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January 2018 Related Resources: Adoption and Fostering

Wanting to dig deeper into one of our selections? We research related resources -- articles, videos, and more -- to help you expand your knowledge beyond the pages of our selections.

Wanting to dig deeper into one of our selections? We research related resources -- articles, videos, and more -- to help you expand your knowledge beyond the pages of our selections.


For Forever, or a Long, Long Time we will be dividing our resources up into three different themes. First we are starting out by taking a look at some of the topics Flora and Julian discuss with their families including where they come from, their lifebooks, and what makes a family a family, and how loneliness affects your health.  Julian’s tendency to hoard food is a common one with children who have experienced trauma or tumultuous situations. Next, we explore a bit more into that subject and share some great blogs regarding adoption. Finally, we'll a closer look at how foster care and adoption are portrayed in pop culture, with an emphasis on foster care resources.

First, we want to start out by sharing the language we will be using to discuss this theme. By incorporating positive adoption language into conversations, you can help combat common adoption stereotypes while educating others. Let this list be your guide.

Flora and Julian create some interesting theories on where they came from since they believe they were never born. Some other children have some interesting theories on where they came from as well. Of course, we couldn’t help but dive into the origin of the theory that the storks deliver babies. (Did you know there is a movie all about this theory?! )

Emily spends much of the second half of the book searching for Flora and Julian’s lifebooks in order to prove that they were born. Learn more about these important pieces of a child’s history. 

Flora, Julian, and Emily spend some time on the boardwalk in Maryland. Check out the Ocean City Boardwalk in Maryland for a glimpse of their experience. 

Flora’s father says that loneliness can truly affect a person, and he was right. Check out this New York Times article on how loneliness affects health.

Want to enjoy a snack while reading the novel that Flora would love as well? Try this recipe for a delicious and mouth-watering lemon cake

Dr. Oz explores how to cope with a child or family member that is hoarding food or items.

A family who has experienced hoarding with their children shares their experience.

This list of why children may feel the need to hoard provides seven reason why it may occur. 

White Sugar Brown Sugar shares their family experience with adoption. 

Adoptive Families is a great resource for families who are looking to adopt or have adopted. 

World Adoption Day is on November 9th, but we are celebrating all month long! Learn how you can join in here

Teen Mom couple Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra placed their first daughter Carly for adoption when the couple was only 16 years old. Now that they have a second child, they are navigating their relationships on camera. 

NPR asked several parents what they wished they had known about the foster care system. 

This Is Us has several storylines to follow, but one of the most compelling is their portrayal of adoption. In season two, they have explored the foster care system

Sandra Bullock opens up on why she chose to adopt from the foster care system. 

The Fosters is a show on Freeform that focuses on the lives of a foster family. 

Tiffany Haddish opens up about how foster care has shaped her life and shares her experiences growing up.

Abby Perry is using social media to raise money for the foster care system and foster families in a unique way.


For Secret Daughter, we will be breaking up our resources based on the four parts of the book. The resources flow in order they are mentioned in the book.

On the way to the orphanage in Bombay, Kavita reflects on "what power there is in naming another living being." She gives her daughter the name Usha at birth, but she is later raised by her adoptive parents as Asha. Kavita's name changed when she was married, and her given name reappears again later in the story. Even Krishnan becomes known as "Kris" in America. Many adoptive parents also give their adopted child a new first and/or middle name, and this is the stage where the concept of name = identity can get more muddled. Most experts say that children should not be re-named once they are old enough to recognize and respond to their name. This can be as young as one year. You can learn more about the different perspectives in this article from The Guardianand this resources from the Minnesota Department of Human Services

In the first moments when we meet Kavita, she is worried about the coming monsoons while she gives birth. You can learn more about the monsoon season in India and also see its effects thanks to this National Geographic video.

Learn more about the locations in Part One. When we first meet Kavita, she is in Dahanu, India. We later move to Bombay (now known as Mumbai) when Asha is adopted by Kris and Somer. 

The situation that Kavita finds herself in with her husband and her baby girls is unfortunately one that still occurs in India. CNN recently covered a news story similar to that of Kavita. 

The dowry system in India has been illegal since 1961, however it is still prevalent. Actual numbers are not known, but one woman explains her experience with her family in this article.

Learn about the changing agriculture in India with this video.

Jasu initially thinks he will find work as a dhabahwallah, or a tiffin carrier. Learn more about tiffins (a type of lunch box) and what this job entails. This service is over one hundred years old and is finding its way through our modernizing world. NPR highlights how these workers deliver 200,000 hot meals each day by hand. You can even see it in action in this video

Food plays a major part in the events of Parts Two and Three. Here are some recipes for a few of those that were mentioned (and the characters seemed to enjoy). Chana Masala, or savory Indian chickpeas and garam masala, a type of spice blend. During Diwali, some of the foods that were featured in the book included dhokla, a spongy treat, and dal, which is perfect for those cold winter months.

Diwali is featured throughout Parts Two and Three as well. Learn more about this celebration for the Festival of Lights from Trip SavvyUSA Today has some great videos to help you experience the celebration from home. 

Courting in India is quite different than it is in the United States. Learn about some of the dating traditions with this resource and you can learn about arranged marriages here.

In the wedding that Asha attends in India, mehndi or henna is a main portion of the preparation for the bridal party. This article has some stunning photographs as does this website.

Kavita really wrestles with her choice to place Usha (Asha) in the orphanage. Birth mothers like Kavita can have an emotional struggle with the separation from their children. NPR gives us a look at the birth mothers’ perspective in this article from 2004. 

Asha visits the Mahalaxmi Temple after finding Kavita will be away for a few weeks. Learn about the history of this temple and check out the gallery of photos.

Take a look at the Elephanta Caves that Asha visits while in India! You can take a quick tour with this video or you can learn about them from UNESCO

Asha takes part in the cremation ceremony for her Dadaji. Here are some of the traditions she might have also taken part in. The BBC gives you a quick “bite size” overview of these traditions. 

What is life like after you have reconnected with your biological siblings? This articleexplores several examples of siblings reconnecting and building relationships after being separated for so long. Today recently featured a story where siblings were reunited after being apart for sixty years! 

This article explores what can happen with children are reunited with their birth families, both the good and the bad.