How Can An Adoptee Honor Abusive Parents?

Dear friends,

There are seven million adult adoptees in the United States.

I am one of them.

Out of those seven million, how many have or are suffering abuse from their adoptive families?

I am one of them.

For years, I’ve navigated my way through what I will name the “triple bind.”

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The Triple Bind for Abused Adoptees

My triple bind consists of these thoughts and circumstances:

  1. How can I tell the secrets of my adoptive home when they are the hands that feed me? And, after all, if they didn’t feed me, who would? They would probably send me away., that
  2. How can I speak to adoptive parents honestly and not be judged as an angry adoptee by them?
  3. How, as a Christ-follower, can I honor parents who were abusive to me? Will God get really ticked at me for “not giving a good report?”

Recently, through a gifted counselor, I began to realize the extent of my abuse.

I share, not to cast and bad light on my parents, but to shed light on secrets that we adoptees feel we must bear. I share to open imprisoned minds, to set the captives free. I share to shed truth on secrets long kept. I share for the good of my fellow adoptees.

Please know that I did whatever I could to be a loyal and loving daughter. I gave my parents birthday parties until their dying days. I did whatever I could to not disappoint them.

The Fishbowl of Abuse

As an innocent young woman, I didn’t know what it meant when my dad had me give lap dances to his male friends at dinner club. I didn’t know that he was deep into sexual addiction and that he was actually grooming me to be used.  The pornographic magazines that filled baskets in their bathroom, living room, and dresser drawers seemed not out of the ordinary to me growing up. I knew nothing else.

This was the fishbowl I grew up in, thinking all was what loving parents do.

Then, as a Christian, I must ask myself: How can I honor my parents? What does “honor” really mean?

My wise counselor shed a huge floodlight on this.

Honoring your parents means telling the truth about them.

Really? Really?

What if they’re dead and gone?

What does it matter, anyway?

Of course we forgive, but then we tell the truth.

I never heard this truth!

Maybe some of my fellow adoptees haven’t either?

The result of growing up in such a fishbowl?

Even at age 70, intrusive, awful thoughts, as if from nowhere.

They’re not about me….goodbye shame.

They’re rooted in my past.

This fall, I’m going to participate in a 12-Step Recovery group for those that grew up in such a toxic environment.

What You Can Do To Help

Here are some tips for recognizing sexual abuse trauma:

Rape Trauma: a common reaction to rape or sexual assault. It is a normal human reaction to an unnatural or extreme event. There are three phases to rape trauma:

  • Acute Phase: occurs immediately after the assault and usually lasts a few days to several weeks. In this phase, you can have many reactions but they typically fall into three different categories:
    • Expressed: when you are openly emotional
    • Controlled: when you appear to be without emotion, and act as if “nothing happened” and “everything is fine”
    • Shocked disbelief: when you react with a strong sense of disorientation
  • Outward Adjustment Phase: resume what appears to be your “normal” life, but inside you are still suffering from considerable turmoil. This phase has five primary coping techniques:
    • Minimization: pretending that everything is fine or convincing yourself that “it could have been worse”
    • Dramatization: you cannot stop talking about the assault and it dominates your life and identity
    • Suppression: you refuse to discuss the event and act as if it did not happen
    • Explanation: you analyze what happened, what you did and what the rapist was thinking/feeling
    • Flight: you try to escape the pain (moving, changing jobs, changing appearance, changing relationships, etc.)
  • Resolution Phase: the assault is no longer the central focus of your life. While you may recognize that you will never forget the assault, the pain and negative outcomes lessen over time. Often you will begin to accept the rape as part of your life and choose to move on.

Thanks for listening.

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What Is The Dark Night of the Soul?

Dear friends

Plumbing the depths of Scripture to learn what “the dark night of the soul” means, I came across information about Mother Theresa that has profoundly impacted me. Simply put, the dark night of the soul is when one feels abandoned by God himself.

Mother Theresa began her dark night of the soul after God called her to ministry.
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The dark night of the soul or night season is the transition we make from depending on our own sight and selves to total dependence upon Christ and his faithfulness.

The dark night means brokenness. None of us want to sign up for it, but he is a loving Father who knows exactly what we need to accomplish his will for our lives.

He knows we will never be content, never enjoy real freedom and never be truly fulfilled until we are “experientially” one with him.

If  God seems far away, or that He has abandoned you, you are in good company.

