Dealing with Adoption Loss as a Birth Mother
By Kelly Paczkowski
You have considered all of the options for you and your baby and finally have chosen to create an adoption plan. However, while you are confident in your decision to give your child a great future, you are also aware of how difficult and emotional it could be. Dealing with loss as a birth mother is part of the process.
Many birth mothers are not prepared for the feelings of loss and grief that they may feel after the adoption is finalized. While you are excited to see your child with their new adoptive family and know that they will be well cared for and loved, it is still a loss. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, our local adoption agency is here to help you deal with grief and loss and benefit your child and you.
Grieving After Your Adoption Journey
Grief can show up in many different ways. It can show up as anger, denial, sadness, or anxiety, just to name a few. All these emotions can seem overwhelming, but you can learn how to come to terms with your feelings with the proper support and coping skills.
Your emotions can seem scary, and they can show up at any time. Just know that you are not alone, and it is okay to express your feelings. It is healthy for you to express your emotions. However, suppressing them can build up and cause unhealthy consequences. What does that look like? You may need to speak with an adoption specialist, counselor, or professional therapist. Or you may even need some space to heal right after placement.
If you are not in a place where you feel comfortable speaking with a professional, then try speaking with supportive family or friends. The encouragement that those who love and support you will make you feel better.
Finding an Outlet to Help You with Post-Placement Emotions
You can do many things to relieve the stress you feel. First, make sure you get plenty of sleep and live a healthy lifestyle. Keeping your body healthy will also help your emotional and mental health. When we feel good on the inside, it can make us feel good on the outside.
Birth mothers will try many things that they find helps them with the grieving process. Many can find healthy strategies to cope. Below find a few examples that may help:
- Try Yoga
- Take up running or walking
- Make time for supportive family and friends
- Hang out with loved ones
- Try drawing or painting
- Take up writing
- Let your emotions out, have a good cry
These things can be the perfect outlet for your feelings of loss and help you obtain balance.
Give Yourself Time To Grieve After an Adoption
It may sound cliche, but time can heal. Give yourself time to accept. Just like the adoption, grieving is a process. You will need time to come to terms with your adoption journey and be aware that these feelings will not come and go easily. Everyone has a different reaction to grief and loss, so the healing process will be different also. Some may require more time to heal than others, and there is no timeframe for healing.
Be Kind to Yourself During the Adoption Process
Always remember to be kind to yourself. No one needs to hear this more than a recent birth mother. You have just done the most courageous thing in your life by placing a child for adoption. You deserve a lot of kindness and, most of all, self-forgiveness. Many women can also experience feelings of guilt, but being able to forgive and love yourself will help you heal.
There will be times when you may not feel grief and loss, and sometimes it may hit you when you least expect it. Either way, just know that you are not alone and that it is okay to have those feelings.
Just make sure you can reach out for help, should you need it. There is always someone to help you find the support that you need. Only then will you be able to find peace and acceptance of your grief.
Our Adoption Specialist will Help You When Dealing with Loss as a Birth Mother
Our adoption specialists at Adoption Choices of Missouri can come to meet you. We treat birth mothers with dignity and respect. Our adoption representatives are willing to answer any questions you may have. There is no obligation, just answers.
If you have an unplanned pregnancy and are thinking about placing your newborn for adoption, please call/text at (816) 527-9800 or email us. We are willing to work with any birth mother.