At AVA Care we understand that the process of adoption does not end on adoption day. “That day”, for many, may be just the beginning of a journey towards coming to terms with and accepting your decision of choosing adoption. The journey to that place of acceptance may be filled with a roller coaster of emotions, but it is worth every step you take. It is possible for you to embrace this part of your life story and move on with a healthy well-being. If you are a birthmother struggling after choosing adoption, here are some suggestions to help you move forward:
Acknowledge Your Feelings
You became a mother, and you are grieving the loss of a child. You faced a difficult choice. As a mother, you made a brave decision based on what you knew was best for your child. Your grief is real and you are allowed to grieve. Grieving is a natural, helpful part of moving through to acceptance. The pain will become less and less as you allow yourself to grieve.
Recognize Your Need for Support
The struggle of being a mother but physically not having a child is a big deal. Your life has changed. You may sometimes need help identifying your feelings and talking about them. As much as it may seem that you are alone, you are not. There may be days where you want to isolate yourself, but you were not made to go through this alone. Support is critical to you as a birthmother. Sharing your feelings/struggles with family and understanding friends is always encouraged and can be a starting place. There are also many other women who have faced this same struggle. We suggest the following resources as a way of gaining further support:
Give Yourself Time
Grieving loss, finding a new normal, and reconciling your adoption decision will take time. You are sorting things out; and as much as you wish it would happen quickly, don’t rush it. Give yourself the grace to travel this journey at your own pace. This is your experience and your journey will be very personal. Take your time.
Honor and Respect Yourself
Adoption is a hard decision for a mother to make. Some birthmothers struggle with feelings of self-blame and regret. Remind yourself that you have your own unique set of circumstances, strengths and challenges. Honor yourself as you are reminded that you were acting in the best interests of your child. Respect yourself for having identified your limitations; and based on that, you made the brave decision of choosing adoption. Through honor and respect you can more easily make peace with your decision.
Follow Through with Your Commitment
If you chose an open or semi-open adoption plan, stay involved with your child, the adoptive family, and the agency that assisted you in this process. It may be difficult at times, but by staying involved you will be able to see that your child is in a safe, loving home in which he/she is thriving. It will help bring assurance to the uncertainties you may be feeling.
Stay Involved in Life
Sometimes hard things make us want to give up, hoping things will just magically go away. But unfortunately, they don’t. By creating goals and involving yourself in community activities or volunteer opportunities, you can move forward. Finding activities to occupy your time, or help someone else, is a great way to shift your focus. By being active you are reinforcing that life does go on and that life can be, and is good.
All this may seem challenging, but the reward is the freedom that comes from reconciling and accepting the decision you made for what is best for your baby and you.
*AVA Care is not an adoption agency and we do not receive payment of any kind from adoption agencies. We provide you with information about adoption and can refer you to adoption agencies. They will provide you with further information and guide you through the process.
AVA Care is here to Advocate for you, Validate your concerns and provide Answers to your questions. We are here for you – no matter what you decide. Schedule an appointment online or call 540.434.7528 today.
Dr. Teresa Klansek
The content on this page has been reviewed and approved by our Medical Director Dr. Teresa Klansek.