You will come forth as gold.

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Adoptive and Birth Parents: Don't Let Adoptee Excitement Fool You On Memorial Day

Dear parents,

You come to mind during this holiday weekend.

Holidays are such busy times, and they are often triggers for adoptees.

Why?

We get overloaded emotionally.

So, read the following chapter and replace Memorial with “Birthdays.”

I hope this helps!

“Birthdays (Holidays) May Be Difficult for Me.”

I wonder if my birth mother is going to be at the party.

I wonder if my birth mother is going to be at the party.

 

It’s a bright and sunny fourth day of August, back in the year 1950. In a back yard on Oakland Street, preparations are underway for a birthday party for a seven-year-old named Sharon Lee.

That’s me.

Dad and Mom move the picnic table to a shady spot under the big oak tree and then cover it with a colorful paper tablecloth. As Mom stirs the red Koolaid into the green and white polka-dot pitcher, her mind wanders back to adoption day and how thrilled she and Dad were when I came to live with them when I was only ten days old. Mom is determined to make this a special birthday, as she does every year.  Nothing but the best for her daughter will do.

The kids arrive for the party one by one, dressed in their Sunday best, each carrying a gift. Giggles permeate the air. Hot dogs and chips are soon served and then it’s time for the cake. Mom quickly lights the candles in the kitchen and carries the cake outside singing, Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Sherrie, happy birthday to you! My friends join in the singing.

            As Mom sets the decorated cake in front of me, my eyes get as wide as saucers. I jump up from my seat on the picnic table and dart in the back door, crying.

Strange behavior, you may be thinking. What kid wouldn’t want to be in your shoes? You had it made.

            As you will soon discover, this was only the beginning.

Patterns that Begin Early in Life

            The preceding reaction became my pattern for future birthdays. I would greatly anticipate them but then be overwhelmed with a mixture inexplicable feelings. Every year I ended up sabotaging the very event I was excited about.

            Stay with me and fast forward your thinking to 1960. I am now fifteen and my parents ask what I would like to do for my birthday. Dad and Mom would have bent over backwards to make this a memorable birthday. They loved me so much.

I don’t want a party. I don’t like being the center of attention. I opt instead to go with my parents to a pricey restaurant in East Lansing for dinner.

After ordering our food, I feel crabby (this was how Mom described my moodiness).  My parents don’t know what has come over me. They don’t understand my behavior and neither do I. The twenty-mile trip home is long and silent.

I feel so guilty for being crabby. What is wrong with me? I ask myself. How ungrateful can I be?

Now fast forward to 1970, I am a young married woman with two small children, ages two and four. It’s my twenty-fifth birthday and I decide to invite my parents to our home to help celebrate.

When they arrive, they’re carrying a pantsuit which I had admired in a hometown store window.

“Wow! What a present!” I exclaim.

Later in the afternoon, my husband and dad go out to play golf. As the hours tick by, I get angrier and angrier. How could they be so insensitive to me on my birthday? I fume. When they arrive a few hours later, I let them know of my displeasure in no uncertain terms. You could have cut the air with a knife!

The family is perplexed, to say the least. My parents have come all the way from Michigan to celebrate, they have surprised me with the clothing I admired, and my husband and children are planning dinner. What more could I ask for? But in spite of everything given to me, I am angry, critical, and disappointed.

One last time, fast forward to August 4, 1995. It is my fiftieth birthday–a milestone.  I anticipate it with great excitement. Instead of having a party with friends, I request a “card shower” from friends across the country. That way, I won’t have to be the center of attention.

From my husband, I ask for a gold diamond “Mother’s bracelet” and for food to be prepared from my favorite restaurant for an intimate family gathering. Not too tall of an order, right?

All day long prior to the party, I feel anxious. Knowing weeks ahead of time that it is going to be a difficult day for me, I schedule an appointment with my therapist, remarking to the doctor’s secretary that my birthday is a difficult day for me.

“Sad on that day?” she questions.  “Birthdays are supposed to be a happy day.”

What’s wrong with me? I wonder. Why are birthdays such a bummer for me?

Holidays are Triggers for Adoptes

Your child may withdraw if she is overloaded….with activities and fantasies…and even ungrieved loss.

The counseling appointment turns out to be a disappointment. Talking about my feelings to a professional doesn’t seem to help the chaos I feel inside.

