Parting with a child is one of the most difficult decisions one could possibly make. Birthdays, holidays and Mother's Day can all be painful reminders of one's loss.
I have sat in hospital rooms with birthparent's saying goodbye to their babies. I have counseled them years later as they wonder how their precious child once placed for adoption is doing and if they might see them again some day.
Your feelings are valid. You are not alone!
Am I too old to become a parent? Am I doing a good job explaining their adoption and raising them? Will my teen want to find their biological parents? I was such a loving and involved parent, so why are they hurting so much?
These are just a few of the questions asked by adoptive parents at various life stages.
You want to be the best parent you can be. I can help you understand your feelings of confusion, sadness and concern.
If my birthmother loved me, why did she say goodbye to me? I'm not like the rest of my family - Am I enough? If I want to meet my birthmom, is that wrong? I look for my birthmother in crowds. Is that weird?
There are so many mixed feelings that can occur for the adoptee. I can help you understand that your feelings are normal. Together we can explore how your adoption impacts you and how to best navigate your emotions and decisions.
While I was working on my master's degree to become a marriage, family therapist, I had the opportunity to work in a Beverly Hills law office that facilitated open adoptions. I acted as a liaison between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Some of my job duties included providing information about the adoption process to both parties, assisting adoptive parents in creating biographies for birth parents to learn about them, accompanying birth parents to medical appointments, introducing adoptive parents and birth parents to each other for the first time, and acting as a support to all parties. I oftentimes assisted birth mothers in holding their babies in the hospital, then saying painful goodbyes. Then, I would run out to the waiting room to support the adoptive parents who were terrified of loosing their opportunity to become parents. To me, adoption is a gift of love demonstrated by all involved.
I became keenly aware that the adoptive parents were oftentimes the main support to the birth mother who did not always have the emotional support of her friends and family. My professional paper in my master's program explored the degree to which birth mothers not only grieved over the loss of their child but also for the altered or severed relationship with the adoptive parents. I coined the term "dual grief" to describe the pain that many birth mothers suffered as they went home without their babies and missing the adoptive parents whom they grew to love.
I soon found myself lecturing for attorneys on dual grief and how to prevent it; moreover, important topics for all parties to discuss and agree on to facilitate a smooth adoption for all.
It was when I started working in private practice and residential treatment centers that I started working with adoptees. Ironically, so many of my eating disordered clients were actually adopted.
Currently, I work with all parties of the adoption triad. I feel compassion for each and every person who has known both the love and pain that can accompany adoption. I also have provided lectures to clinicians wanting to understand how to best assist their clients and to better understand the complexities of adoption and the process in general.
Adoption, A Gift of Love
This book discusses the decision to adopt, how to explain adoption to a child and how to answer questions about the biological parents.
This book provides information about pre- & perinatal psychology, attachment, bonding and the effects of loss. As a family counselor, I have shared this book with many individuals who have experienced adoption. Adoptees also find it helpful.
Jamie Lee Curtis did a beautiful job demonstrating the love and excitement that surrounded the birth of the adopted child!!!!! This is a great book on adoption!