3 Things You Need to Know About Post Adoption Blues

Perhaps you are just adjusting at home with your newly adopted child or maybe you have been a family for awhile. Either way, I suspect you are here because you are experiencing some sadness and you’re looking for some validation that you are not alone. Well, Sis, you’re in luck ’cause that’s the first thing I want you to know.

What You Need to Know About Post Adoption Blues

#1. You Are Not Alone.

One of the hardest things about experiencing unexpected sadness is how isolating it can feel. Just because no one is talking about this type of experience doesn’t mean they aren’t experiencing it. Trust me.

It’s easy to become stuck in the thinking that something is wrong with you or that your experience is different from the experiences of other families. This kind of thinking only spirals out of control and puts you in the path of negativity. And nothing good can come from that. ( Ask me how I know…)

Lets admit it: as adoptive parents, we spend most of the time ( A ridiculous amount of time!) before we adopt proving that we are qualified to adopt. Gosh, who wants to admit it’s harder than we thought? It becomes very taunting to admit that we might be struggling. But just admitting you are struggling can take the power out of it. It can lighten the load and even diminish the stronghold.

The place of isolation is where shame, guilt and powerlessness are born then allowed to grow. And nobody has time for that! Reach out to a trusted friend and BE HONEST. Admit that you are struggling to your spouse. Find an adoptive mama to connect with. In our first days home, the only thing that allowed me to move forward from the initial fog of sadness was realizing so many other moms were experiencing the same thing.

Journaling is a great way to get and maintain perspective.

What You Need to Know About Post Adoption Blues
#2. Perspective is Key

  • It doesn’t define you or your adoption.
  • It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or that you are a terrible mom.
  • It doesn’t mean you have made a mistake.
  • More importantly, it doesn’t mean this is how it’s going to be forever!

Your life has just been turned upside down. Your relationships are strained . Your schedules and routines are out of whack. This is a MAJOR life adjustment and any time anyone experiences a major life adjustment there is a chance of developing an adjustment disorder. In the case of the adoptive parents, this may lead to post adoption blues.

Don’t over analyze or become a critic. Often, we can be our worst critic and it;s imperative to believe the best for yourself and your family now more than ever. Believe in good things to come. Trust the process and the God who called you to it.

My favorite quote after coming home with our daughter is a quote from Beth Moore that says, “if the enemy can’t have the victory he will go after your joy.”

What You Need to Know About Post Adoption Blues
#3. Resources Are Available to Help

Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. -Eleanor Brownn

If you wanna move into a happy, healthier place, then we need to talk about what you need to do to get there. Waiting for the storm to just pass is not a strategy and according to WebMd can leave you open to the risk of the blues turning into Major Depressive Disorder.

You can’t allow yourself to lose hope. I’ve come to believe that YOU are your most valuable resource. Feelings of sadness are often related directly to your thoughts, and you are the only one who can access your thoughts and choose what you focus on.

Practice self-awareness. Identify your limitations and begin exercising boundaries. Start by simply recognizing the things that bring you happiness and practicing gratitude. There are podcasts, online support groups, books and even retreats for adoptive moms that can boost your spirits and your resilience.

More importantly, admit when you need to seek additional outside support. Professional counseling can be an incredible resource you can benefit from. Even if you don’t feel like you “need” it, a counselor can assist in helping you process things that might be in your blind spot. Don’t be the one who makes excuses rather than taking the action that could really lead to thriving rather than just surviving. You can do this!

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