The Birthmother Experience: What Does Healing Mean To Us

I was talking with someone about my adoption journey
recently and I was stopped in my tracks by the question “do you think you have
fully healed from your experience?” It was a question I had never been asked
and quite frankly something I had never really thought about. It made me start
to think about how far I have come emotionally since placing my birth daughter,
but at the same time confront the emotions that I still feel to this day. My
first instinct was to say yes, but then I couldn’t help but think about the
days that I still struggle with it. 7 years later there are still hard days and
sometimes hard weeks. There are still times I cry and I struggle. Healing is
different for everyone, so I was curious what other birth moms felt like
“healing” was to them. Here is what they said.

Now before I jump into this next part I feel the need to get
something straight right out of the gates. We NEVER “get over” our experience.
It is something that becomes a part of us and hopefully one day a very healthy,
happy part of us. But when people ask “Are you over it now?” the answer to that
is always NO.

So What Does Healing Mean To Us?

HAVING MORE GOOD DAYS
THAN BAD DAYS. If I am being honest, the first part of an adoption journey
for birthparents can be all consuming. The best way I can describe it is like
an hourglass. All of the sand starts out at the top (representing the hard,
painful days) and slowly it trickles down and there starts to become more and
more in the bottom (the good days). But it can be very slow moving. The
adoption journey can be very much like an hourglass. At some point in our
journey there starts to be more good days than bad.

BEING ABLE TO TALK
ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCE.
For some birthmothers, speaking about our experience
and having a platform to tell our story allows us to process our emotions and
to not feel alone. Whether it be a group of fellow birthmothers or a nationwide
adoption conference, having the space to be authentic and open can be so
healing and powerful. While every birthmother is unique, I think we all find
comfort in knowing we are not alone and that our story matters.

FINDING PRIDE IN
BEING A BIRTHMOTHER.
Unfortunately in today’s world there is still a lot of
shame placed on women who choose to make an adoption plan for their child. On
top of the grief we are experiencing, we often feel guilt and shame. The day we
can find pride in being a birthmother is one of the most powerful experiences.
The day that we realize that we created something so amazing out of something
so awful is the day we understand what an honor it is to be a birthmother.
Birthmothers are STRONG, SELFLESS, COURAGEOUS, and BRAVE, so brave that they
are willing to rip their own heart out to give their child a better life. And
hopefully one day we find the courage to let go of the guilt and shame that is
put on us and celebrate the amazing women we are.

WE DON’T REALLY KNOW.
I think there is a part of us that doesn’t really know what it means to be
fully healed. Do we every really fully heal from it? It is such a unique
experience and there is no right or wrong way to feel. It is uncharted
territory. Sometimes it’s a week straight of crying. Sometimes it is years of
feeling at peace. Sometimes it’s a feeling that sneaks up on you just when you
thought you felt okay. At the end of the day we are doing the best that we can
to navigate through a difficult, beautiful, painful, situation that has
absolutely no roadmap.

 Written by: Ali D.

Written by Jason Granillo

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