As a birth mom, how can I cope with adoption?

As a birth mom, how can I cope with adoption?

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  •       It's not easy, but it's doable. I placed my little girl two years ago and it's the hardest, best thing I've ever done. The grief never really goes away, but it does change and become manageable. I wouldn't want the grief to go away- I love her, and because I love her I will miss her. I have accepted and come to terms with it, but it's been hard. There are several things you can do to cope with adoption related grief. 
          One of the most important things you can do is allow yourself to feel. It's common for birth moms to shut down emotionally because the hurt is too much. You might have feelings that are totally irrational, and you will have feelings that make a lot of sense. It doesn't matter- just let yourself feel them or you won't be able to work through them. 
         Another thing that's important is to understand that the grief you are feeling is complex. You're grieving the loss of a person that's still alive. You chose your grief. Some people think this means you're not allowed to have it. However, you can know for sure that you did the right thing and that this is the best possible situation for your child and still be sad about it. 
         Find support. One of the best things for my grief was being a part of a support group for birth parents. Having other girls who understood what I was going through meant the world to me. It also gave me hope- if they could be okay, then I could too. Other good places to find support are friends, family, and a therapist who specializes in adoption. 
         The grief will come and go. Even two years later I sometimes hurt like it happened yesterday. Other days I am angry, or I bargain, or I experience any of the other phases of grief. But most days I'm okay, and I spend longer and longer periods of time in the acceptance phase. Things do get better. 
  • Great answer above. I know that every birthmom experiences adoption and grief differently. Grief does come in waves. It's not like you'll be sad in the beginning and slowly get better. It may come and go and come at random/inopportune times. But it is important to feel the feelings rather than push them down and ignore it. Counseling can help, a psychologist or a psychiatrist that specializes in adoption. There are also birthmom support groups, in person or even online. Connecting with other birthmoms on Facebook and Instagram is a good things too. One thing about adoption today that is great is that it's usually open adoption, not closed. With open adoption, you can get updates about the child and even see the child. Some families are so close they have monthly dinners. Some only see each other once a year. It just depends on the relationship you have with the adoptive family. Find someone who shares your values and shares your idea of how much contact you want to have. Adoption.com has some great videos on their youtube channel where birthmoms speak about their experiences. 
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