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

295 customer reviews

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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.

Review

"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

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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: 5.2 x 0.6 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 (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sherrie Eldridge...Championing Adopted Kids Everywhere

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.
One adoptive parent said she had a beautiful heart because she had the courage to tell him what his daughter might experience in the growing-up years.

Site: SherrieEldridge.com
Blog: SherrieELdridge.com/blog/
Blogher: SherrieEldridge
Facebook: sherrie.eldridge; 20ThingsAdoptiveParentsNeed2Succeed
Pinterest: adoption author
Twitter: SherrieEldridge
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

346 of 353 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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281 of 288 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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153 of 162 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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291 of 324 people found the following review helpful By James J. Hutton on August 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a 38 year old adoptee and adoptive parent. I was adopted as an infant, as was my own adopted daughter. As others have pointed out, this book is clearly both overly negative and overly dramatic. I would like to add that following the advice of the author could even be very harmful to your adopted child. In particular, I was taken aback by the author's suggestion that you should essentially tell your child that he or she must have unresolved grief issues and help him or her uncover them. That is just plain wrong. Please understand that it is entirely likely that your child, especially if he or she was adpoted as an infant, will never have any significant feelings of loss or grief. DO NOT CREATE THOSE FEELINGS OUT OF SOME MISGUIDED EFFORT TO HELP YOUR CHILD "UNCOVER" SUPPOSEDLY SUPPRESSED FEELINGS. In my own experience, I have always known that I was adopted and that I have been loved by my parents. I simply have no negative feelings regarding my own adoption. None. However, if my parents had read this book when I was a child and decided that they needed to tell me that I must have those feelings and we had to find them and focus on them, I undoubtedly would have needed years and years of therapy.

The advice in this book might have some helpful relevance to those who are adopted as older childen. However, for those adopted a infants, what you should do is tell them early and often that they are adopted and loved. Let them know that you are always available to talk with them about any feelings or questions they might have. If they have questions, answer them matter of factly. Do not burden them with negative feelings that they probably do not have and will never develop.
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