Sherrie Eldridge is an adoptee herself and an author, speaker and trainer in adoption. She has written a book specifically about what adopted kids wished their parents knew.
This list will give you amazing insight whether you are an adoptive parent, an adoptee, or are considering adoption ... and they can also apply to kids and parents in the foster care system.
1. I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not responsible.
2. I need to be taught that I have special needs arising from adoption loss, of which I need not be ashamed.
3. If I don't grieve my loss, my ability to receive love from you and others will be hindered.
4. My unresolved grief may surface in anger toward you.
5. I need your help in grieving my loss. Teach me how to get in touch with my feelings about my adoption and then validate them.
6. Just because I don't talk about my birth family doesn't mean I don't think about them.
7. I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family.
8. I need to know the truth about my conception, birth, and family history, no matter how painful the details may be.
9. I'm afraid I was "given away" by my birth mother because I was a bad baby. I need you to help me dump my toxic shame.
10. I am afraid you will abandon me.
11. I may appear more "whole" than I actually am. I need your help to uncover the parts of myself that I keep hidden so I can integrate all the elements of my identity.
12. I need to gain a sense of personal power.
13. Please don't say that I look or act just like you. I need you to acknowledge and celebrate our differences.
14. Let me be my own person, but don't let me cut myself off from you.
15. Please respect my privacy regarding my adoption. Don't tell other people without my consent.
16. Birthdays may be difficult for me.
17. Not knowing my full medical history can be distressing for me.
18. I am afraid I will be too much for you to handle.
19. When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me and respond wisely.
20. Even if I decide to search for my birth family, I will always want you to be my parents.
Sherrie Eldridge....Coaching Adoptees to Get Strong and Move On
A twice-reunited adoptee, Eldridge is a straight-shooting, transparent, and compassionate author, speaker, and trainer in the field of adoption. Her books are research-based, yet woven within are poignant messages pounded out on the anvil of her adoptee heart. This is what makes Eldridge unique! Because her books hit core needs, readers review her work with anger or thanks. She takes this in stride, knowing its the price of being a pioneer and that many critics return with thanks. One adoptive parent said she had a beautiful heart because she had the courage to tell him what his daughter might experience.
In 2010, Eldridge received the Congressional Angel in Adoption Award from the Honorable Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana.