a story related to the information imparted. It’s one thing to read a textbook definition, but completely a different learning experience when you hear that information shared via stories and people you can personally relate to, or at least understand and empathize with. I know during my search for information, the static information I was finding on adoption wasn’t enough. I went in search of chat boards and blogs to get first hand accounts of life experiences. Real life stories are peppered throughout this book, and I think they definitely add merit to Carol’s teachings.
Last but not least, was the three part, building structure of the book. I thought this was really well laid out. It takes you from start to finish, building on your parenting skills as you learn and grow. There are three distinct sections: your child’s history (understanding behaviours), resolution (helping your child heal), and education (becoming an advocate for your child). Again, this progression of learning, just made sense, and puts each part of the structure in perspective.
Now as for the content, well, I could go on and on about things I enjoyed, but I want you to read the book (as I’m sure Carol does too), so I’ll give you some of the highlights:
- “Is This Normal or Is It Foster or Adoption Related?” Being a first time parent, I’m sure I will encounter scenarios where I’m asking if this is normal behaviour for a child. But being a first time parent of an adopted child, throws another curveball. I’ve seen this question posted on so many chat boards, but had yet to see it covered in any previous adoption books I’ve read. Temper tantrums are prime examples of where this question comes into play. Carol explains how to differentiate between developmental and trauma related behavior.
- I enjoyed the segment on helping your child write a letter to their birthmom. I had seen this in other books, but it stopped after explaining the purpose and giving a standard template. They tend to follow the format of the child writes the letter, and parent and child discuss. Carol’s explains the purpose, gives the parent multiple approaches, and gives a very good suggestion for getting the parent directly involved from start to finish, which I thought was wonderful. She focuses on this healing the child’s lost connection to their birthmom, but I think it also would help with letting the child know that you accept their birthmother, and accept that they miss her, which is so vitally important.
- Another great segment was the one on triangulation. I had read about it in many books, but it was sort of breezed over. This gives an in-depth explanation, that included info I hadn’t read before. (ie an outside party (teacher, grandparent), being part of the triangle.)
Other read worthy topics covered:
- The letter to family and friends explaining what is supportive vs. hurtful to the adoptive family.
- Segment on recreating your child’s trauma, to help them re-visit and heal their painful past.
- The list of questions to ask when “interviewing” your child’s therapist.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to those entering, or already in the world of adoption. So many of the books I’ve read tend to use shock value to get their point across about the challenges of adoptive parenting. Carol’s book is honest and doesn’t sugar coat anything, but she reveals the difficulties from a place of compassion. She teaches pre-adoptive and adoptive parents to approach their child’s pain from that place in order to start the healing process. She enables them to be very hands on and not shut the door to therapy when you leave the therapist’s office. I know I will definitely buy a copy of this book that I can go back and reference as I parent my child. It will no doubt be a bumpy road, but learning Carol’s approach of empathy and humanity makes me feel more well equipped to handle the challenges that will inevitably come our way.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Carol’s book, you can do so at:
– "Living, Loving and Letting Go" Blog
Pre- Adoptive mom
Carol Lozer, MSW, LCSW has published a new book that is sure to become a favorite in the foster/adoption community. “The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child’s Trauma” is easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to implement. I first noticed Carol’s work through Facebook and Twitter. Over time, I’ve come to expect and look forward to her weekly Friday blog post, always full of great information and sweet stories. I was thrilled to receive a copy of her book and read through the majority of it in one sitting. As a therapist, her book is currently my most reached for, and it frequently sits on the end table right next to my “therapist chair.”
The first clue that I would LOVE this book is right on page 2, with Carol’s list of common negative beliefs held by foster and adopted children. In my own work with adopted children, I am always looking for clues as to the child’s unspoken (well, sometimes spoken!) negative beliefs. Amazingly, this was only the beginning. There is so much packed into this tiny book!