Later that day, the family gathers for the meal which my husband has arranged.  I open their cards and gifts, feeling nervous and self-conscious. Why would I feel nervous and self-conscious with my own family? I ask myself.

When the party is over and my husband and I are driving home, I begin criticizing him for not doing enough. Why was he so preoccupied? Why didn’t he show me more attention? Why? Why? Why?

Poor guy. He had given everything I asked for and then some. I feel angry, sad, and guilty all at the same time.

It is embarrassing to give you a glimpse of my birthday history, but I do so to illustrate some of the internal dynamics that many adoptees experience on their birthdays.

“I had no idea,” I’ll bet you are saying. Why is it that birthdays are so difficult for some adoptees?

Why Birthdays May Be Difficult

Let’s back up for a moment and think about the concept of  birthdays. What does a birthday represent for the non-adopted person? For most, it’s a happy time, built on the foundation of being welcomed into the world. A time for birthday cakes, parties, and balloons.

Now consider an adoptee’s  birthday. What does a birthday represent for him? It represents the day of his greatest loss, the day he lost his birth mother and all that was familiar. It was not only his birthday, but his loss-day.

For the child who was adopted later in childhood, it reminds him of the wrenching-apart day–the day that the past, as he knew it, was to be no longer. For the baby adopted as an infant, the loss happened before he had words to describe it, but it was real, nonetheless.  The present-day birthday serves as a trigger, reminding him of past loss.

Nancy Verrier says in The Primal Wound of the child adopted at birth, “There seems to be an anniversary reaction (also felt by the birth mother), which sends many adoptees into despair around their birthdays…  is it any wonder that many adoptees sabotage their birthday parties? Why would one want to celebrate the day they were separated from their birth mothers? The adoptees, of course, have probably never really understood, themselves, why they do this.”

With the best of intentions, those who love the adoptee celebrate the day as if she were a non-adopted person. However, in the midst of the parties, in the midst of the celebration, many adoptees feel churned up inside. They know they are supposed to be happy, but a nagging thought plagues them: “I wonder if she (the birth mother) is thinking about me today. If she does on any day of the year, certainly it would be today.”

Weighing heavily upon the adoptee as well are society’s romanticized views of adoption. Be happy. Be grateful you have a family. Don’t disappoint your parents.

The adoptee’s response to all of the above? More often than not, he slips into the role of the “good adoptee,”  following through with what others expect. Shoved aside is his true self, sometimes wanting only to cry and be comforted. Or he does what I did by acting out my chaotic feelings and sabotaging everyone’s effort to show me love.

I don’t know about this, you may be thinking. I have never witnessed these behaviors in my child. Maybe not, but before you reach any conclusions, listen to the experts–adoptees themselves–and hear what they have to say.

What Adoptees Say About Birthdays

Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher describe a scene between a three-year-old and her adoptive mother in Talking with Young Children About Adoption:

“Is she coming? Is my lady coming?” the child asks.

“Which lady?” the mother asks.

“You know,” child replies, “the lady I grew inside. It’s my birthday, isn’t it?”

“I purposely go out of town on my birthday because I don’t want any attention,” said a thirty-year-old male adoptee.  “So I was born.  Big deal.  I don’t want any attention.”

“I hate my birthday,” Trisha confessed to her support group.

Reflecting on his teen years, Bob said, “Birthdays made me feel awkward when I was an adolescent.”

Dan said that birthdays were always bittersweet for him. As a child, he said he felt like he was living in a gap, or a changing room. Birthdays were a time when he remembered his birth mother and felt like the two of them were kindred spirits. Whenever he communicated these thoughts to his adoptive family, they had difficulty relating to what he was trying to say. He confessed, “On birthdays, I wished I could have been a better child for my adoptive parents.”

When Sarah turned eighteen, she felt very melancholy as she thought about her birth mother. All day Sarah ruminated: “I wonder what she is thinking.”

“My birthday is the blackest day of my year,” Melinda said. “My husband would always know because I would either lay in bed at night and cry or soak in the tub and sob. I wondered if my birth mother knew what today was.”

Navigating Holidays

Fireworks, sparklers, parties….be careful your child isn’t overloaded with excitement!

Beth says, “As I look back at my childhood, I think I felt the uninvited guest at my own party. I was there but disassociated. I was in the midst of some kind of script and moved through it, but without any heart, without any sense of connection or aliveness. I’m not sure why I cringe when I hear about the celebrations of Adoption Day. For me, the joining with a new family carries with it the separation from another family. This is a gigantic double bind: celebrating joining and simultaneously grieve leaving. I think this is impossible.

