I have had to set up personal boundaries when it comes to visiting my son. While these visits are about us getting to spend quality, positive time together, that doesn’t mean that it is without emotion. Leading up to deciding that it is time for a visit, I become lonely. I start to ache in curiosity as to what his little smile looks like in person, and what he is feeling in terms of confidence and security. I worry about the same things that other mothers worry about. I know it’s time for a visit when I start to crave kissing his cute little cheeks and need some moments with him.
I always ask if I can schedule a visit with his parents. We work out schedules. Even if it’s months ahead of time, I have learned that having a visit scheduled is something that brings me great joy. I find peace in knowing that very soon, I will lay my eyes upon his countenance.
When I visit him, I get lost in the moment. I find myself wrapped up in the present, the experience, and the love that I have for him. I do not dwell on what was, what could have been, what will be, or anything else. I just enjoy my son.
Knowing My Boundaries
After a few hours, I usually know when I’m done visiting. It’s odd, but I’ll start to feel sad that I’m not the one who is taking him home. I begin to feel a heaviness and want to cry. That is the moment that I know it is time to set up a personal boundary for myself. It’s important that we take care of ourselves as birth mothers. If we want a three-hour visit, but can only handle one hour, there is nothing wrong with that.
My time with my son is precious. My son’s parents appreciate that I know my own boundaries, and not only respect myself enough to establish them, but keep them as well. After all, it is a sign of respect to trust yourself and listen to your heart when it is speaking to you.
Joy in Reflection
On the car ride home, I don’t call anyone or listen to music for a while. I usually just sit and revel in the joy and peace that I feel after knowing that my son is happy. That is what gives me peace: knowing that my son is healthy and happy. I do not live in my sadness, but I do allow the feelings to come and go within reason.
Visiting with your child should be joyful, and as time goes on, the relationship will ebb and flow. While some visits may feel sad, reflect on what was good. Cherish those moments because children grow up too fast to be stuck in what happened a year ago. Be grateful for your relationship with your child, embrace it, respect it, and let the joy consume you when it comes. Allow yourself to feel happiness. Don’t fight peace and stay in brokenness. Walking a journey of healing means allowing happiness to come into your life, and choosing to focus on that.
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.