The first emotion I experienced after placement was grief. I was overwhelmed by what felt like the greatest loss I had ever experienced. In the moment after I watched my son’s parents drive away with him in the car, I fell to the floor, sobbing as if every tear I could ever cry had escaped in that moment. I felt as if I had lost myself. It felt as if someone had ripped a piece of my soul from my body. I was immediately grieving the loss of a relationship.
I suddenly became afraid of life. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. Losing my identity and placing my son scared me in the sense that I didn’t know what to expect from life. Anything could happen at any moment, and at times, I was paralyzed with fear. I didn’t know if I could handle another loss and experienced paranoia that something bad would happen to one of my loved ones. I became encased in a cage of fear.
I was disowned by many family members, and I became insecure of everything I said and did for fear I would be betrayed by others I knew and loved. I questioned myself, doubted myself, and second-guessed myself. I had lost my identity, and when I didn’t know which way to turn, I would just stop moving. Insecurity overcame me, and every thought I had was scrutinized in the anxiety of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing according to someone else.
As the grief began to wane, I realized that I did lose something. I lost the role I had played as a mother. What I also realized was that I had gained the role of a birth mother. I began to accept my role change, and realize that not only was it for the best for my son, but that it was for the best for me. Beginning to accept my new role made the fear begin to fade away. Even though life is full of surprises, many of them are beautiful. Life’s twists and turns is what makes life worth living. I had to embrace that sentiment as I faced the reality of how blessed I really was to have been led to my son’s parents and the life he was going to have.
I started to feel secure again when I began to live my life again. I will never be the same person, but who I have evolved into is much more desirable to me than who I was before placement. Not only am I confident, but I hold no regret for my decision to place my son for adoption. I have gratitude and can stand firm on my foundation with the Lord that I carried out His will, which is what was and is what’s best for my son.
Remember, feelings pass and are not permanent. Healing and sadness come in waves. You may feel great one day and depressed the next. Just don’t let your feelings dictate the rest of your life.
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.