I am an author, adoptee, and adoptee advocate who is downright passionate about sharing this good news with the entire adoption triad!


For adoptees, freedom from their painful, anger-ridden past.

For adoptive parents, freedom from their condemning selves.


The Lady in the Black Hat


This picture of a young woman with stunning pearls illustrates how I feel as an adopted person. I didn't have my pearls early in life, but gained them with every passing decade. I hope they now are like a steady hand in the world of adoption.

When I saw this photo a few years ago, it drew me in. The combination of elements in the photo are open for interpretation. Perhaps the pearls are her fav necklace? And, she might be quite the style queen with the black hat? The dark red lipstick with gloss might indicate that she’s celebrating her womanhood?

What do you think? Does something about her make you wonder what may seem like a weird combo? After all, black is usually typical of funeral dress, right? And the pearls? They may be the “pop-together” pearls that were popular back in the day. As you envision the rest of her in imaginary portrait style, do you see her in a black dress and white gloves?

In my more-than-plentiful adoptee imagination, this is how I see myself at this stage of life. I’ve gone through more than my share of loss, rejection, and grief. I’ve had to pull my car over years ago when I couldn’t see through an avalanche of tears, Yet on that side of the road, God told me that He was there on the day I was born and that I am His jewel.

Thus, today, I choose a black hat, signifying that I walk on a daily basis free of that grief, yet I ask myself if it really ever goes completely goes away. What do you think? I’m sure my body and brain have recorded it. But, it’s simply a fleeting memory now and I can put on my black hat every morning to remind myself that all pain won’t be released until I see my Savior.

I will also put on the beautiful pearls. So, she’s gained the pearls through hard inner work and the pearls are proof that she’s gained inner strength through processing grief. Thus, she walks with confidence.I also see them as pearls of wisdom while walking through daily life on planet earth. Throughout my day, I might hold one or two of them in my fingers and feel their smooth edges…or look at them in the mirror and see their beautiful luster. I may smile, and give thanks for each one.

And, how about the dark, red shining lips? The lipstick is finely applied, with a touch of gloss on top. This suggests maturity, sophistication, and an eloquent sense of style. I will claim all that for myself and wear MAC red lipstick as proof that I am one awesome woman, made in the image of God.

Let me challenge you? What do the elements in this photo suggest to you?

  1. What losses have you experienced and where are you with the grieving process?
  2. Would you choose the black hat, and if so, what would it mean to you?
  3. What are your pearls? What wisdom and growth have occurred in the midst of or in the wake of loss and grief?
  4. For women friends, what about the lipstick? What does it signify to you? For men friends, maybe it’s your beard? How can you celebrate who you are?

If you need a resource to help you grieve, here is a book I love:

FORGIVE AND FORGET: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve, by the late Lewis B. Smedes.






The Hot Potato of Adoptee Anger

“Adopted and foster kids have every right to be angry. We are wounded beyond belief. We’ve judged by media and places of worship, misunderstood, labeled as losers, shamed, pitied, abused, misrepresented, ignored, shunned, marginalized, orphaned and sent away with our few belongings in a black trash bag.” Sherrie Eldridge What Is Anger? Anger is a…

The Special Needs of Adopted Children

Adopted children have special needs that adoptive, first, and foster parents must learn  in order to become their child’s #1 cheerleader. Use this list as needed and as age-appropriate for discussing special needs with your child. You might say, “An adopted person wrote a list of her special needs. Would you be interested in seeing…

What Feeds Adoptee Loss and Grief

What are we to do with this, friends? Can we educate ourselves about these topics and be willing to lunge forward into forgiveness? It would be scary, like standing on the high dive platform before deciding to jump in. But, oh, if we do, we will be washed clean from bitterness and healed from loss…

Sandcastles In Adoptee Hearts

How I identify with the message of the framed print above my bedroom table named: “My Sandcastle.” It pictures blue skies, a sandy beach, and a four-year-old girl straddling a two- foot-tall sandcastle. Busy at work, she slaps handful upon handful of wet sand upon her creation, oblivious to the seagulls flying overhead or the…

What Shakes Adoptive Mamas To the Core

Just like the band’s drum major twirls a silver stick with two rubber ends, adoptive mamas must do much the same–always marching, moving forward, and directing. The two ends of her baton are adoptee self-worth and suicide, which in my adoptee mind, are untouchables. Mamas are ultra aware of this fact, hyper-vigilant. They hear…

50 Adoptive Mamas Have Marine-Like Hearts!

It takes something special to develop a Marine-like heart in the world of adoption. A person with a Marine-like heart has completed the hard work of getting free from his painful past or condemning self. Because he has nearly experienced death in this process, he has compassion for those that are hurting. The US Marines…