by Erica Shaw
1. Remember that you’re a mom.
I totally get the desire people have to create “Birth Mother’s Day” and things like that. It’s sweet and comes from a good place. There’s certainly a place for those things. But honestly, most of the time those things just piss me off. I am a mom. I’m not parenting my kid, I’m a different kind of mom than most others, but I am a mom. God grew a life inside of me, I went through labor, I gave birth, and boy, do I know sacrifice for the sake of my child! Please don’t take that away from me, world. And don’t forget it, mamas. If you need permission, I’m giving it to you now – smile! Be proud of your perfect baby. And of yourself for doing everything you just did. Enjoy and revel in the fact that YOU ARE A MOTHER. There’s nothing better or sweeter.
2. Don’t hide/live in secrets/secrecy.
There are endless reasons that make your choice to place your child for adoption really private and intimate. It probably feels scary to let other people know that part of you… But don’t hide it! I’m not saying to go and tell everyone you meet that you placed your baby for adoption, (you get to choose who gets to know your story and you should be wise and discerning when it comes to who you share with), but don’t live in secrecy. Let me tell you from experience – that will not end well for you! It’s not good for your heart or your mind. Now is a time to take extra care and pay close attention to the things you are saying to yourself. And if you’re living in the shadow of secrets and fear, I can pretty much guarantee you aren’t keeping a healthy internal dialogue.
3. Go to therapy consistently.
You have a lot of work ahead of you, mama. Don’t go at it alone. It took me a while to be ready to go to therapy. I lived for a few years without being able to ‘go there’ emotionally. I eventually got to a place where I felt the need to talk about what I had been through but didn’t have the proper place to do it. That made for a pretty awkward position to put my new boyfriend into. (Not that he wasn’t willing to listen and let me cry.) Thank God he suggested I go to therapy, which I eventually did, because it CHANGED MY LIFE.
That’s what I want for you! I’m not going to lie, it was really hard for about 2 years; and I still go through rough patches. I went every two to three weeks and I cried EVERY TIME. It was emotionally exhausting. But going regularly forced me to face a lot of really tough stuff that I have had to work through, and it has been 100% worth it. The picture in my head of who I was is a limp, shriveled, dying flower. And now I am a blooming flower because of therapy. I recommend it to everyone in the world, but especially to you. I was blessed to have ended up with a therapist who specializes in loss and had experience in working around adoption. If you’re looking for a therapist and don’t know where to start, call the adoption agency you used (or use google to find one near you) and ask them for direction. Also, I would say it’s a must to find a therapist with similar values to yours.
* A note: I now have been in therapy for four (?!) years, I have an appointment about every 4 weeks, and as of now, I don’t plan on ever stopping.
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