- Easy to understand definitions of the different attachment styles
- Parent scripts for breaking through attachment style barriers
- Looking at current behavior to inform us about past trauma
- Grieving for birth families
- Family Roles and Triangulation
- Activities to help heal a child’s past trauma
- Tips for picking out the right therapist for your child
I am so grateful to Carol for putting so much important information into such a readable book. So many books about attachment and trauma are dense and difficult to get through, especially for a desperate parent who needs concrete ideas and solutions. You can order “The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child’s Trauma” at http://www.forever-families.com/. If you order in the next few days, you can use coupon code MAY2012 to receive 15% off of the price of the book- good until the end of May!
– Robyn Gobbel, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling.
I have had Carol Lozier's new book, The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide: How to Heal Your Child's Trauma and Loss, for about a month now and I’ve just finished my third time reading through it. I did so because i wanted to absorb each element of advice Carol offers so that i can help my children heal. This book is so chocked full of wonderful information and inspiration that i have already begun to implement her techniques quite effortlessly in our home. In this short time we have already experienced progress and success. I have probably read, at least once, most all of the books on the market regarding attachment and its disorders since we brought our son home in 2006 and our daughter in 2008. What i find so refreshingly different about Carol' book is that she doesn’t get caught up in the diagnosis or the science or the statistics of the outcome of children who have come from trauma and loss, she just clearly and concisely focusses on helping us to help our children while supporting and relating to us, as "normal" parents who see the bright light in our wounded child but have no idea how to reach it!
My husband and i have flown all over the country searching for help in trying to help us figure out why our daughters behaviors were so extreme and why she was so hyper vigilant in what we thought was a loving and safe home we provided for her. We attended camps, met with local professionals and even though the diagnosis of RAD was repeated over and over again there was no resolution or guidance to help us to help her. We were extremely disheartened as we listened time and time again to the reiteration of what she had but very little hope about her prognosis or steps to try and reach and soothe her. When we were offered advice about how to help her, many measures we felt were quite punitive. It made little sense to us how using isolation and control would help her to learn to trust us and to feel safe.
What I love so much about Carol's book is that she told us not only the why, but the how and she does it in simple, compassionate and uncomplicated steps that you can start today. This book teaches us how to reach our wounded and scared children, how to understand their behaviors and how to see behind them so we can help them to process more clearly and communicate with us what their real needs are instead of trying to get them met in an inappropriate or dangerous ways. Carol's method and philosophy can help parents to help our children even when our kids do not have the ability to articulate their needs or fears. In Carol's new book i have learned simple steps,which she clearly explains to address past and perceived present trauma.This book is wonderful because it doesn’t worry about the diagnosis it just treats children who have suffered so much in the past to learn healthy new ways to communicate, get their needs met in healthy ways and most importantly offers parents the tools to be the lifeline for our children, building trust and relationship that leads to healthy attachment and being able to feel the love, we want so much to provide. Carol has provided a much needed and important resource in how to gently,compassionately and effectively help our children's broken hearts!
– Adoptive mom, Lisa Edmunds
I have been following Carol on Twitter for some time now and have always found that she shared valuable tips and information regarding foster parenting and adoption. When I realized she had written a book, I just knew I had to read it!
Carol’s book, “The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide” is perfect for those considering foster care or adoption as well as for those with more experience! Just in reading through the Tables of Contents, I could see that she would cover some of the burning questions I have found myself asking over the past few months since we transitioned a sibling group in to our home. In reading through the book, she provided many examples, questions and exercises to uniquely personalize the experience to our own children.
This book is written in an easy to understand format, making it more relatable. Some of my favorite topics included:
- Defining the 4 Attachment Styles- This is the #1 struggle I feel I face as an adoptive parent. How will I know when my adoptive children have attached? Carol’s thorough list of examples for each attachment type has helped me to more clearly see where we are in this process.
- Roles of Family Triangles- I know its common that adopted children will naturally become closer to one parent over another, but are there things I can do to change that? To build both relationships simultaneously? Carol has give me some new insight and tools in this chapter!
- Behavior Plans & Charts- This terminology rolls off the tongues of the staff in group homes but meant nothing to me until I read Carol’s book. I feel like I now know how and why to implement a behavior plan!
- Defining the Team Roles- Our team is at an almost unmanageable size between the two children in our care. This section clearly defines who should be involved and what their role is. This is definitely a reference tool I will refer to over and over.
