It is important to remind yourself and your partner that it is completely normal – and healthy – to feel blindsided with a range of conflicting feelings after a failed adoption. Those who have gone through this know that while it may seem devastating now, you can and will be able to move forward. Trust in yourself, the support of your partner, and time. To further help you during this period, keep these tips in mind.
It’s ok to not be ok.
You and your partner need to give yourself time to grapple with a lot of emotions. The process of coping with a failed adoption is like dealing with any loss. Your feelings can run the gamut of grief, anger, sadness and betrayal. Many of your emotions may even be incredibly confusing, like brief moments of relief followed by resulting guilt. This is all very normal. Breathe. Know that yes, you have just been dealt a traumatic blow. You will need time to heal, but you will heal.
Nurture yourself and your partner.
It has been said that to be able to care for someone else, you must take care of yourself first. This is very true when you and your partner are dealing with a failed adoption. As much as you want to be there for each other, it is just as important to take care of yourselves. If you need some time alone, take some time alone. If you have a certain hobby or pastime that brings you joy, embrace it.
Everyone deals with the onslaught of emotions differently. Be patient with your partner if they are coping differently than you. Stay supportive and remember that you are both in this together. A trip away together or a fun day out can help get both of your minds off things for a while. At the same time, it can strengthen your bond and remind you that you have each other.
Though you are encouraged to take your time alone when you need it, try not to isolate yourself. It can be easy to shut people out when you are going through emotional turmoil. When you can, reach out to family and friends. If you don’t want to talk about the failed adoption, you don’t have to. Just keeping those personal connections can make a huge difference in your wellbeing. Many people find it helpful to talk to others who have gone through a failed adoption. There are numerous resources to help you connect with those who have an idea of what you are going through. You may also want to consider speaking to a counselor to help you sort through your feelings.
Practice reflection and positivity.
When the initial barrage of confusion and emotions have started to subside, try reflecting on the experience. It may still hurt, but there is always something to be gained from going through even the worst of times. Anything you can learn from this is positive. Are there certain things that stand out which may have caused this to go wrong? What new insight can you and your partner apply as you move forward in the adoption process? How do you and your partner want to approach the adoption process differently?
If you are both ready to move forward with adoption, remember that you have still gone through an emotionally trying experience. Be easy on yourselves, be there for each other, and stay hopeful.