Trauma Triggers of Adopted/Foster Kids

Being a newbie about this trauma stuff and being an adoptee who’s recently realized there is a smoke alarm going off her my brain, I have to think about the complexities of trauma in simple ways.

With that in mind, think about why adoptees and foster kids get triggered to the point of meltdowns or  shut downs.

Here’s a simple illustration of trauma:

Ten-year-old Jimmy, now living in his sixth foster home, rages on the floor, seemingly without reason.

His parents didn’t have a clue about the cause of the rage. Nothing could stop him.

After the rage, Jimmy’s sense of shame will spread, like mold in a musty basement. And, as he matures, he will wonder why he can’t control himself. Is there something wrong with him? Is that why he was placed for adoption?

Here’s Jimmy’s backstory.

A previous foster dad belonged to a bowling league that sported green team shirts. Jimmy dreamed of bowling on such a team.

On bowling nights, dad returned late, but Jimmy stayed awake to say goodnight.

It was then that something horrific happened…sexual abuse… that would haunt Jimmy for a lifetime. Dad ordered it to be a secret.

Finding Trauma Triggers

When victims of trauma act out in unbelievable ways, there is something believable in the back story.

And so. in the future, whenever Jimmy saw the color green, his seemingly unexplainable rage engaged, like a roaring freight train. He couldn’t control himself. What was wrong with him? Did he have bad genes?

Green became the trigger.

It would take time and professional

help for Jimmy to recover from this childhood trauma…or at least for his anger and shame to become manageable.

There was nothing wrong with Jimmy, even though he was convinced otherwise.

In time, through prayer and professional help, Jimmy would begin to see himself through God’s eyes…as a jewel. (Ezekiel 14:6-7).

Suggested resource: THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE…Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.

An Open Letter to Hurting Adoptive Parents

Don't give up on us!

Most adoptees want to live There is a force fighting against us that keeps us believing lies and acting accordingly. Please don’t give up on us. Storm heaven’s gates for us?

Dear friends,

After reading the blog entries of nearly 15 adoptive parents who are desperately discouraged, I felt I must write to you.

Even though I can’t speak for every adoptee, I can speak for myself.

We want to love you. We want to be able to have healthy relationships with you and others, but we are not able. We are constantly on defense and trying to survive the brain trauma that keeps us from hearing and receiving your love.

Please don’t give up on us.

Please look at us like Jesus….”forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Even if we’ve rejected you in the worst way, will you turn to God and pray for us? Will you pray that God will shed light into the dark places of our hearts? Will you pray that our birth family fantasies will melt into reality? Will you pray against the lies we have believed and against the generational sin that holds us captive?

Please don’t give up on us.

Finding Little Me

Finding Adoptee Voices

This is a Russian stack doll and can be used to help shut-down adoptees discover their voices.

“Write your story” is what’s trendy now in adoption circles amongst adoptees.

YIKES…I can’t do that.

I’ve written seven books, some which tell the circumstances of my story,  but my voice…it’s missing.

Last night I lay in bed, panicked about not being able to find my voice.

Where is my voice?

How can I find the voice of the baby, toddler, school age, teen, and the married Sherrie?

She’s hiding somewhere. 

Recently, I wrote what would probably be the first few paragraphs of the story. It came together in an almost magical way and I felt so pumped after writing it.

It was then that I remembered what my friend, Shefalie Chandra, taught me about stack dolls. As a therapist in the UK, she uses them to help clients get in touch with the developmental stages of their lives.

How Your Child Can Use Stack Dolls for Writing Project

Here is what she taught me:

  1. The biggest doll is current age
  2. The next doll 10 years earlier
  3. This continues all the way to the end…to the little me
Talking with Little Me

As you open the stack dolls, there is always a littler one inside. Ask your child what she would say to the smaller/bigger one.

Then, the present-day me asks baby me some questions:

Present-Day Me: ”There you are, sweetheart…I  found you! Oh my gosh, you are so beautiful. Your skin is so pink and soft and I love your brown hair and eyes.  I am here with you now and I will always listen to your voice. I know that you’ve been through a lot already because your birth mother didn’t  want you. You even knew that before you were born. Will you let me hold you? Will you let me cuddle you close? I love you so very much.”

Baby me: “Wah, wah, wah. I can’t stop crying. My tears won’t end. I am afraid for you to hold me because no one ever did after I was born. I was put in an incubator and I felt so all alone. I don’t know what love is…is it being sent away from my mom to be alone in an incubator? If that’s what love is, I don’t want anything to do with it. Don’t look at me.”

This is how I will start my writing project.

When looking up stack dolls online, I saw that they make them with nine dolls. I think that would be perfect for each stage in life


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