Who Am I? Adoptive and Foster Parents Can Help Kids With Identity Issues

Who am I? This is the subconscious source of anxiety for many adopted and foster kids, no matter our age.

I don’t know of one adopted or foster kid that hasn’t asked that question. Should I identify with my birth or adoptive parents, or both?

What if one of them rejects me?

Here is the unshakeable identity I found along my journey. I long to share it with you. Please copy and share with as many people as possible.Identity with Jesus5

 


My Christmas Gift for You!

Everyone who knows me, knows that I have trouble waiting for the proper time to give gifts. I just can’t wait.

That’s how I feel about my gift to you this Christmas.

I made this with you in mind. I thought you might enjoy as you draw closer to God, not only during the Christmas season, but in every season of life.

Feel free to make as many copies as you want….and share!


An Adoptee’s Grief Dolly

One Adoptee’s Grief Dolly

When my dad died nearly 20 years ago, I couldn’t bear to get rid of the things from his house. The fine furniture he tried to refinish at retirement. The white leather  golf bag stuffed with every club conceivable. The framed photo of him and Mom from the bank where he worked for a lifetime.

Bob’s parents were very generous and let me house all of the furniture in their barn.

One time, my sister-in-law Mary was looking and found a dolly from my childhood. She was somewhere in my grief pile in the barn. I imagine her turquoise dress was covered with barn dust and bird droppings.

To Mary, she saw something else as she secretly took dooly home and went to a doll doctor, got her fixed, and then made a dress for her.

One Christmas, we opened the front door and there was Mary and daughter Julia with dolly all restored and dressed in a new red-checkered dress and red-polkadot ribbon. Her cheeks were as rosy as ever.

Suddenly, an object from my grief pile connected me to the warm memories of growing up at 609 S. Oakland Street, St. John’s, Michigan. The Christmas trees with snowball colored lights and gobs of foil icecicles adorning the branches.

Something lost became found and restored.

Restored by someone I love.

My reaction to grief has always been to get everything out of my sight that reminds me of painful loss.

After all, when I can’t see it, the grief will go away, right?

Ya, right.

I will always miss Dad.

He is the one God chose to be my dad from eternity past.

Was he perfect?

No….none can claim that.

After the last few months of searching for my biological father and finding such negative results, I am even more thankful that my life has been touched by adoption.

Grief and loss are what God delights to redeem.

He has done that for me multiple times, but today He did it with my childhood dolly dressed in a red-checkered dress, rosy cheeks, and black painted-on patten leather shoes.

What precious thing can you pull from your grief barn this Thanksgiving and Christmas?

I doubt its a dolly like mine, but something absolutely unique. That’s how God works.

 

 


What Do Hairstyles Have to Do with Adoption?

Who would ever think that a birth mother’s or adoptee’s hair style would have anything to do with their adoption reunion? After all, hairstyle is a personal choice, right?

 


Isolation Might Be Choice of Adopted and Foster Kids in Social Situations

Preparing Adopted and Foster Kids for Family Holiday Gatherings

There’s nothing much more shocking than walking into a room of family members who snub you. Well, not only snub you, but act like they don’t know you’re there.

I still remember when Bob and I attended the funeral of my beloved birth uncle Dave Clark, who stood up for me against a mentally-deranged and abusive birth mother…to his death.

Before the funeral, family gathered at his house.

When we arrived, no one said hello. No one reached out. They acted like they didn’t even see us.

Then, at the funeral, my aunt who was suffering from Alzheimers, kept calling out during the church service,”Where’s Sherrie? Where’s Sherrie?

I wanted to disappear.

We didn’t go back to the house after the funeral.

Foster children and fellow adoptees are all too familiar with these dynamics….they were first brought into a nurturing, strange home. This probably happened multiple times to foster kids.

Then, imagine the entire family gathered for dinner.

Again….trigger….going into a nurturing strange group of people.

Common Struggles Get Exacerbated On Special Days

As I think about Thanksgiving and then Christmas, I believe fellow adoptees and foster kids may struggle and dread it.  Probably parents, too? We may:

  • Prefer isolation to being with family
  • Go somewhere else and be with another family
  • Desire to eat Thanksgiving dinner in our rooms by ourselves
  • Not want to talk
  • Feeling like a square peg in around hole
  • Feeling that we don’t belong

What Can Parents Do to Help?

Be Proactive

Express empathy about their adoption journey, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. “I know sometimes special family gatherings can be stressful for you.”

Be Aware of Specific Issues

  • “I feel like something is missing.”
  • “I feel like I don’t belong.”
  • I get so angry at all of you.
  • I wonder what it would be like to have Thanksgiving and Christmas with my birth mother/father.

Make a Collage

If your child is old enough, have him make on i-phone or i-pad. Here’s a good site: https://preview.tinyurl.com/y6udr8qp

Suggest A Journey Pal

Perhaps, you and your child can find a fellow adoptee or foster child he/she can “check in with” through texting or phone calls throughout the family gathering. This will give him an anchor and hope.

Provide Brain Relief By Offering Mandala Activity

How we adoptees and foster kids hate social anxiety. Give us relief in the midst of family chatter by providing mandala coloring sheets.

This site provides a cazillion designs for mandalas and it’s free! All you need are the colored pencils. Costco is great for these. https://preview.tinyurl.com/yafch9eq

Thanks for letting me share.

SherrieEldridge.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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