Emotions After Adoption
Even if you are absolutely sure about your decision to put your baby up for adoption, it’s likely you will still experience feelings of doubt and denial after your baby is born. You may feel a strong attachment to your baby, which is totally normal. After your baby goes home with his or her adoptive family, it is also completely normal to feel a sense of 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 us, or speak with a counselor. It is also helpful to know that you are absolutely not alone. Connecting with other birthmothers who have gone through the adoption process can be very therapeutic during this time.
Goals for the Future
Now that this chapter 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? Is there a charitable organization you’d like to do volunteer work for? Are you interested in getting involved in an organization that helps other birthmothers? Whatever you’d like to do, pursuing 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 single-handedly made a family’s dream of parenthood come true.
Having trouble moving forward?
If some time has passed and your feelings of grief have not eased at all, you are sad almost every day for most of the day, your feelings are interfering with your ability to function in your everyday life, or you’re having thoughts of suicide or death, you might not be moving forward in a healthy way. If this is the case, get help as soon as you can. Talk to a health care professional, a friend or family member, one of us, or someone else you trust.