If you recently completed the adoption process, there’s no doubt you’re experiencing many emotions.
Emotions After Adoption
Even if you are totally confident about your decision to place your baby for adoption, it’s likely you will still experience feelings of doubt and denial. You may feel a strong attachment to your baby, which is totally normal. After your baby goes home with the adoptive family, it is also normal to feel guilt, shame, anger, grief, or loss.
Come to Terms with Your Emotions
Whatever emotions you experience after the adoption, don’t ignore them. It’s important to acknowledge, express, and accept your feelings. It is only after you come to terms with these feelings that you can go on to live a happy and fulfilling life. Get support. Lean on your family and friends, talk to your social worker or adoption coordinator, or speak with a counselor. It may help to know that you are not alone. Connecting with other birthmothers who have gone through the adoption process can be very therapeutic.
Goals for the Future
Now that this part of your life is finished, what do you want to do? It’s a good time to set some goals for yourself and begin working toward them. Would you like to begin or finish school? Do you want to pursue a particular career path? Are you interested in getting involved in an organization that helps other birthmothers? Is there a charitable organization you’d like to volunteer for? Whatever you’d like to do, going after these goals will help the healing process and give you a healthy sense of purpose.
As you move forward with your life, your adoption experience will always be with you. Being a birthmother is a part of your identity from now on. Be prepared for feelings of grief and loss to surface every so often over the years, especially on holidays or your child’s birthday. This is normal, and you should never push these feelings away. When they come up, acknowledge them and allow yourself to feel them. Then actively shift your focus to the wonderful life you gave your child and how you made a family’s dreams of parenthood come true.
Having Trouble Moving Forward?
If some time has passed and your feelings of grief have not eased much at all, you are sad for most of every day, your feelings are interfering with your ability to function in your everyday life, or you’re having thoughts of suicide or death, you may not be moving forward in a healthy way. Get help as soon as you can. Talk to a healthcare professional, a friend or family member, your adoption coordinator, a counselor, a religious leader, or someone else you trust.