A great love meets a great loss when adoption is chosen. This life-giving and selfless choice you have made for yourself and your child is not without grief. Your life has been turned upside down, and it may feel as if a part of you is missing. The very real and human response to such a loss is to grieve. There is not a set, “right” way to grieve. Everyone experiences and expresses grief in their own way, but here are some grief patterns that you can expect:
Grief is a journey
There are no shortcuts to walking through grief. It’s a process, a journey—not an event. You are going to have ups and downs, good days, and very hard days. Common stages in this journey include shock, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. Expect these stages of grief to be disorganized, having no predictable timeline or order. Grieving takes both time and energy, and walking through grief is a worthwhile task.
Grief is normal
You may feel pressure not to grieve. It may feel optional, abnormal, or even a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Grief is a very normal process. Your conflicting emotions are normal. The chaos you feel is normal. Grief is not a sign of weakness, and it is not the enemy. It’s a process that leads to life. Grief is the work that is necessary for healing to occur.
Grief must be shared with another person for healing to most effectively occur
You may feel like you’re going crazy during your grief. You may feel sure that you’re the only one who has ever had the thoughts or feelings that you are having, so you may fear that you are abnormal. When you feel like you’re going crazy, the best thing to do is to share your grief with another person. As Lifeline pregnancy counselors, it is our desire to walk alongside you through a part of your grief journey—not as a teacher, but as a listener. It will be your counselor’s role to reassure you of the above-mentioned truths concerning the nature of grief, and to listen to your questions, your doubts, and your sorrow. Our intention is to walk alongside you through your grief beginning during your pregnancy, and after. Through this continued relationship with your pregnancy counselor, you will likely realize that your “craziness” isn’t crazy at all—it’s just a very normal part of grief. Lifeline’s desire is to give you continued support through the relationship with your counselor, for as long as you desire it. It will be an honor to bear witness to both your joy and your deep loss and to point you to Christ, the One described as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, who has borne all our griefs and carried all our sorrows.
If you are considering adoption for you and your child but are overwhelmed with thoughts of fear and grief, Lifeline is here to help. Reach out to one of our Pregnancy Counselors to talk through questions, concerns, and desires. Although we, as Pregnancy Counselors, talk through these things many times daily, we understand that this experience is new to you and we meet you right where you are.