Adoption Holiday Blues and How to Beat Them
A few years ago I was able to be part of a local birthmother group, it was a wonderful experience and I made so many wonderful friends. I was able to talk to girls who were about to place their babies for adoption, and ones who already had placed. Together we laughed and we cried but most of all we understood each other.
I remember after one holiday one of the girls who had just recently gone through placement walked in and exclaimed “No one told me it was going to be this hard!” At the time I didn’t really understand what she meant, we all had talked about the placement being a very hard thing. We talked about the grieving process and we talked about finding the happiness… but she went on to explain the grief that the holiday had brought her, how hard it was to get through without feeling sad, lonely and empty even though she was surrounded by her family. Honestly the Holiday season is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, however it can also bring up a lot of emotions.
After having this discussion, we came up with a plan as a group to celebrate adoption during the Holiday season. We decided to do a service project for a local school district who auctions off donated, decorated, Christmas trees in order to raise money for children in the district. We came up with the theme of “We give a HOOT about adoption” and got to work making ornaments going along with our theme. We had a great time talking and putting our hearts into that tree. And when our tree sold on opening night of the auction we all felt such a sense of accomplishment! It was amazing to see what doing service did for our emotional well-being.
If the holiday seasons start to give you the blues, there are lots of ways to help cope with the emotions. Do something in honor of the child you placed, whether it’s releasing balloons, making something special, or starting a tradition you do once a year. If you have an open adoption, ask if there is something you can do together, and maybe make a tradition out of it. Find a service project to keep yourself busy and donate time in honor of them.
Joining a local support group is a great way to help cope. I know, when I placed Bryce, I refused to go to the group that was offered to me. I thought, “yah, who really wants to go to a big group of people talking about their problems? Honestly, now that I have volunteered in a group, I wish I could go back and have participated in the group when I was in the process of placing. It was not a huge cry fest like I thought, but it was a great place to find friends and help others, and just feel all around comfort when you need it. If you are feeling down and just feel like you can’t cope, seek out help with counseling, it’s okay to need help. Forever Bound Adoption is a full service agency, they offer pre-birth counseling, matching services, placement and post placement services; they also offer groups when they have enough expectant parents who want to participate.
While the holidays can be hard, try and find a way to cope with the grief and let yourself enjoy the holiday season.
by Katy Vanderdoes