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Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains by Jenny Bowen -This is a beautifully written, inspiring story written by a former screenwriter turned social entrepreneur. After adopting her daughter from a Chinese orphanage Jenny noticed that many of the children didn’t receive the attention they needed to thrive. This is the story of how she took a simple idea of giving all the children an adult presence so that they would develop cognitively, physically and emotionally and persisted until her organization Half the Sky has helped to make fundamental changes to the Chinese Welfare System. First they sent families to help rebuild infant rooms in orphanages, they trained staff in developmental caretaking and now they partner with the Chinese government and work with approximately 52 sites to help improve the lives of children.amazon.com price $11.46 (PB) kindle price $12.74
Stuck (Streaming Video Download) – While not a book this documentary is so important that anyone interested in adoption, or the rights of children should watch this. The US government, based on reports from UNICEF helped to draft the Hague Convention that was supposed to help prevent child trafficking and promote domestic adoption within the child’s country of origin. While this looks great on paper what has happened is that this convention has all but stopped international adoption. Many of the countries that have ratified the Hague have been struggling to implement it leaving children stuck in orphanages. While many other countries can still adopt from some of these international countries the number of children adopted internationally was always highest in the USA. So without families from the USA adopting these children more and more children are being left to being raised in orphanages which we all know is detrimental to their growth and success in life. This DVD tells the story of international adoption and its demise. The organization Both Ends Burning who helped to produce this video is helping to fight for the rights of children to have a permanent home. If you would like to help please visit their website by clicking on their name above. amazon.com streaming download $3.99 (HD Rental) $2.99 (SD Rental) Free on Netflix streaming
Building Self-Esteem in Children and Teens Who Are Adopted or Fostered by Dr. Sue Cornbluth – Children who are adopted from foster care and those still in foster care often struggle with self -esteem and this book gives some great tips and valuable strategies to help change this. Parenting these children can often be challenging but this book is full of helpful advice that will help empower parents and the children they are parenting. The forward of this book is written by a former foster child and is very powerful in showing what a difference some of these strategies can make in a child’s life. amazon price $18.35 Kindle edition $11.49