“As an adult, when I came to realize the hopelessness of trying, trying, trying to enjoy a birthday party, for a few years I allowed myself to do whatever pleased me on my birthday. One year I asked a friend to reserve the day. I knew that she would be with me if I just wanted to sit and stare, if I cried, if I wanted to get out of the city and cruise the countryside. She would simply support me in being. If friends wanted to take me out for lunch… whatever… we did that on a day other than the anniversary of my birth.

“Now, after much therapy and after being at the births of four of my grandchildren, I can genuinely celebrate my birthday. It took a lot of work on my part to be able to be glad I was born!”

Even though your adoptee may not verbalize similar thoughts and feelings, she may feel like the adoptees just cited. Of all the adoptees I have met, there is only a small minority that couldn’t identify with some of the above statements.

Why isn’t this written about in adoption literature? you may be wondering. Good question! I believe that for the most part it is uncharted territory. Perhaps that’s because adoptees rarely, if ever, talk about it, and parents or caring therapists might not have a clue that it is a problem.

What Parents Can Do

Recognize Distress Signals

Even though most adoptees don’t talk about it, I believe there are clues parents can look for in assessing whether their child is struggling with birthdays. Some of the symptoms you can look for in your child are:

  • feeling sad and angry at the same time
  • feeling like they can’t enjoy themselves
  • trying extra-hard to please you
  • wanting to run away and hide
  • criticizing those who give gifts
  • criticizing the gifts themselves
  • feeling victimized by expressions of love–none of them are enough
  • daydreaming (possibly wondering about birth mother)
  • being disgusted with themselves for acting angry or critical
  • feeling an unusual level of anxiety
  • minimizing the importance of their birthday–“It’s is no big deal”
  • sabotaging birthday celebrations
  • depression
  • withdrawal
  • self-condemnation.

If your child demonstrates any of these symptoms of distress, respond in some of the validating and comforting ways you’ve learned in other chapters. But don’t look for problems where there are none. Not all adoptees have a difficult time on their birthday. Many aren’t phased at all.

One female adoptee said, “Mom always made everything so wonderful. One year she let me invite my whole fourth grade class to my birthday party.”

Twenty-seven year old Bill said that his parents celebrated both adoption and birthdays. “I felt like I had two birthdays. It was great.”

Establish Special Birthday Rituals

Bill said his mother established certain rituals that brought a sense of continuity and belonging for him. Special dinners with all the family members present. Celebrating adoption day as “miracle day”–the day they brought him home to be their own.

Another thing you may want to consider to help your child deal with the mixture of feelings is to pull the grief box off the shelf at birthday time and add another item–perhaps a birthday candle. Go through all the emotions described in an earlier chapter to help the child get in touch with her feelings. Then put the grief box up on the shelf until it is needed again. If using the grief box doesn’t seem appropriate, perhaps you could pull your child’s life book out and go through it from day one, reading the welcoming letter you wrote to your child.

Ask Questions

Ask questions of your child preceding and on his special day. “What would you like to do on your birthday?” “How are you feeling about your birthday approaching? Some adoptees feel sad or even angry on that day. Do you ever feel that way? If you do, it’s okay to talk about it with us. We will do our best to understand and help you work through the mixture of feelings.”

Give Your Child Extra Attention

Think about some of the things that soothe your child. If he likes back rubs, give him one. Children need to calm their bodies, which are keyed up with tension.

Beefing up bedtime rituals can also be soothing: an extra story, a massage, a night light, thinking together of some good dreams to have, or a tape recorder to play some favorite music.

There is no sure-fire way to predict how your child will handle birthdays, but at least now you will be sensitive to the possibility that he may have unspoken needs.

I hope this helps you navigate this holiday and those to come!

This is chapter 18 from Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. Copyrighted! You may share with a support group, however.

Love to you all!

You may order the 20 Things book here: Http://SherrieEldridge.com/shop

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Does Placing Your Adopted Child in Residential Care Make You A Loser Parent?

An Adoptive Parent's Worst Nightmare

One of the most heart-wrenching decisions an adoptive parent can make is to place their adopted youth in residential care.

