cover image 20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed

20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed

Sherrie Eldridge, . . Delta, $16 (280pp) ISBN 978-0-385-34162-2

A companion book and sequel to adoption expert Eldridge's 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew , this offers prospective, new, troubled or experienced adoptive parents a combination self-help manual, sourcebook and emotional touchstone featuring 20 ways to confidently and competently address the specific challenges of raising adopted children. Adopted as an infant (at age 47 she met her birth mother and learned she was the result of a rape), Eldridge is sensitive to all aspects of the adoptive parents' journey and adroitly tackles many difficult, loaded issues including the importance of telling children the truth—positive and negative—about their origins as soon as possible, communicating “heart-to-heart” even when angry, when to seek professional help and understanding their own needs as well as their children's. Since the advent of “open adoption,” the demand for secrecy has waned, but the stresses and disillusions of an adoptive family remain, and parents want to know they are doing the best they can. The author's accessible information coupled with an accepting, understanding tone and personal insights will educate and reassure readers. Each chapter opens with a story about a family problem that is bound to resonate with readers and has imagined letters to parents from the young child, teen and adult adoptee's point of view. Helpful direction and assignments appear in boxes, sidebars and bulleted lists. (Oct.)