Don’t ignore your own feelings. Working through them is the best way to move forward.
While putting a baby up for adoption is a heroic and selfless act, feelings of loss are normal. First, remember that you made an adoption plan for your baby, you didn’t give your baby up. Then recognize that ignoring your grief is not a good idea; it is much healthier to face and express your feelings of loss. Don’t be afraid. It’s what helps you move on and learn to experience the good feelings about your decision as well.
As a birth mother, your grief may come as a surprise to you. It is unexpected because, after all, you put a great deal of thought into the adoption process beforehand and you were certain you were doing the right thing.
Sadness does not mean that you were wrong in your decision. Many of the most important decisions in our lives involve difficult choices. We cannot shut out grief and still hope to live a happy, productive life. Although the process of grieving may not be easy, working through loss will help you experience all emotions more fully, including those that are positive and joyous.
Know that what you feel is normal, and that you are not alone. These two factors can help more than anything else. Don’t deny your own feelings; sadness is a normal part of life. Denying our feelings of sadness makes it more difficult to experience joy as well. It is up to you to process the grief and strive for inner peace.
All these may seem like lofty directives, but positive self talk, reassurance and forgiveness can be very effective. Most of us do the opposite, intentionally beating ourselves up and relegating ourselves to a life without peace.
Don’t do that to yourself.
Unresolved grief can wreak havoc in so many other areas. It can interfere with romantic relationships, those with your own parents, friendships and your ability to work productively and remain focused. If you are having trouble functioning in any number of ways, it could be that denial of your own grief is getting in your way.
For most birth mothers, it takes time to process the grief and some of it will always resurface over the years, just as our grief over other losses does. Accepting this, and allowing it into your life will make it so much easier to overcome. When you are afraid of it, when you run from it, the grief can become larger than life.
Make sure you have supportive people in your life. If they don’t come in the form of your existing family and friends, there are others out there who have been through exactly what you are experiencing. Support groups and online forums are out there for you. One of the most powerful things you can do is to seek out an experienced grief counselor. The world is a smaller place today and you never have to go through this process alone.
Again, we’ve been there and we can help. To talk to someone at Family Formation, contact us today. A happy tomorrow is possible.