Dear friends,

I can’t imagine a worse nightmare as an adoptive or birth parent than having to make the decision to place your adopted youth in residential care.

Perhaps she is deeply depressed, shut down and unresponsive, cutting herself, or attempting suicide.

It would be so easy to deem yourself as a failure parent.

Instead, why not tell yourself and your child that you are sending her away for a year to save her life?

It still will be extremely painful to say goodbye, knowing that your child fears abandonment.

However, she will live through it and hopefully grow from it.

How can I say that with confidence?

I’ve been there.

When my family checked me into a stress center for clinical depression, tears ran down my daughter’s and husband’s cheeks. I felt so guilty for causing them such pain.

After the intake interview and a short visit in my room, they left.

Two huge doors shut behind them.

Heart pounding, I ran to follow.

A nurse told me I was in a lock-down unit.

In the weeks ahead, my depression was brought under control through drugs and therapy.

Eventually, I regained my emotional health and grew stronger.

You may witness some of what my family did…but know that the pain is temporary and your child can grow stronger because of the decision you’ve made.

Placing your child in residential doesn’t mean you are a failure!

It means you are doing the most loving thing possible for your child.

Some day, she will thank you…just as I thank my husband and daughter for keeping me safe in the hospital.

Write to me if I can be of any help to you!

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Helpful link with tips: http://jonnymatthew.com/2015/11/29/residential-child-care/

Special Spiritual Needs of Adoptees

Whisper Adoption Affirmations

“Want me to remind me of who you are in God’s eyes?”

Dear Adoptive and Birth Parents,

How are you going to answer your child’s secret belief that his life was/is a mistake?? Where can you find an answer that will soothe his/her heart? This is the deepest, darkest shame possible and none of your children would admit it to you.

Trust me, MOST adoptees struggle with this question.
What is needed for the questioning child?

A spiritual answer.

Here are a few gems you may want to consider:
1.God’s heart was the place of our conceptions. Our lives began, not at conception, not
at birth, not on adoption day, but in eternity past-in the very heart of God Himself. He is our Creator!
Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” Ephesians 1:4-6: “For He chose us in Him
before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to His pleasure and will-to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”
2. The gift of birth and we are very thankful for their gift, but God receives the glory for all life. He is Life!
John 1:3-4: “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
Psalm 139:13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Esther 9:6b: “You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.”
3. God originated adoption, but human adoption and spiritual adoption are not the same.
He wants to adopt us!
Ephesians 1: 4-5: “In love He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ.”

4. God says we are all orphans because of our sin (not loving God with our whole heart
and soul, every minute of every day). We will be orphans for eternity without Him!
Isaiah 59:2: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from
you, so that He will not hear.” I John 1:10: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
5. God provided a Way when there was no way for us to enter His family. He sent Jesus to
pay the penalty for our sin by His death!
John 3: 16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”
6. God requires personal trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross to enter His family.
He invites us!
Romans 10: 9-11: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and
it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who trusts in Him will
never be put to shame.”
7. God knocks on human hearts not by chance that you are reading this!
Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door, I will come in and
eat with him, and he with me.”
If God is knocking on your heart’s door, you can pray this simple prayer: “Jesus, I realize
that my sin has separated me from You and that I will be an orphan for eternity without You. Thank You that
for paying the price for my sin when You shed your blood and died on the cross for me. It’s hard to believe that
if I were the only person in the world, You would have come for me, but I take Your great love by faith. Please
cleanse me from sin and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I take Your gift of my adoption into your forever family
by faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
8. God validates the emotional realities of abandonment. He doesn’t tell us to bite the
bullet and go on as if nothing happened. He is compassionate!
Ezekiel 16: 4-7: “On the day you were born, you were dumped out into a field and left to die, unwanted.”
9. God comes to us in our abandonment. He is our Helper!
Ezekiel 16: 4-7: “But I came by and saw you lying there, covered with your own blood.”
10. God calls us to Life and declares His opinion of us. He values us!
Ezekiel 16: 7 “…and I said, ‘Live! Thrive, like a plant in the field!’ And you did! You grew up and
became…a jewel among jewels.”
11. God planned who our biological and adoptive parents would be. He is Lord!
Psalm 139:16: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
12. God’s love is deeper than any rejection life can throw at you! He engraved our names
on His hands!
Isaiah 49: 15-16: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has
borne? Though she may forget, I will never forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.”
13. God experienced rejection. He will walk with us if we are rejected!
John 1:11: “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.”
14. God holds unanswered adoption questions in His loving hands. He is trust worthy!
Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us
and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
15. God offers adoptees an awesome legacy. He wants to be our Father!
Psalm 68:5: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.”
16. God promises to hear even the faintest cry of the orphan. He is sensitive!Exodus 22:22-24: “Do not take advantage of a widow or orphan. If you do, and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.”

