The anniversary of an adoption can be a tough time for birth mothers, but it doesn’t have to be. On the anniversary of the adoption, all of those emotions – that feeling of loss – come flooding back all over again. However, there are ways to cope with these feelings and help transform the day into something new and special.
“It still isn’t easy for me — nearly 5 years later,” writes Jenna Myers, birth mother. “ But I have learned ways to make it easier to get through that day (or week).”
Planning for Your Adoption Anniversary
There are ways to get through these tough times and celebrate what you have in life. Here are just a few suggestions.
Choose to Celebrate
This may not be easy, but celebrate what your child has.
“Don’t spend your day wondering ‘what if’ and thinking about what he or she is doing,” suggests Myers. “Be happy that your child is happy on this day, be happy that your child is being thrown an awesome birthday party and is surrounded by loved ones. And celebrate!”
Celebrate the life you gave your child. Celebrate the joy you have brought to their family. Celebrate the sacrifice you made to ensure your child is loved and well cared for.
“You did something amazing and truly blessed a deserving family and that is something to be proud of, and something to celebrate,” says Myers.
It’s not healthy to bottle everything up inside. So, find an outlet and let it all out, suggests Mitchell.
“On [my son’s] first birthday, I felt a heavy loss,” says Heather Mitchell. “Instead of sulking, I wrote a poem to express my emotion. Don’t ignore, deny, or suppress your feelings. Instead, acknowledge what’s going on inside, work through those feelings, and find a healthy way to express them.”
Surround Yourself with Supporters
“I firmly believe that a birth mom will suffer less if surrounded by positive people who support her and her decision,” writes Mitchell. So, find your support system – friends, family, co-workers, adoption councilors – and make sure you are surrounded during those particularly tough times. This will help lessen the pain.
If you are struggling to cope with your loss, counseling is a great way to work through your emotions in a productive way.
“Counseling is a necessary component of infant adoption, not just prior to placement but, in many cases, after placement as well,” write Chuck Johnson and Kris Faasse. “Good counseling provides a crucial foundation for birthmothers in dealing with their emotions and moving forward, throughout the process until relinquishment, and after placement as they undertake the necessary work to grieve and to heal.”
Finding the Support You Need with Adoption Makes Family
Adoption Makes Family serves as more than just a mediator between you and an adoptive family. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency that aims to foster a genuine connection with you so you feel like you are part of our family. One of the ways we do this is through adoption counseling. If you are considering adoption but have not talked with a professional counselor, please contact us to speak with one of our staff members. Adoption Makes Family will provide you with counseling throughout the adoption process, pre- and post-placement.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- Foote, Alysia. “How I Celebrate My Birth Child’s Birthday.” Adoption.com, https://adoption.com/how-i-celebrate-my-birth-childs-birthday.
- Mitchell, Heather. “How Do Birth Mothers Cope after Placing a Child?” Adoption.com, https://adoption.com/how-birth-mothers-cope-after-placing-child.
- Myers, Jenna. “Birthday Advice from a Birth Mother |.” Adoptions Together, 21 Aug. 2015, https://www.adoptionstogether.org/blog/2014/09/25/image-co-www-grandparentscom-so-its-been-a-year-or-2-or-maybe-even-5-not-only-does-that-time-signify-your-child/.