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Sunday, February 6, 2011


Grief is a natural feeling after placing your baby for adoption. One thing that agency’s have started doing since I placed is allowing open adoptions. Open adoption is thought to help relieve some of this grief. Still grief is likely to occur. Recognizing it and learning how to best cope with it is important.

There are five main stages of grief but they do not happen in any particular order. Everybody is different and some may experiences several stages of grief in one day.

SHOCK and DENIAL: This is mixed between the shock of birth, the raging hormones, and of course the shock that comes after the placement and having to say good-bye. There will be a lot of tears and sadness mixed with times of a dull ache. Denial can happen but may be one of the hardest to get past. I have seen denial more frequently among birth mothers in an open adoption agreement. This is because they have contact with the baby and may not feel any loss. Others will avoid talking about it and pretend that nothing happened. When I was young families would ship their daughters off to live with extended family until they had the baby so no one would know. That would show the birth mother that denial was expected from them. Denial is normal for a period of time but does not change the facts.

DEPRESSION: For me the depression was probably the longest stage. I cried at every time I saw a pregnant woman, a baby, baby clothes, or when I heard a baby cry. I wanted nothing more than to hold my baby in my arms and smell his sweet smell. My arms felt empty and I cried myself to sleep often. I kept thinking I could feel him kicking and my daily life drastically changed. These are normal feelings and reactions. Depression is necessary after placing your child for adoption and is not a sign of mental illness.

ANGER: You may find yourself getting angry more easily with those close to you. You may be angry at the birthfather as I was for not being there for me. The smallest thing may make you angry and may come on very suddenly. The best ways to deal with this is to talk to someone and be physically active. I received counseling and joined a gym.

GUILT: You may feel some guilt about many things such as getting pregnant, not being able to provide what you wanted for your baby, or moving on with your life without your baby. You need to realize that you are human and forgive yourself. Look for those around you that will be positive and help you feel good about the person you are becoming.

ACCEPTANCE: You are now able to accept your decision and make the most of it. You may even be able to feel empowered by your decision. My decision to place my son for adoption and my acceptance of it has changed me life. I am excelling in school to work with adoption because of my love for all those involved in adoption. This is the time for you to focus on what you want out of life. You may want to reach out to others that have or are going through what you have gone through. You might be surprised how much you have to offer and how much you could learn as well.

This post was done by April Morgan!

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