Finding Closure after a Closed Adoption
The attending nurse places your newborn baby in your arms. Even after months of planning, nothing could have prepared you for this moment. You look down into the tiny red face. A lump forms in your throat. Your brain goes into overdrive. You haven’t signed away your parental rights yet. There’s still a chance! But no. You’ve already made your decision, and there’s an adoptive family waiting to give your child the life you are unable to.
After a few moments, you carefully slide the baby back into the nurse’s arms. You watch as she disappears from the room. The door clicks shut. You burst into tears.
Even if you know a closed adoption was the right decision for both you and your baby, it’s natural to experience grief over your loss. For birth mothers who choose closed adoption, finding closure post adoption can be harder than you anticipated.
Remember Yourself Why You Chose Closed Adoption
Every birth mother has their reasons for choosing to place their baby for adoption. It’s not uncommon to experience some regrets. Maybe you find yourself asking “what-if” questions or second-guessing your decision. This is also natural. Adoption is a brave and loving choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. As a birth mother, you want your child to receive every opportunity in life. Adoption allows your child not only the necessities of life, but also opportunities he or she may not have otherwise had.
If you choose a closed adoption plan for you and your child, remember your reasons for this. Maybe you found the idea of ongoing contact with your child and the adoptive parents post adoption too difficult. Maybe you’re not in a good place in life and you wanted to protect him or her from that. Perhaps it was your occupation. Or, perhaps you just wanted to keep your identity private. Whatever your reasons, you know what they are, and they are valid. Reminding yourself why you chose closed adoption can help you healthfully move through your grief and back into your everyday life.
Remember to Use the Resources Available through Your Adoption Agency
You don’t have to go through this alone. Adoption Choices of Colorado offers post placement support to help you after the adoption has been finalized. You can schedule an appointment with one of our adoption counselors at any time. This can give you a safe, confidential space for you to express your grief and receive tips on how to move through it. Or, you can find another professional counselor who you can meet with regularly. It’s all up to you and what you need.
Our adoption agency in Colorado is also partnered with a birth mother support group called LifeTime Healing. This organization was founded by a birth mother herself, Ashley Mitchell, who felt the need to give other birth mothers a place to come and get the support they need. What’s more, all birth mothers are welcome. Whether you’ve placed years in the past of just recently, you can attend as many of the monthly meetings as you want. Mitchell’s group offers you a safe harbor to share your adoption story and speak with other women who understand what you’re going through.
If you’d like to learn more about post placement counseling or getting involved with a birth support group, be sure to consult with your caseworker. They can help connect you with Mitchell or any other resource you need.
Remember that Finding Closure after a Closed Adoption Takes Time
Healing does not happen overnight. So, try not to pressure or rush yourself through your grieving process. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Practice self-care. Journal. Treat yourself to a spa day. Allow yourself time to rest and recover. Finding closure — especially after a closed adoption — takes time.
When you chose to place your child for adoption, you made a responsible, selfless choice to give your child the best chance for a great life. This, in no way, means that it was easy. We understand that choosing adoption for you and your child can be a heart-wrenching decision to make. That’s why we are here to support you in whatever way we can, and want to encourage you to give yourself the time you need as you ease back into your everyday routine.
What are Ways that You can Find Closure after a Closed Adoption?
Finding closure after a closed adoption might seem like an elusive idea. After all, each birth mother’s adoption story is unique. So, your healing and grieving process will take as long as it needs to — and that’s okay! There is no set standard for when you should be “over it.” In fact, finding closure isn’t about getting over your choice. It’s about learning how to heal and move forward with it.
Know that Adoption Choices of Colorado is here for you, whether you placed your baby for adoption last week or years ago.
That said, what are ways that you can find closure? What are ways that have helped you grieve and heal in the past?
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: After graduating from University of Michigan with a degree in Education, majoring in English and Social Sciences, Brianne Davis has spent her adult life as an educator; first in the public schools, later through martial arts. Her ability to convey difficult concepts, navigate varied learning styles, and always keep it interesting defined her reputation as an impactful instructor. Many of her early published blogs centered on the goal of helping other instructors effectively teach children for whom learning is a struggle. Once an empty nester, she committed to sitting in traffic less and writing more. With those goals in mind, she, along with her husband and dogs, packed up, sold their family home, and moved to the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington’s wine country, where the pace of life is slower and the sun shines brighter. Realizing in our modern age, more of us turn to the internet for information than ever before, Brianne, now dedicates her time to educating others through blog writing.
As a life-long information junkie, Brianne enjoys taking deep dives into new topics, then condensing them in an interesting way to convey valuable information in a relatively short amount of space. Once her career, Brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts remain hobbies, along with boating, reading and traveling.