I would highly recommend this book to any foster or adoptive parents looking for a practical idea-driven approach to parenting foster or adoptive children with complicated traumas.
Carol Lozier is a psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in helping foster and adopted children and families. She graduated from Florida State University in 1989 with a Masters degree in Social Work. Carol can also be found here on Facebook and on the web.
Would you like to have your foster or adoption related book reviewed on my blog? Please contact me at email@example.com!
– Adoptive mom, Minnie
Book Review by adoptive mom and author of blog, fosteradoptionblog
When I became an adoptive parent more than nine years ago, I believed that my faith, combined with love and previous parenting experience of a biological child, would be more than enough to successfully integrate children without permanent homes into my family. In spite of much preparation and research, I had little understanding of how early deprivation and trauma can affect a child’s developing brain, which can in turn have a lasting impact on behavior, emotional regulation, and even daily interactions, including responses to discipline or correction.
While faith and love have certainly provided a strong foundation, parenting post-institutionalized children has required a paradigm shift which has often seemed counter-intuitive. The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide, by Carol Lozier, is a refreshing book written to assist families embracing and raising children whose lives began in less than ideal circumstances. The book teaches caregivers to understand the unique needs of adopted and foster children and then empowers parents with practical tools to help children heal from the trauma they experienced prior to joining their families.
The vignettes in the book allow the reader to identify with specific topics in a personal way, followed by exercises which prompt personal reflection and application. I especially appreciate the way Carol explains professional terms and concepts in a relevant way that is easy for families to understand and apply. My husband and I have been able to implement many of her strategies in our home and witness the positive results with our children.
Carol’s book addresses the expectations we have as parents and encourages us to move beyond ourselves into how we can best help our children heal. It offers validation for those of us who realized that our expectations were not realistic, and provides solutions for the challenges that arise when parenting wounded children. I believe any adoptive or foster parent would benefit from reading The Adoptive and Foster Parent Guide.
Kimber Graves is an Adoption Specialist for Bethany Christian Services, where she has worked for eight years, serving children and families throughout the state of Indiana. She is also the post-adoption coordinator at her church, Highview Baptist, in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, Kimber previously worked for Dr. James Dobson at Focus on the Family. Kimber is committed to assisting parents as they prepare for the lifelong process of adoption and empowering them with the tools to help children heal while maintaining healthy families. She lives in Sellersburg, Indiana, with her husband and three children, two of whom were adopted from China.
– Kimber Graves
Adoptive mom and Adoption Specialist for Bethany Christian Services
You may remember Carol from this interview that I did with her in 2010. She is a clinical social worker (MSW, LCSW) with over 20 years' experience working with children and families, with a focus on adoption and foster care issues. Carol obviously knows the value of a good therapist in working with children who have experienced trauma, but she also realized that 99 percent of the issues that families struggle with arise at home, not in the therapist's office. Parents need tools that they can use at home, in the moment, when behaviors related to trauma and loss arise. This book provides them with exactly those tools.
The book is organized "magazine style," making it easy to dip in at any point in the book and learn what you need to know if you don't have time to read it cover to cover. It teaches parents how to distinguish normal bumps in the road of childhood from issues related to past trauma. It goes over the psychology of attachment in terms that are easy to understand. Most importantly, it gives parents strategies that they can use immediately and every day with their children to open up the lines of communication and help heal the emotional scars of trauma and loss. While there are many books that teach parents to make children feel secure and talk about adoption in a respectful way, Lozier gives parents the tools of a therapist to get to the heart of the matter and help heal the wounds of the past. The scripts, exercises, games, and tips in the book fill the need that so many adoptive and foster parents express when they lament, "sometimes I just don't know what to do." Speaking of parents who feel overwhelmed, Lozier also includes a chapter on self-care for parents and caregivers, providing an important reminder that we can't care for children if we don't first care for ourselves.
The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide fills a need in the adoption community, and I believe it will change many adoptive and foster families for the better.
The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide is available at the Forever Families website.
– Elizabeth Vaughan
Adoption attorney and author of blog, Adoptivity