The Rewards & Challenges of Adoption: Perspectives of Birth Moms, Part 2
In continuing with our “Perspectives of Birth Moms” posts, Part 1 mentioned that there is a time of grieving for birth parents after placement. What do we mean by grieving? The baby is still alive, yes, but birth parents are grieving the loss of what relationship they would have had with this child. At New Life, we give every birth parent a copy of the book Good Grief. We want them to know that the emotions they will be experiencing are normal. Grief has several stages, including guilt, anger, resistance, and finally acceptance. Everyone deals with grief in different ways and at his or her own pace.
When it comes to the difficult emotions of adoption, one birth mom said, “Whatever you are feeling is okay. Feel it, really feel it…process it and then give it to the Lord. Sometimes we take it back. Give it again.”
Sometimes birth parents have to process the grief on their own before they can have a relationship with the adoptive family, but sometimes their relationship with the adoptive family helps them come to a place of resolution and acceptance. One birth mom described the most rewarding thing about adoption as, “Choosing life and to love, getting extended family. That’s really what the adoptive family feels like.”
Another birth mom described the hardest thing about adoption, “In the beginning, it was this perceived, ‘aloneness,’ but with the presence of social media, you can find others who have gone through similar situations.”
Unfortunately, adoption has had a stigma around it for years. However, through BraveLove and the positive light that is being shed on adoption, it’s becoming something that women are proud of, instead of ashamed of. This is also partially attributed to the community that birth parents are able to establish. New Life has a support group, but there are also several groups and accounts on social media that birth parents can follow to interact with other birth parents. Since we work all over Texas, some of our birth parents are unable to travel to Tomball for our group. Instead, they’ve been able to find community on social media. Regardless of the method in which a birth parent receives support, it is invaluable. I always tell my birth parents, “No one knows what you’re going through except for someone else who has gone through it.”
–Asheton Kendrick (Birth Parent and Expectant Parent Caseworker)