Twenty Things I Wish Adoptive Parents Knew
(an excerpt from the book by Sherri SHerrie Eldridge)
1. I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not
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 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 my be.
9. I am 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 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
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 at times.
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.