17. God preserves the orphan’s life. He is our Protector!Jeremiah 49:11: “Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives.”

Life-Changing Choices

Excerpt from 20 Life-Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make. Purchase: http://sherrieeldridge.com/shop/

Esther 2:15: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

18. God has a unique plan for the orphan in human history. He is Sovereign!
19. God thinks highly of those who help orphans. He considers it worship!
James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
20. God gladdens the orphan’s heart with the bounty of Providence. He is our Provider!
Deuteronomy 24: 17a, 19: “Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice…” When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
21. God opposes unjust laws concerning the fatherless. He is our Advocate!
Isaiah 10:1-2: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and rob my oppressed people of justice, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.”
22. God cares tenderly for birth mothers. He is close to the brokenhearted!
Genesis 21: 16b-19: “And as she (Hagar) sat there nearby, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’ Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.”
23. God wants us to offer our broken lives to Him. He sings over us when we do!
II Chronicles 29:29: “And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also, with trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by King David of Israel.”
24. God told Abraham to let go of contentious birth relatives. He wants us to press on!
Genesis 21:11: “The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said, ‘Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is
through Isaac that that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maid servant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

Please write to me if I can be of help!

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© 2016 Sherrie Eldridge. No reproduction without permission.
Other works by Sherrie Eldridge:

20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, 1999
20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed. © 201420 Life-Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make, 2014
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish…A Daily Devotional for Adoptive and Birth Parents
Order books here: http://www.SherrieEldridge.com/shop/

The Beautiful Braid of Adoption

Biblical Perspective on #Adoption

Adoption has divine beginnings. Scripture tells us that God knew every day of our lives before any of them began. He knew whose lives would be touched by adoption. There are no mistakes!

Long ago in eternity past, God determined that there would be a beautiful braid made of shining ribbons—a braid woven in the secret places, a braid called “adoption.”

Each ribbon would be a different color. One was the deepest of purples, Another, the richest of greens, and the third, the most vibrant of reds.

Each ribbon had a purpose, each a vital contribution, and each a unique position with the other ribbons.

The green represented the birth family and their deep, often-forgotten contribution to the adoptee’s life. The purple represented the adoptive family, chosen to nurture that God-given gift sacrificially given by the birth family. The red was the adoptee—a unique weaving together of nature and nurture into one marvelous human being, with awesome potential.

The challenge for the adoptee would be to learn how to integrate, or braid the green, purple, and red ribbons. This would be no small task.

However, the more the adoptee knew about both biological and adoptive families, whether positive or painful, the greater the potential for integration and maturity.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16 b)

This article is drawn from 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish…Daily Devotions for Adoptive and Birth Families. No reprinting without permission of author. Purchase the book here: Http://SherrieEldridge.com/shop/

TITLE Boxing Club Fishers and Lupus Foundation of America, Indiana Chapter, Partner to Hit Lupus Hard at May 21 Fundraiser

Lupus Fundraiser

What Happens When You Leave Here?

Impending death.

An unexpected topic came up at lunch time–one that my friend said made her feel torn about going on with life. 

When lunching with two familiar friends, one of them explained her dilemma. In her 70’s, the firemen had rescued her several times in the middle of the night after passing out.

If she died, what would happen?

  • Would she see a dark tunnel with a light at the end?
  • Would she see clouds?
  • Would she see a hand reaching out to her?
  • Would she see anything?
  • Would she see heaven’s gate closed to her?

Having been to the doctor, her fears only worsened.  The unconscious times were growing longer and it was more difficult after each episode. Her doctor was proposing putting something inside that would zap her heart if it started to fail.

Terrified, she didn’t know if she wanted to keep on. Why not just die?

It was then that I shared John 8:51 with her, which basically says that the believer in Christ will never see or experience death.

She would only see Jesus.

Her last breath on earth would be her first in heaven!

With a big sigh, her fears left and she was comforted.

I am so glad we had lunch together.

That once-dreaded device has now been installed and she is filled with joy instead of fear!

