Coping With Complex Emotions During the Adoptive Process

Adoption is a beautiful and loving decision for families. However, it can also be difficult on both parties, who often must deal with complex emotions. Parents could also experience negative emotions throughout the process, a gap in the adoption conversation that is often not addressed.

If you’re looking to start the adoption process, it’s important to acknowledge that you will experience a range of emotions. It’s critical to keep them in check by finding ways to respond to the adversities that may come your way. Today, we’ll discuss three ways to cope with complex emotions during the adoptive process:

1. Set realistic expectations

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of adoption and the idea of a new family. Still, it’s important to remember that the process can bring about a cycle of emotions, as we discussed in our blog post entitled “Grief, Loss and Hope”. Some adoptive parents have experienced grief and loss in one way or another, especially if they have experienced infertility as a couple. The adoption process can spark feelings of hope, especially when the agency or attorney gives updates on your case. However, there can be complications along the way that lead to disappointment when things do not go as planned.

Setting realistic expectations and adopting a flexible mindset when entering the adoption process is crucial. The best thing to do is to accept that the procedure is not seamless. There can be several setbacks along the way, but they don’t mean that your adoption won’t happen—they just mean there’s more work left to do.

2. Get professional help

As mentioned earlier, grief is one complex emotion commonly experienced by couples looking to adopt. It’s normal to feel guilt before and during the process, and most people can work through it independently. However, others may struggle to cope and may need professional help in the form of counseling. Maryville University explains that grief counseling is a therapeutic approach designed to help people work through the various stages and emotions of grief. Its primary objectives are to accept the loss, work through the pain, adjust to life, and maintain a connection. Grief therapy helps address the many ways grief can manifest, such as sadness or anger.

It’s vital to seek out this kind of support as it can help you effectively deal with your feelings so that they don’t interfere with your ability to parent a child. Having an expert professional to guide you through this process can help you prepare for this stage in your life and welcome the new addition to your family.

3. Find community support

It can be hard to find the proper support during the process of adoption. The best support systems are fellow adoptive parents as they can empathize all too well with the complex emotions involved. They can also offer advice, perspective, and empathy as you navigate the process. As per Time Magazine, one million families in the United States seek to adopt at any time. There are several online communities for people adopting and finding support from others going through similar experiences.

Community support can also come from close friends and family members who support your decision to adopt or local adoption organizations specific to your area. Whatever form it takes, the critical matter is that you have somewhere safe to share what you’re going through so that you don’t feel isolated by all these emotions.

The adoption process is full of wonderful moments, but it’s also packed with intense emotions. While it can be rewarding, it can also come with its share of challenges. By understanding these emotions and finding ways to cope, the reward will be sweeter as you welcome your new bundle of joy into the family.

Article written by Ronda Joanne exclusively for New Life Adoptions