4 Ways to Cope with Unsupportive Family Members – Thoughts from a Birth Mother
Remember who you are making this decision for.
When I finally made up my mind to place my child for adoption, it was because I knew in my heart that it was right for my child. I knew, within a moment, that no matter what difficulties came my way, I would follow through with my decision. I knew it was going to mean many challenges in all of my relationships, but I just had a knowing within my soul that adoption was the right decision. Once I made my mind up, nothing was going to stop me from providing everything I could for my child.
Confusion and ignorance breed anger.
My family members had an array of responses and reactions to the decision that I made for adoption. Since I had my son for six months, it had given them time to prove how involved they wanted to be. Of course, I was crushed when almost no one showed up to help me with my son. I found it ironic and incredibly painful that my decision to place him in a better environment was not supported. I was angry. They were angry. I believe, after spending much time on my path of healing, that their anger was a result of not understanding what I was going through and what I ultimately wanted for my son. They didn’t know any better.
Choose to forgive.
The anger of my friends and family ate at me every moment of every day. I knew they disapproved. I knew I was going to be disowned. These were my worst fears in the adoption decision, and they came true. I lost almost everyone and everything. There were a few individuals who chose to support me, and they were ever so important to me. Yet, the support that they gave me wasn’t enough to make the pain of being abandoned disappear. I had to make a choice to forgive the friends and family members who betrayed me. Forgiveness is a choice.
Be kind to yourself.
I had to take care of myself first and foremost. I had to make myself practice hygiene and self-care. I’ll admit, self-care was the last thing on my mind. I was in survival mode. It would be untrue if I said that I knew how to handle the unsupportive relationships in my life in a healthy way. There was something that I did do though that I suggest anyone who deals with it do: be kind to oneself. I remember seeing visions of my grandfather while I was going through the lack of support of my family and friends. I envisioned him telling me that he loved me and that he knew I was doing the right thing. It may seem insignificant, but my grandfather had passed away before I gave birth to my son, and seeing and hearing him was incredible. It enabled me to self-soothe at times with deep breathing, calling the few supports I had, keeping active in my journal, and most importantly, these visions helped to keep me from giving up on my faith.Most Important: Faith If these four suggestions and understandings are not enough, then most crucial is this: do not give up on your faith. Whatever you believe in, press into it. You can sort everything else out in time, but your faith is what will get you through. Keep your eyes upon the Lord, no matter whose anger and lack of support is trying to distract you from perhaps the most important decision of your life. And, of course, don’t give up. ~Lindsay Arielle Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.