A Roadmap Leading Adoptees To Healthy Choices: Guest Post by Sherrie Eldridge

A Roadmap Leading Adoptees To Healthy Choices: Guest Post by Sherrie Eldridge

Portrait of an Adoption is delighted to present this compelling guest essay about adoptee anger, written by bestselling author and adoptee Sherrie Eldridge!

By Sherrie Eldridge

When presenting a seminar a few years ago, a twenty-something woman stood and tearfully asked, “Will I ever be able to get over it?”

What was she so concerned about?

Anger…adoptee anger. It was eating her alive as well as destroying most of her relationships. She believed there was no way out and she was trapped for a lifetime, all because of adoption.

How I wish I could speak with that young woman now and tell her the good news I’ve discovered about adoptee anger.  I want to shout from the roof tops that there is hope! For decades, adoptees have believed the lie that there is no healing, no recovery from the wounds of hard beginnings and childhoods.

That simply is not true!

Good News about Adoptee Anger

 Anger and all the painful emotions surrounding it are a “rite of passage” for adoptees. Anger is an emotion we are meant to work through and not make our permanent residence. When anger is worked through, adoptees are mature and able to think clearly about decision-making and healthy relationships.

We adoptees are the male like teen who belonged to an Indian tribe that required a rite of passage into manhood. The father blindfolded the son and ushered him into the thick woods late in the afternoon.

After seating his son on a tree stump, he instructed him not to take off his blindfold or get off the stump before the sun rose the next morning.

Of course, the young man experienced all kinds of emotions when he heard predator animals moving around him, when he shivered from the cold, when unexpected gusts of wind ripped through the trees, and when he heard strange sounds.

The young man didn’t budge from the stump or take off his blindfold until morning. When the sun peeked through, he removed it and the first thing he saw was his father, sitting across from him. He had been there all night, ready to take out any animal that threatened his son’s well-being.

Every parent wants to be like the father who went through the rite of passage with his son. But, sometimes adoptees resist.

That is why I wrote my book, 20 Life-Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make.  It can be like the father, leading adoptees into unknown places to discover incredible truths about themselves and their unique life purpose. At the end of the journey, when the blindfold is removed, the adoptee will see fellow-adoptees on the journey with her.

These 70 adoptees will help anyone who loves an adoptee to understand the dynamics from the womb to the tomb.

Road Signs Point toward Healthy Choices

The crises adoptees endure, along with the accompanying emotions, often lead to a victim mindset.

Compounding this is negative birth history. If the parents are currently drug dealers or in jail, the adoptee may conclude that her life will go in the same direction.

We adoptees need to be taught that making good choices is not genetic! It is a skill to be learned and adoptive parents can assure us of their aid and support.

Here are a few truths that act as road signs for making healthy choices: 

·      Thoughts about our birth parents are innate

·      Painful thoughts about our adoptions are normal.

·      Learning adoption dynamics will help us relax.

·      It may often seem like no one “gets it.”

·      Share deep feelings only with safe people.

·      We can get unstuck from a pain past.

The Guilt-Free Zone

Readers must understand that adoptees usually keep their feelings in check. They believe they are weird and others, even adoptees, don’t have such weirdness. Beneath it all is shame and guilt.

But, read how the shame and guilt disappears when 70 adoptees enter into what I call the Guilt Free Zone!

I can’t tell you the excitement I witnessed watching the camaraderie and healing. They said, “We feel like we just went through therapy! We don’t feel alone anymore.”

So, take heart, fellow-adoptee friends. Uncontrollable anger need not last forever. It’s simply a place to pass through on your way to an incredibly fulfilling life.

Learn more from Sherrie Eldridge by reading her wonderful book, Twenty Life-Transforming Choices Adoptees Need To Make.  Sherrie is the bestselling author of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, as well as many other pivotal books on adoption. 

Like what you are reading? Check out Portrait of an Adoption’s new children’s chapter book JAZZY’S QUEST featuring adoptee Jazzy Armstrong! This is a groundbreaking piece of literature for adoptive families.

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Check out Carrie Goldman’s award-winning book Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (Harper Collins, 2012). www.carriegoldmanauthor.com

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