Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Grieving is something all sides of the adoption triad will go through.

The birthmother misses her child, misses the feeling of being pregnant, yearns for that feeling she once had.

The adopted child may grieve that they want to know their birthparent better, or want to know why they were placed, then the child may not grieve at all.

The adoptive couple wishes they could take away the pain of being infertile, they grieve when insensitive comments are made, they grieve when they see someone who has succesfully become pregnant.

These are not the only things that they grieve about. Grieving is just something inevitable. But how do we cope as birthparents?

I think to better answer this is to first look at the steps in the grieving process, keep in mind though that not every person goes through each step and can go thru them in random order, and can even repeat stages.

1. Denial and Isolation

-You deny it happened and withdraw.
I went through this right after placement. I was in denial and I didn't sleep that first night at all.

2. Anger

-You are angry at the world, or yourself for letting something like this happen.
I was very upset with myself for putting myself in this kind of situation.

3. Bargaining

-You say to yourself or God "If I do this _____, will you take away my loss."
I think quite a few birthmothers go through this as well as adoptive parents. Birthmothers say if I get my baby back, can I feel okay about it? Adoptive parents say If i do this, will a birthmother choose me?

4. Depression

-The person feels numb, although anger and sadness can be underneath
I think everyone who has placed know what this feels like.

5. Acceptance

-The person feel that sadness and mourning has tapered off. They start to just accept it.
I also think that this happens to several, if not all birthmothers.

Not everyone goes through all of these, but they are real steps.
So how do we cope with these?
Here are some ways friends of mine have told me and I have found for myself.

1. Recognize it did happen

2. Write about it and your feelings

3. Talk about it

4. Keep yourself busy

5. Find a new hobby or restart an old one

6. Become an advocate for open adoption

7. Make a scrapbook of the experience or certain events like placement day or the birth

8. Pray about it and for help to overcome the grief.

Grief is real. I think it is important to recognize it. I would love to hear your thoughts on any part of this.

1 comment:

Christie said...

I would like to add:

9. Realize that you shouldnt punish yourself

I remember after placing my son that I felt like i shouldnt have fun. I felt like if i had fun, that meant maybe i placed for the wrong reason. If i did have fun, i felt guilty. I felt like i should be grieving all the time. If i didnt, maybe i placed him just so i could go out and have fun. I knew that wasnt the reason, but i didnt want it to be that reason at all. For my first 2 semesters back at college (one month after he was born) i was a hermit. Literally. I rarely went and did anything, and if i had fun i felt guilty that night.
Dont feel guilty. Your birth child would WANT you to heal. They dont want you to feel sad. They want you to be happy as they are. They know you love them in their heart. Allow yourself to heal.

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