Ways to Cope With Placing Your Child For Adoption

I placed my daughter for adoption in July of 2005.   I attend a support group for unwed mothers that the agency I was going to had.  Not everyone in the group was placing for adoption but I learned so much from the girls that have placed and listening to what worked and didn’t work for them.  I figured that I would share some of the things that worked for me and things that may work for other birth parents.

Before I get into them I was researching some things on adoption and I found this article.  While I reading through article I found this paragraph and I really liked what it said.  I am going to post it here because I think it speaks volumes about how birth parents are looked at by people who don’t understand are choices.  Here is the paragraph:

Most people at some time in their lives experience grief when they are separated from a loved one. However, in adoption, there are no standard grieving processes or approved rituals to help birthparents cope. When a well-liked co-worker accepts a new job in a new city, there is often a going away party. When a loved one dies, there may be a religious service, a wake, a funeral, and visits to the survivors’ home by friends and relatives. But birthparents’ grief is distinct from most other types of grief, because it is not always socially acceptable to talk about what happened.

Now on to the ways I coped and ways that others have coped with the greif.

  • Journal-I wrote out why I placed her in a journal that I then gave to the adoptive mom to give to my daughter when they thought she was ready to read it.
  • Talk to other birth moms-It helped me tons to be able to talk to other girls who had been though it and could tell me that it would get better with time.  I never thought the first year would end but each year it gets easier at least it has for me.
  • Take one day at at time-There are time where You are going to have to take it minute by minute but know that time will heal the pain.  At first the pain is so raw that it is all you can think about but it does get easier I promise.
  • Build a support system-I helps to have people who know the whole story and whither or not they agree with your choice they will still stand behind you and listen to you talk.  There will be times that just talking to someone and having them not try to answer but just listen helps so much.  It makes such a difference to just get the thoughts out of you head and have someone not feel the need to try and make it better but just listen.
  • Allow yourself to feel the emotions-I know in the beginning I wanted to run from the emotions I was feeling and not feel anything but by doing that you are going to be making it harder in the long run.  Allow yourself to feel and grieve.
  • Keep Scrapbooks and/or pictures around-If you were to walk into my room right now the only pictures I have up are the ones of her when she is older.  In the beginning looking at the pictures made me feel better but after the first year and even know it is so hard for me to look at the pictures of her while we were in the hospital because I want the baby.  I heard from one of the girls in the support group that her child became two different people in her head even though she knew they were the same.  She like me wanted the baby and not the child that she is now.
  • If you need help ask-Don’t be too afraid to talk to a counselor if you are having a hard time deal with all of the emotions.  I saw one quite awhile after I placed my daughter and that helped me so much.

When I think of more ways I am for sure going to post them and if you know of any other ways to cope please leave a comment so that I can add it to my next post.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Margaret Margaret

Dear Melissa

As you all know one of my best friends passed away on Sunday.  I have tried many times to write this post and I have never been able to get words down on the screen.  I have really struggled with this because it was such a shock to me.  I was orginally going to write about what I love about her but I have decided that I am going to write a letter to her so that I can tell her everything that I never got a chance to do while she was alive.

* I am not going to get into what happened and other things that are going on as a result.   I know Melissa would want me to keep living and let go of anger and hate.

Dear Melissa,

I miss you more and more everyday.  I wish that you would have called me and let me know you were so down so that I could have helped you.  I am writing this because I want to tell you and all my readers what I learned from you in the short time I knew you.

  • I learned how to be a better writer.  You wrote posts that made people think and I hope that one day I can become as good as a writer as you were.  Every post you wrote for my blog and even your own blog made me think and contemplate things in my own life.  It takes an amazing writer to make people realize that they need to make changes in their lives just because of something you wrote.
  • I learned not to ever let people treat me bad.  I saw what happened to you and I refused to let people do that to me.  I show the toll it took on her and I don’t ever want people to control me.
  • I also learned that admitting you have a mental illness is nothing you need to hide.  It was great to see that I can blog about things and there are people out there that won’t judge me and will understand.   You are part of the reason I wrote my adoption story and started to post things that make me vulnerable.  I guess I hope one day I have people come to my blog like you had going to yours!
  • I learned to look for join in the little things in life and how to deal with what life throws at me.

I will never forget you and everything you taught me.  I promise that I will live the rest of my life for the both of us!  I know I will see you again and I can’t wait til that day comes.

I love you,

Margaret