20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
For well over two decades, Sherrie Eldridge has offered her unique voice within the adoption community, as an established author and international speaker. From speaking to Bejing orphanage workers, government officials, and police officers, to educating parents and orphanage workers in Thailand,to traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada to speak, Sherrie has been amazed at the opportunities she’s been given to share her adoptee heart. A parent from Puerto Rico said, “Sherrie has a beautiful heart because she’s willing to tell me what my daughter may experience while growing up adopted.” In addition, Sherrie’s identity is strong. She knows who she is and Whom she belongs to.
An adoptee herself, Eldridge is akin to an adoptee whisperer, coaching adoptive and foster parents how to gently approach their traumatized children and develop intimacy. Sherrie’s skill and insights didn’t come from books, but from the anvil of her own adoptee heart. From adoption at ten days of age, she spent time with orphans from the Children’s Home that her adoptive grandmother managed. It was there that she interacted with homeless kids of all colors, shapes, and backgrounds. To this day, she’s in contact with several.
Sales for her best-seller, TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW, currently exceeds 220,000 copies and has been translated into French, Spanish, and Japanese. Sherrie has run the gamut of experiences as an adopted person–traumatic relinquishment, only child, RAD, successful and unsuccessful birth family reunions, strained relationship with her adoptive mom. In spite of the painful parts, she wouldn’t change a thing. Why? Because song birds learn to sing in the night.
Sherrie’s approach to writing and speaking is positive, yet she states that losing one’s first family produces the deepest of suffering for both birth mothers and their children. In her thinking, physical adoption is society’s way of caring for orphaned children. Spiritual adoption is not the same and many Christians have wounded adoptees by equating the two. Therefore, Sherrie is “pro-adoption,” for it is the only system we have currently for unwed mothers and children, even though archaic and broken. She maintains that all parts of the adoption triad–adoptees, birth mothers, adoptive mothers– must offer mutual respect and honor. If wounding one another occurs instead, it’s an indicator that healing is needed for both mothers and adoptees.
Currently, she is working on another book-another 20 THINGS, which focuses on the mother/child relationship in adoptive families. Moms will learn why instilling love in their children’s brains is not dependent on the child’s level of receptivity. She will share her own story of recovery from her painful past and the steps others can take to discover the same healing.