The main thing I've realized is that traumatized kids need what all kids need. The difference is you can still produce fairly well-adjusted people doing harmful shit to non-traumatized children. And children with traumatic pasts take a longer time to get the "desired results" (adaptive behaviors) parents want, but if parents do the right things all children will get there.
Also, seriously, we are all- I mean, ALL people struggling with so much baggage. Parents (foster care, adoptive and biological) are unable to do the things (all) kids need because their own shit gets in the way. There is so much healing needed. When I look at the families that don't "make it" (meaning the parents end up deciding not to adopt. yes, people actually do that. sadly more likely than you would expect or want to believe) there is a mixture of reasons, but it is often because no one ever did it for them. They can't help the children heal because they have their own wounds that need healing.
So what is needed? Simply put, attachment parenting and positive discipline. All the advice we end up giving, the only things that work for our kids, is attachment parenting and positive discipline. Turning away from punishment, moving towards many things that some traditional parents would label "spoiling." Hasn't Ferber himself discredited his own "cry it out" madness? And the studies all indicate spanking, time out and the like does not work. Sorry, it's the studies saying it, not me. Well, it's both me and the studies.
My notion of child abuse has greatly widened since starting this work. There's a lot of emotionally abusive, neglectful stuff that would not get one a CPS case that I think should disqualify people from being allowed to parent. And then we get all the emotionally stunted, bruised, attachment-challenged folks raising children who will become the same. I should be used to people not listening to me by now. But there is something so terribly frustrating about having the answers, knowing what people need to do to make their lives and (more importantly) their children's lives better and having them respond with "whatever! I do what I want!" And all you can do is watch as the latest era of wounded people gets produced.