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Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew Paperback – October 12, 1999

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Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew + The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family + Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reissue edition (October 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044050838X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508380
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As both an adoptee and president of Jewel Among Jewels Adoption Network, Eldridge brings an original approach to the topic of adoption. In an attempt to inform adoptive parents of the unique issues adoptees face, she discusses adoptee anger, mourning, and shame and adoption acknowledgment while using case studies to illustrate how parents can better relate to their adopted child. This book is solidly written but not without its flaws; most importantly, it lacks information concerning child development, e.g., whether parents should use the same approach to questions with a three-year-old as with a 14-year-old. Still, this book will go well in any collection dealing with adoption, complementing David M. Brodzinsky's Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (Anchor, 1993) and Joyce Maguire Pavao's The Family of Adoption (Beacon, 1998).AMee-Len Hom, Hunter Coll. Lib., New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"This is the book I've been waiting for! For those of us who have an adopted child, it is crucial that we understand what the adoption process means to the adoptee. Sherrie's book warmly compels us to do just that."
MARILYN MEBERG, speaker for Women of Faith Conferences, author of Choosing the Amusing, and I'd Rather Be Laughing.

"Sherrie Eldridge has opened my eyes widely to the unique needs of my daughter and how to meet them."
STEVE ARTERBURN, Founder of New Life Clinics and Women of Faith, author of many best-selling books including The Seven-Minute Marriage Solution.

"So many questions about adoption remain unspoken, leaving children and parents paralyzed with confusion. Sherrie Eldridge gives voice to these questions as well as answers, offering hope and help.
--ELISA MORGAN, President of MOPS International

"Here at last is a book adoptive parents have been waiting for. Author Sherrie Eldridge has reached into her own experience s an adoptee and comes forth with twenty important issues that adoptive parents need to know in order to effectively parent their adopted children. A book all adoptive parents should read!"
NANCY VERRIER, MSW, author of The Primal Wound, Coming Home to Self

"I now know that adoption was the core issue and the start of all my problems. Keep up the great work, as your book is more insightful and valuable than any the professionals have written."
MARK HENDERSON, Scottsdale, Arizona

As a psychiatrist who has worked with dozens of adoptive families, and as an adoptive father myself, I can appreciate the sensitivity, understanding, common sense, and helpful suggestions given in this book. Sherrie has thrown the light of appreciation and understanding on the unique issues that often lie buried in the corners of adoptees' lives. -- Foster W. Cline, M.D., internationally acclaimed child and adult psychiatrist and co-author of PARENTING WITH LOVE AND LOGIC

What a useful book! Sherrie Eldridge has illuminated many issues adoptees and adoptive families face. Many books have addressed problems in adoption, but Eldridge tackles the real villain: unresolved loss and grief issues and the trauma that precedes all adoptions. [This book] is a gift to everyone involved in adoption. Eldridge's personal disclosures add a level of warmth and genuineness and yet do not overshadow her message but rather focus and heighten it. I am adding this book to my list of highly recommended books. -- Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., founder/director of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio and co-author of ADOPTING THE HURT CHILD

More About the Author

Sherrie Eldridge...Leading Adoptees To An Unshakeable Identity

A twice-reunited adoptee, Eldridge is a straight-shooting, transparent, and compassionate author, speaker, and trainer in the field of adoption. Her books are research-based, yet woven within are poignant messages pounded out on the anvil of her own adoptee heart. This is what makes Eldridge unique! Best-seller, 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, is required reading by many adoption agencies in the US.

Blogher: SherrieEldridge
Facebook: sherrie.eldridge; 20ThingsAdoptiveParentsNeedtoSucceed
Pinterest: adoption author
Twitter: SherrieEldridge
YouTube: Sherrie Eldridge
Yahoo: Eldridge_Sherrie

Customer Reviews

The book talks a lot about how kids can feel but doesn't talk about what to do to help your child.
Tim Beugel
I think the book has a lot of good information that makes us, as parents, aware of the POTENTIAL issues / challenges that adopted children MAY face.
Tonya S. Blanchford
This book emphasizes regret and loss on the part of the adoptee -- feelings that as an adoptee, I do not feel strongly about.
Kristina Sander

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

332 of 339 people found the following review helpful By A. E Rothert on June 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am now an adult. I was adopted as an infant. This is the first time I have seen in print many of the feelings of loss and abandonment being given up created in me. These are really feelings that should be experienced, experiences that should be grieved. The author advocates for openness about adoption, which I think is the solution: Don't pretend there wasn't an abandonment (even if it was for good reasons) and don't hide adoption like it is something to be ashamed of or over-do the opposite by labelling the adoptee "special."

