Adoption can be one of the most beautiful things to experience. It can be one of the most loving things one can do; To give a family a gift of a child that they could not have on their own and to give your child a life full of things that you might not be ready to provide them with. A birth parent knows this to be true. Many positive things come with placing your child for adoption, but with the good may also come some negatives. Here are some coping mechanisms of sadness for birth parents to get past those post-adoption feelings:
Figure out what you are feeling.
The most significant part to helping yourself overcome this sadness is to pinpoint what you are feeling. After the placement, you may be feeling a range of emotions. From feeling lost, guilty, shameful, hopeless, and experiencing postpartum depression. All of these emotions are completely normal to have and feel. You don’t want to get lost in them but instead, find out what exactly you are feeling so that you can work through those emotions and find yourself back on the positive side.
Seek out support.
Talking to others can be one of the most therapeutic things someone can do to express their feelings. Whether you need to have a conversation with people or have someone to listen, finding support in any way you feel comfortable is valuable. Ways to do this can be:
- Through your friends or family
- Therapy or counseling
- Finding a support group of people going through the same things you are.
Find the positive.
Finding the brighter side of your decision can be crucial. If you are always thinking negatively about the “what ifs,” you will never be able to overcome your emotions. It is better to think about the happy things. Think about the beautiful life you have given your child and the love and care you have placed them with.
When dealing with the hardships and emotions of your decisions, you may forget to take care of yourself. It is important to keep both your mind and body in a healthy place. Set time aside to take care of yourself. There is a number of things that might help with self-care. Everyone is different and different things may work for other people. Some examples of ways that you can care for yourself can be:
- Hanging out with a friend/ family member
- Going on a walk
- Picking up or doing a favorite hobby
One of the most important things is to find a way to move forward. It does not mean you should completely move on from your child and never think about them, but finding things to look forward to instead of sitting in the past can be very helpful. For example, you can look forward to birthdays, anniversaries, or anything in the future that may excite you about your decision instead of grieving about it.
There are many things that you can do to help overcome these feelings of sadness. While these are only a few examples, they are good coping mechanisms for sad birth parents that can help you over that hump.