Unwrapping Holiday Joy and Grief (for birth parents)
By Alexis Watson
Adoption can be a frightening thing to consider, especially with all the negative stereotypes and misinformation surrounding it. Instead, considering adoption should be seen as the powerful choice that it is. Adoption in Missouri is a life-altering and gratifying decision-making process for a lot of birth mothers. Adoption is an empowering choice because it allows you to manifest a secure future for your child. Giving a child up for adoption shouldn’t be a stopping point in your parental or life journey. It’s an experience along the way. Now that the experience is over and the adoption is finalized, what’s next?
Well, first, our counselors here at Adoption Choices of Missouri are here to guide and support you. We are here to provide our birth mothers with unconditional support and guidance for their unplanned pregnancies. Trying to navigate the next steps post-adoption can be scary, but that’s what our counselors are here for. We’re here to help our birth mothers tap into all of their support networks.
I’ve Finalized The Adoption Process And Am Experiencing A Lot Of Emotions.
You’ve finalized your adoption, and you are experiencing a flurry of emotions. You might feel a sense of gratitude now that the adoption process is over. But you might also feel a sense of emptiness. The past year, you’ve been focused on your health, your pregnancy, and creating an adoption plan. Now that the adoption process is done, you may be unsure of what to do next.
In trying to determine the next steps, you might be considering whether children in the future is an option for you. Parenthood ending at adoption is a common misperception. Adoption does not forfeit your opportunity to have children in the future. Birth mothers can and often do have more children in the future.
It’s not uncommon to experience periods of guilt throughout the adoption process even when considering having future children. It’s important that when our birth mothers feel these emotions arise they speak to one of our counselors. Our counselors at Adoption Choice of Missouri are here to provide emotional support via counseling.
Navigating Life Post Adoption
Finalizing the adoption process can stir up waves of conflicting emotions. That’s completely normal and okay. Acknowledging your emotions and talking them through sets the foundation for the coping and healing process. When coping with a life-changing experience, it’s important to tap into your network of supporters. Your network of supporters might be:
- Family. Finding family members who support your decision and will offer unwavering support during your process is critical. It can be your parents, a sibling, an aunt or uncle, a cousin—anyone. It’s important to lean on family members that you trust to help support you through this.
- Therapist/Counselor. Once you’ve finalized your adoption with us at Adoption Choice of Missouri, we will continue to support you. We schedule regular counseling sessions with all of our birth mothers who choose to speak with a counselor. We help birth mothers like you navigate difficult decisions and share tips on how best to manage emotions.
- Support Groups. A support group is a great way to connect and foster relationships with other birth mothers on their adoption journey. Support groups are known for providing a safe space, words of encouragement, and advice.
- Friends. Connect with your friends and let them know what’s going on. Share how you’re feeling, how you’re doing, and how you need them to support you. Don’t be shy about telling them about the ways they can support you. Be open and honest with them about what your needs are. You might be surprised at how they can help.
As you navigate the final stages of your adoption process, stay connected to those who love and support you.
How Can My Self-Care Routine Help With My Adoption Process?
Healing and coping through the adoption process will look different for everyone. An unplanned pregnancy can be an emotional journey. The adoption process can be as well. As you go through these emotional journeys, it’s important that you love yourself a little extra. The best way to show yourself extra love is by establishing a self-care routine.
Some might wonder how and if a self-care routine can help during this process. The simple answer is yes, it does. A self-care routine will allow you to declutter your mind, identify your emotions, and move with intention. It’s an empowering practice that will help you center and align your body, mind, and spirit. Adopting a habitual self-care routine post-adoption will help you navigate your next steps.
When developing a self-care routine, it is important that you:
- Choose to do something you like doing. Find that thing that you enjoy and helps you feel centered. It could be something small like taking a bubble bath while listening to music. It could be something more active, like going to the gym and lifting weights. Find the thing that helps revitalize you. Doing something you like to do only solidifies the consistency of the practice.
- When choosing the thing you like to do, consider if it’s already a part of your everyday life. If it isn’t, think about ways you can incorporate it into your daily routine. Can you squeeze your routine in before breakfast, during lunch, or after work? Figure out a way that you can merge your daily routine and self-care routine so the two can coexist.
- Create a schedule. A self-care routine is not a routine if you practice it infrequently. Be intentional about showing up for yourself. Put it on your calendar. You can practice it daily or every other day. It’s important that you practice it at least once or twice a week.
- As you develop and practice your self-care routine, remain flexible. One day the timing for the routine may work, other days it won’tYou might have too many things on your schedule that day. You might be running behind on time. Whatever the reasoning is, know that it’s okay.
Figuring out life post-adoption can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s important during any stage of the adoption process that you, as a birth mother, stay connected. Stay connected to your networks of support and with your counselors here at Adoption Choices of Missouri. We are here to help guide and support you through counseling and connect you to our pool of adoption resources.
If you are pregnant and are considering adoption, give us a call today. Our experts are ready to answer any question, provide more information, and share resources.