Sherrie Eldridge on Adoption: 4 Short Notes

Emotional Vulnerabilities of an Adoptee:

  • I need help in recognizing my adoption loss and help with grieving it.
  • I need to be assured that my birth parent’s decision not to parent me had nothing to do with anything defective in me.
  • I need help in learning how to deal with my fears of rejection—to learn that absence doesn’t mean abandonment or a closed door to an opportunity that I have done something wrong.
  • I need permission to express ALL my adoption feelings & fantasies.

Taming Temper Tantrums in the Adopted Toddler

A desperate mom of a 21-month-old son wondered if her son had “infant rage.” He had been relinquished by the birth mother at three days of age, spent 15 months in a foster home, and then was adopted by them.

His high-pitch screeching, thrashing around on the floor, jumping and throwing things, and hitting people was about driving her crazy. Anything could trigger his tantrums. Simply putting him down so she could take off her coat, or saying no to him for any reason, could send him into a tailspin. If he stumbled, but didn’t fall, he’d go into a tantrum. If someone picked him up after a stumble or fall, he’ll settle and cuddle. If her husband or she picked him up after he stumbled or fell, he would freak out even more and lashed out to hit.

This mother tried various ways of handling the tantrums–putting him in his playpen, ignoring him, trying to reason with him. Nothing worked. Can you relate, moms?

Teaching Kids How to Respond to Nosy Adoption Questions

Adoptees are often good targets for school bullies because many still carry a victim’s mindset. We unknowingly let others take advantage of us, due to a sense of powerlessness resulting from the early-life loss of our birth mothers. We have lost our ability to see our options, our choices that will lead to an abundant life. We need to learn to take our power back and become responsible through making healthy choices!

Why Adoptees Get Mad at their Moms

Many moms of adopted children can’t figure out what they’ve done wrong, what makes their children reject them, even though they have literally poured their very souls into their children. This anger may manifest in shouting matches, temper tantrums, refusing to let you hold her hand when walking through the parking lot, or refusing to go for a walk with you on Mother’s Day.

It’s downright hard for a mom not to take this rejection personally, but it is absolutely necessary that you don’t—both for the welfare of your child and your own sanity.

If you understand the core reason why your child is rejecting you, it will be easier for you to detach from an emotional response and help your child comprehend the source of her anger and deal effectively with it.