Selah! (Pause and think about this)

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Additional Scriptures about life after death:

John 11:25  Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies;

Mark 8:31  And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life].

John 3:15  so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life[after physical death, and will actually live forever].
John 21:19  Now He said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And after saying this, He said to him, “Follow Me [walk the same path of life that I have walked]!”
Acts 11:18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified and praised God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance that leads to eternal life [that is, real life after earthly death].”
2 Corinthians 5:4 For while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened [often weighed down, oppressed], not that we want to be unclothed [separated by death from the body], but to be clothed, so that what is mortal [the body] will be swallowed up by life [after the resurrection].

What Wounded Hearts Need for the New Year

How To Feed Your Spirit

Just as a baby trusts her parents to provide milk, we must trust Jesus to provide milk for our souls.

Dear friends,

Christmas 2015 is over and many of you are wondering what 2016 holds.

Me, too!

Will you be able to make it through another year?

Will you get to the point where you don’t believe you can take anymore?

Many of us feel this way during the holidays.

I am pulling up a memory of my baby granddaughter for all of us who feel a bit needy.

She is guzzling milk and her pudgy toes are doing all kinds of contortions, scrunched up in delight, as she downs what to her is the yummiest milk in all of creation.

If she could talk, I bet she would say, “I love this milk. It’s so delicious and makes me feel good from my head to my toes.”

God’s words from the Bible are milk for our souls. His Word makes us feel good, both inside and out. They actually apply to our everyday lives!

I’ll never forget discovering that God’s Word is alive! When I read my Bible, words seemed like they were written in neon. They applied exactly to where I was in my life journey. How could that be?

I had no idea the real God that created the heavens and earth was speaking to me! Little old me. Really? Could that be true?

Yes! He loves me that much.

He loves you that much, also!

Have you ever read the Bible?

If not, read it and pray first, “God, please make Yourself real to me?”

May He refresh us as we enter 2016!

Remember….when you get to the point of feeling like you can’t take life, ask for the milk of God’s Word to sustain you. Well, actually, don’t wait until you’re at that point! Let’s challenge ourselves to read the Bible everyday! Some reading plans are listed below.

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good”

Love to all of you!

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If you are new to Bible reading, here are some suggestions to get started:.

20thingswish

(This devotional is based on the December 27th devotional from Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Daily Devotional for Birth and Adoptive Parents. Order here: Http://SherrieEldridge.com/shop/)

 

 

Awe At My Granddaughter's Adoption

Christmas and Adoption

Christmas can be a time of sadness for those who haven’t found lost loved ones. For this blogger, the opposite is true. She has just become an #adoptive #grandmother.

Dear friends,

As the holidays fast approach I know that for some it may be a painful time. We wonder about our lost loved ones and wish we could be with them. My heart goes out to you.

Then there are some that are enjoying the season to the hilt for various reasons. I wrote this article thirteen years ago.  Time flies so fast when you’re a grandma.

I must admit that I am one of them. Let me explain. Last week our oldest daughter Lisa and husband John adopted a newborn baby, Megan Grace! Seven pounds and one ounce, twenty inches long, and a face that resembles a cherub.

This baby couldn’t be loved and wanted any more by both the birth or adoptive families.

She is cherished by all. Witnessing the outpouring of love for Megan was an epiphany for me as I realized for the first time how much my parents loved and wanted me! This tiny adoptee’s life made this a personal reality for this OLD adoptee!

After my daughter and I climbed into the back seat of the van and buckled the baby in after leaving the hospital, I began sobbing uncontrollably. Lisa tenderly put one hand on the baby and the other on mine as I wept tears of joy. It was a moment with my daughter and new granddaughter I shall never forget.

Because Megan was born during this time of the year, my thoughts turned often to Joseph and Mary who were awaiting the arrival of their baby Jesus. I wondered if I was experiencing the eagerness that they were. I wondered as I wrapped gifts for Megan if I was feeling the awe the wise men experienced in bringing gifts to baby Jesus. And as Mary and Joseph looked upon the face of their newborn Son, I wondered if they wept tears of joy as I did.

Yes, Christmas is special this year for our family because of little Megan Grace, but no birth can rival the arrival of God wrapped in the human flesh of a baby, who later died for our sins, and who now lives in the hearts of those who believe.

Love to all of you!

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Photo credit: Dreamstime.com

 

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