The 12 Days of Adoption Gratitude: Day 8 – My Healing Journey
“Whatever you are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of Simple Abundance – it will surely come, but only when you are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach
Healing is a journey, not a destination. There is no end point that we reach where we can say, “I’m done healing now.” Healing is a journey we walk while we are spending this life on earth. We can choose to halt our healing at any point and settle; however, it will only delay the inevitable. We all have something to heal from, whether it’s a difficult upbringing, traumatic situations we encounter as an adult, hurt that someone has wronged us, or choosing to put a child up for adoption.
It is my firm belief that healing is not only a right for every birth mother, but a responsibility. Birth mothers deserve to heal and live fulfilling and satisfying lives after choosing adoption. After all, adoption gives a birth mother a second chance. The child who was placed for adoption will also benefit from his or her birth mother choosing to heal. Whether the birth mother and birth child have a relationship during the child’s life or not, there is always the chance that they will reconnect one day. There are great benefits to walking a path of healing for a birth mother, and I am grateful for my own personal healing journey.
My Journey of Healing as a Birth Mother
My journey as a birth mother walking a path of healing has not been an easy journey. I had a lot of issues with my self-esteem as it was, and choosing adoption brought up many of those feelings. Not only did I have to face the emotional rollercoaster of adoption, but many issues from my past re-surfaced that I chose to face. I believe that every time a person goes through a traumatic experience, it brings up unhealed issues from the past. We always have the choice as to whether or not we want to face such issues. If we chose to face old wounds, it will hurt for a period of time while we allow them to heal. However, if we choose not to heal our past, those wounds will fester and be harder for us to face when we finally choose to.
Birth Mother Healing Is a Choice
My path of healing from choosing adoption began a while after I went through the adoption process. For a period of time, I just wasn’t ready to face how I felt about anything. The pain was so great, it would swallow me for days, weeks, and in the beginning, for months. One morning, something miraculous happened: I woke up and decided I didn’t want to hurt anymore. The morning I made the decision to begin healing, my healing journey began. Throughout my path of healing from adoption, I have learned how to love myself and others in ways I never would have thought possible. I have experienced great sadness, but it has allowed me to appreciate the moments of joy. You can’t truly begin to appreciate happiness until you have truly experienced sadness. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to walk through my pain because the result has been moments of inexplicable peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Birth mothers have a right and a responsibility to heal. There are healing resources available if you know where to look. A great first step for a woman considering adoption is to pick up the phone and just call an adoption agency. Find out what healing resources they offer as well as the adoption support resources they have. If you don’t know of a local adoption agency, you can contact an adoption professional through this form, and they can take your hand and begin walking through the adoption process with you.
This is the fifth post in a 12-part series on gratitude in adoption. Stay tuned for more.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption seven years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.