The weakness of this book, as others have written, is that it dwells on the negative. There is a lot of good that comes out of adoption. It is probably the most important good thing that has happened to me to help make me who I am today. And most adoptees are like me in that they are accepted into loving families who are open about the adoption and do the best they can to make it day by day.

The author at times seems to be overly dramatizing the loss that adopted children feel. But this is likely intentional. This is, afterall, a book about what adopted children wish their adoptive parents knew. I *do* wish my adoptive parents had known that the feelings of loss and abandonment would be there... I wish I could have put words to what I was feeling earlier and to have known that I was not the only person to have such feelings, that I was, oddly enough, normal. We all dealt with it, but it would have been easier for me (and I would have been a more pleasant child) had we known to expect this issue instead of waiting for me to discover it myself while exploring my anger and seeming unwillingness to get too close emotionally to anyone.

So I recommend this book for adoptive parents and those considering adoption.
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274 of 281 people found the following review helpful By Kristina Sander on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a prospective adoptive parent AND adoptee, I found this book to be helpful in emphasizing some of the communication issues in adoption. This book emphasizes regret and loss on the part of the adoptee -- feelings that as an adoptee, I do not feel strongly about. I believe reading this book as an adoptive parent may give good insight into concerns and feelings, but as an ADOPTEE, I want prospective parents to know that my experience has been positive and happy -- therefore do not let this book discourage you. I found some interesting parallels to my life in this book, including hating birthdays and some of my actions growing up. I believe adoption can be more positive than the portrait the author paints. Readers can, however, use some of the communication suggestions the author makes.
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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful By N. Amirzafari on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I would have given this book a ZERO star rating if it was possible. I am an adoptee (very happy to be one--I love my parents!) and am in the middle of the adoption process myself. I found this book to be absolutely awful. I agree w/ the other 1 stars reviews that say this book is overly dramatic and overly negative. I will be speaking out often to tell any social worker or adoption agency to be very careful when they recommend this book to prospective adoptive parents. If this book is suggested to anyone----it should be with the clear message that SOME adoptees might feel some of these feelings..... but this book, in my opinion, is more of a 'worst case scenario' in how adoptees feel. It is the 'extreme' and not the norm. I kept thinking: PLEASE speak for yourself! DO NOT speak for "all adopted children". Another adoptee reviewer went as far as to say she kept wanting to tell this author to 'shut up' and as awful as that sounds....I have to agree. I felt the exact same way. And I kept reading w/ an open mind and tried and tried to 'hear her out" so to speak. I am opposed to the title because it implies all adoptees feel this way. It would be more appropriate to call the book something like "20 things some adoptive children MAY feel and would like you to know" but that is much less catchy.
It would be wrong to invalidate another adoptees feelings---they are his or hers alone. But they SHOULD NOT be applied to ALL adoptees! And this book does that. It is important for all adoptive parents to be aware of the (possible) struggles or issues that an adoptee may face. Key word is "may" face. Not everyone has such a painful adoptive experience. I certainly didn't.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful By S. Sheriff on June 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I was adopted by my parents when I was four months old. I always knew I was adopted and my parents later had a biological child just over three years after they adopted me.

Sherrie Eldridge's book says a lot about her own mindset, but there is not a lot of rational examination about adoption.

Ms. Eldridge believes that adopted children are victims who suffer an injury that never heals. These victims must be treated like victims. If they do not realize they are victims, they need to be indoctrinated into feeling their victim-hood. It's analogous to the guilt and victim industries that have thrived with regard to race, gender, socio-economic status, disability, disease, etc. Just like any industry, the individual circumstances are unimportant and inconsequential compared to the social template which Ms. Eldridge seeks to apply. Ms. Eldridge wraps her opinions in the pseudo-science of the adopted baby's primal experiences which supposedly haunt the psyche of every adopted child for the rest of their life. She offers no evidence to support this view, but it is clear that it reflects her personal perspective.

I'm sure there are adopted children who share Ms. Eldridge's perspective, but there are a lot of us who do not. I won the lottery when my parents adopted me. I know that there are two people who will never fail to support and love me. Among people I have met, that kind of unconditional love is extremely rare regardless of ties of blood or love/friendship.

I guess my point is that I do not consider myself to be a victim. I think that individuals are not preordained to react in a certain way to any given circumstance, such as adoption. I have not seen any evidence to suggest that primal scars haunt my subconscious.
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