The problem of finding negative birth family history brings adopted and foster kids to a decision point. Will they be defined by the past or begin living anew? Sherrie Eldridge just experienced negative birth history and shares her thoughts for going on,

What Should Adoptees and Foster Kids Do with Negative Birth History?

It’s a feeling like none other. A churning. A desire for truth in the inmost parts, propelling me to action. If you were to see me now,  you would think I were searching for gold.

Instead, its clues from my alleged birth father’s military records.

Records reveal that he was suffering from psychoneurosis, anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, sleeplessness, and headaches which were the results of a “hold up” (his words).

Who in their right mind would do this? Most people don’t need to look for relatives. And what would normal families think of me searching for lost relatives with negative, painful histories?

Am I a fool?

Should I be sneaky and not let anyone know I am searching?

Sometimes, I feel like a little imp, begging for food on the street corner.

It’s just not fair that we adoptees have to be the searchers.

They should search for us.

Even though birth father wasn’t able to serve in the military as a soldier, he later enlisted in Arkansas in a different capacity…a chauffeur. His home was in Portland Oregon. Also, he has auburn hair.

I’ve been told by experts that the DNA matching is really quite credible. It shows me to have a half-sister and half-brother.

And so, the journey continues.

My adoptee heart that yearns for truth reminds me that adoption, indeed, is a lifelong journey.

This day, I am grateful for my adoption, which removed me from a mentally-ill father and an abusive mother.

God is good.











10 responses to “What Should Adoptees and Foster Kids Do with Negative Birth History?”

  1. Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author Avatar

    I trust in the promise that God knows every day of my life before any of them come to be. And, He is good! Psalm 139:16

  2. Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author Avatar

    Yes, I get it. This is time to turn to God.

  3. J-Dub Avatar

    I get it and unfortunately I will be on my deathbed with regrets. I have searched and exhausted everything. Basically I took the risk and failed. I think I tell myself no history is better than negative history to soothe my feelings of loss. I cannot put in words how awful this feels.

  4. Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author Avatar

    Yes, no info can be a comfort if you ultimately find painful info. However, out of the negative have come blessings beyond my wildest imagination. Three sisters and three brothers. I really believe in turning over every stone along my path. Otherwise, on my deathbed I may regret not having taken the risk.

  5. Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author Avatar

    Please don’t feel sorry for me! I love the adventurous life I’ve been given. Open adoption is not the panacea, but it is a good step forward.

  6. HerdingChickens Avatar

    This post really saddens me. My first thought was, “Why do you have to do this at all? Why didn’t you have this information to start with?”
    I think in foster care adoption (and in adoption in general) we are trending towards openness today. Especially with children from the foster system who have already lived the experience, why not tell them their own histories?
    I struggle with our children’s open adoptions. There is a birth dad at my house right now working on his/our son’s car. If he steps out of line at all I have no problem kicking him out. If he can be appropriate (read:safe and kind) with our boy then I believe it’s a good thing. I’m really sorry for all of the searching you had to do.

  7. Heather Brandt Avatar

    It’s been hard having absolutely no info. on one of my children’s birth father(no name, nothing) and never having gotten access to info. from birth mom as birth searcher not able to talk to her and her adoptive parents didn’t even know of our son’s existence…and to know that we may never know his identity at all. I always appreciate you and other adult adoptees sharing your experiences and struggles because I hope some day it will help my son to know he is not alone.

  8. J-Dub Avatar

    Reminds me of be careful what you wish for. My search has been fruitless. My no history is better than negative history. Too bad someone else made that choice for me.

  9. Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author Avatar

    Obviously, Susan, you haven’t let that negativity impose on who you are. Congrats!

  10. Susan Avatar

    So much of what I have learned from doing my DNA, I’m in all the data bases has been very negative about the family that my bio-parents came up in.
    I am glad that I was relinquished for adoption so that I didn’t have to grow up in alcoholic dysfunctional families. Some of that must be hereditary though
    while I don’t drink I can go into a room of 100 strangers and be attracted to and find the alcoholics. Its crazy!

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