Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

"Birthdays may be difficult for me."

"I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family."

"When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me."

"I am afraid you will abandon me."

The voices of adopted children are poignant, questioning. And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to children's unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.

With warmth and candor, Sherrie Eldridge reveals the twenty complex emotional issues you must understand to nurture the child you love--that he must grieve his loss now if he is to receive love fully in the future--that she needs honest information about her birth family no matter how painful the details may be--and that although he may choose to search for his birth family, he will always rely on you to be his parents.

Filled with powerful insights from children, parents, and experts in the field, plus practical strategies and case histories that will ring true for every adoptive family, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew is an invaluable guide to the complex emotions that take up residence within the heart of the adopted child--and within the adoptive home.

cover of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knewauthor: Sherrie Eldridge
asin: 044050838X
binding: Paperback
list price: $15.00 USD
amazon price: $13.02 USD


The not formally published list for curious readers

Adoptees, in our own private sub-groups, tend to create our own lists of things we wish others would know about "The Adoption Experience".

However, AP attacks prove such attempts are not safe.

Still, there is the occassional brave soul who is willing to put ideas into words, without thinking about the nodding approval given by AP's OR the book-publishing industry.

Below is a great list of "things the adoptee thinks, as a child": 


  1. That many times I was embarrassed and ashamed of my birth culture because it was so profoundly different than that of my family and my friends.  That too often it served as an easy and irresistible source of teasing and fodder for others - strangers and classmates alike.

  2. That despite my parent's unconditional love for me, I couldn't help but feel that I was the last option for them to finally have children.

  3. That phrases like "Thank God we can always adopt" or "Well, at least there's a world of unwanted children we can adopt from since we can't have kids of our own" only fed into my belief that adoption truly is, for virtually all couples, the very last resort by which to create a family.

  4. That as a young girl, the thing I was most grateful for was not having a sister who was my parent's biological daughter.  That even the mere thought of being compared or having to share my parents with a sister who was their "real" daughter was too much for me to bear.  Being the oldest and the only girl was my way of telling myself that I was special, even when I didn't always believe it.

  5. That instead of always hearing, "You're so lucky to be adopted", that it would have been nice to just once hear "It must be hard sometimes to be adopted."

  6. That the insatiable need for me to be perfect was a way to make me feel more valuable, and therefore less likely to be abandoned once again.

  7. That the insatiable need for me to control every facet of my environment was a way to feel safe and secure during a time when I felt that I was disposable.

  8. That my mind understood why my Korean mother had to give me up, but that my heart didn't.

  9. That the message "She loved you so much that she gave you up for a better life" meant that it was sometimes scary to be loved so intensely by my adoptive parents.

  10. That deep down, I wondered if I could ever be good enough.  After all, I was left and given away as a baby; why would anyone leave their baby unless that baby was bad and unwanted?

  11. That I dreamed of going back to Korea just to be able to fit in amongst my peers.  That I would have given anything to just once be the girl who was thought of as being popular, pretty and "normal", instead of the one whose sole appearance brought forth so many unwanted questions and assumptions.

  12. That often I thought of ways I could make myself look more white, just so I wouldn't feel like such a monster.

  13. That I wondered what it would have been like to be the girl someone fought fiercely over, instead of feeling like the child my Korean parents didn't want and the daughter that my adoptive parents had to settle for.

  14. That I felt so incredibly guilty anytime I felt anything sad or bad about my adoption.  That it was much better to hold everything in than to hurt my parents who I know loved and adored me more than life itself.

  15. That I became very adept at spinning my own adoption story, for the sake of my own survival. 

  16. That it was impossible to be angry or hateful towards my Korean parents for leaving me, and yet impossible to forgive myself for being left. 

  17. That I got to a point where my mind truly believed everything I was saying about not feeling any effects or fallout from being adopted, even if my heart and body felt markedly different.

  18. That one's body will not lie, no matter how much you ask it to keep on pretending.

  19. That my tantrums, outbursts and fits of rage were my way of trying to say, "I'm hurting so badly inside and more than anything, I am afraid that you will leave me."

  20. That love, no matter how deep nor abundant, can ever erase the past.

  21. That in spite of everything, I knew I would come out on the other side. 

  22. That I have loved, and been loved and that one day I would feel that I was actually deserving and worthy of that emotion.

  23. That what others saw in myself would one day be evident to me as well.  And hopefully one day, with God's grace, I would truly learn to love and forgive myself. 


[From:  Twenty-Three Things This Korean-Adoptee Thought About as a Child, January 27, 2009 ]

 Now... imagine, if you can, the Abused Adoptee's List of Thoughts, as a Child.

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