Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie EldridgeBirthdays may be difficult for me.
I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family.
When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me.
I am afraid you will abandon me.
The voices of adopted children are poignant, questioning. And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to childrens unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.
With warmth and candor, Sherrie Eldridge reveals the twenty complex emotional issues you must understand to nurture the child you love--that he must grieve his loss now if he is to receive love fully in the future--that she needs honest information about her birth family no matter how painful the details may be--and that although he may choose to search for his birth family, he will always rely on you to be his parents.
Filled with powerful insights from children, parents, and experts in the field, plus practical strategies and case histories that will ring true for every adoptive family, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew is an invaluable guide to the complex emotions that take up residence within the heart of the adopted child--and within the adoptive home.
Things Not to Say to Adoptive Parents
Or we ask a question that is outside the boundaries without realizing it. Many friends and family members of adoptive parents are facing the same struggle before and after a family brings home a child. So here is a guide to what to say and what not to say to adoptive parents that you can pass along to your friends to help them feel more at ease. You are so lucky to have him. Friends should be mindful of the struggle that child has been through, especially those in the foster system. Otherwise, this subject is off limits unless the adoptive parents offer the information. Are you going to have any children of your own?
By Christen Shepherd Jan 24, Photo: iStockPhoto. But that was nothing compared to the boundaries people crossed after I expanded my family through adoption. So many unsolicited questions and comments have floored me—and my kids, who were all too often in earshot. As opposed to robot kids who really should have been programed to clean up?
How do you make sure he's white with blue eyes? I shared that adoption won't ever be a secret or anything we are ashamed of, and that we will celebrate the beauty of diversity and embrace any culture into our family. This was the first of countless, unintentionally offensive, anti-adoption conversations we have had since beginning our journey. I became a mama by adoption, so this journey is sacred to me. It's both tragic and beautiful, grievous and joyous.
Things NOT To Say To Adoptive Parents
Here are the answers to the most egregious FAQs adoptive families face, so that you don't have to ask. How much did she cost? No child joins a family for free--think about those hefty hospital or midwife bills for a standard birth. When we adopted our daughters, we also paid for services rendered: Our "midwife" was a mild-mannered social worker who interviewed us and toured our home to make sure we were fit parents, and who helped us manage the mountain of paperwork and background checks we needed to ensure the adoption was on the up-and-up. And that was where all those adoption fees went. Why did his real parents give him up? There are millions of reasons that parents may choose to allow another family to adopt their child--from strict government policies to personal tragedy to extreme poverty.
When we adopted Lily, she was 3. Things changed for us at a speed we were not expecting. When we had our son, Thomas, biologically, we found the pressure and the stress of parenting to be the same, but the level of support was very, very different. Looking back, we didn't get the support we so desperately needed when we brought Lily home. I think people -- even today -- don't think that adoptive parents go through the same things that you do when you have a biological child.