by Robyn R. Robertson
In the middle of the beauty and story that is adoption and all it encompasses and shrouds are some uniquely difficult and heartbreaking emotions and realities.
I think we can all agree that birth parents often face additional challenges in their lives. We also know that there are similar psychological effects on both adoptees and adoptive parents. To name a few, loss, grief, rejection, guilt, shame, identity confusion and challenges to connect in relationships have been identified as common struggles and the journey to healing with a counselor or therapist is encouraged and necessary.
Birth families and birth parents often time face even more complex emotions that require specific support and counseling. The lack of understanding and information into all the “feels” a birth mother (especially) has is very likely due to the invisible status of birth mothers. This invisibility may be a birth mothers choice or as a result of societies judgments (good or bad) but the problem still remains. A very small percentage of birth moms who have voluntarily placed their child for adoption seek mental health care. In conversations with birth moms, when asked regarding the counseling they did receive, the responses are often the same. “No-one understands. They are judging me. They treat me like a hero, that’s not what I’m feeling. They tell me how brave I was. I spend most of my time explaining the adoption process to them.”
Post placement care for birth families is a hugely lacking and misunderstood service. The courts allow for adoptive families to pay for clinical counseling for up to six weeks after placement but what if (and it often does) the grief and emotions and mental health ramifications of the placement linger on beyond six weeks. Well for some bitrhtmoms, it’s “tough luck” and she along with her “feels” fades away into the grind of surviving another day. Our culture and court system has put an egg timer on a birth moms process of healing and needing help/support. Not a single person could think that that is possible or at all kind for a mom who has placed a child. If she does finally come to a place where she does seek counseling the difficulty of finding an adoption educated counselor seems daunting and impossible.
Destiny Adoption has set out to change this cycle and in addition to free clinical counseling with an adoption informed counselor for life, has continued to offer a robust and ever expanding post placement program that has no time limit and is also always FREE for life to these invisible women. They are never shamed for being in the shadows but offered a bridge to support, love, guidance and counseling from other women that actually know from experience what they are enduring and processing. That bridge never closes down and that offer never expires.
Whether it is linear or cyclical, feelings of denial, shock, disbelief, and numbing; guilt; anger; yearning, longing, and searching; depression, disorganization, and despair; and integration will always be validated and have a educated and experienced heart waiting to listen and comfort. Destiny is committed to compassion and ready to bring love and light to the invisible women of our world.
Change looks like action and action looks like a collection of moments and moments start with inspiration. Today, be inspired and take a moment to act so that we can change a life of a woman that feels invisible and forgotten.