Emotional Journey: Navigating Your Feelings When Considering Adoption

By Shaina Santagata

You may feel like drowning in a sea of emotional turmoil with no break for air. A wave knocks you back into its dark depths whenever you try to go to the surface. If the words, “I want to put my child up for adoption,” have come into your mind, we hear you, and we see you. Our devoted and empathetic team at Adoption Choices of Colorado can be the helping hands that pull you into the sun and out of the darkness. We have provided more than just a supportive shoulder for a birth mother to lean on. The guidance you’ve been searching for is here with us, and we will do our very best to be a beacon of light in your most dire time of need.

No rule book tells a birth mother the “right way” to feel. Choosing to consider adoption is beautiful and also nerve-wracking. When a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, a million thoughts are running through her mind the second she sees that positive test. In your heart, you know that the best thing for you and your baby would be to be in a loving home that could provide them with everything they want and need. And at the same time, you also have to think about the future you want for yourself. It does not make you selfish or that you’re “giving up” on your baby. There are endless reasons why birth mothers choose this path. It takes courage and strength to get through this journey.

How Am I Supposed to Feel about the Adoption of My Baby?

Some birth mothers might feel loss or grief. In contrast, some might experience joy and excitement. Humans are complex and unique. There are no two people that are the same. What one person feels, another might not. Everyone has coping mechanisms that help them through many ups and downs. It might be difficult to understand what you’re feeling at this moment, whether you are just beginning the adoption process or if your baby has been born and adopted; we are here to help you sort through these emotions to the best of our abilities.

Is it Normal to Feel Grief After My Baby is Adopted?

We have helped hundreds of birth mothers, and the answer is yes! For the last nine to ten months, your life has focused solely on keeping yourself and your baby healthy. A beautiful family adopted your baby, that you chose just for them. You created as perfect of a birth plan as you could so you could ensure the best future was ahead for them. Feeling a sense of loss and grief is very normal. There is nothing wrong with feeling this way. While you chose to give your baby up for adoption, that does not mean you care any less. It feels like a massive hole is in your heart where your baby belongs. You do not stop loving them, even as another family unconditionally loves them.

You made the hardest decision of your life. The grief does not end the day you sign the dotted line of the adoption papers. Grief can come in waves, but it slowly becomes a little lighter in time and weighs less heavily on your heart. You can rationalize and understand why you feel how you do, embrace it, and slowly start to feel the sorrow lifting. It might never be completely gone, but time can (and does) heal all.

What if I feel Depressed After My Baby is Adopted?

When everyday tasks, such as getting up in the morning, getting dressed, taking a shower, going to school or work, going to the store for groceries, eating, or sleeping have become too troublesome, these may be signs of depression. Having a few hard days spread out is entirely normal. But when it turns into weeks and months of feeling numb, emotionally distraught, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, it may be time to speak to someone that you trust and can provide comfort. For some, talking to a professional might seem intimidating. However, should you ever feel as though you cannot overcome the grief, loss, or heavy sorrow you are experiencing, we encourage you to seek professional assistance. As devastating as it might be in the present moment, those feelings should fade and subside with time and healing.

If you genuinely feel you cannot cope or take steps to move forward, we understand. We do not judge anyone for what they are experiencing. You are human. We all need help sometimes. Do not be hard on yourself or believe something is “wrong” with you because you need extra support. We want you to know that we have counselors available to guide you through this challenging time, and seeking help is the best way to care for yourself and your well-being. Here at Adoption Choices of Colorado, our monthly group and one-on-one therapy sessions have aided birth mothers in your position. We will do our very best to help you understand why you feel the way you do and how to process the related thoughts and emotions, ensuring that you have the best tools to help you heal and move forward.

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