Realize that this is a huge loss, and that you have been through a major life crisis.
Even as children, most women picture their future family and children. Nobody pictures this as being extremely difficult to attain, which is why infertility can be so shocking to those experiencing it. You should take time to mourn the loss of the pregnancy experience, as well as the loss of a biological connection to your child, before moving on to adoption. This loss, like any other life-changing event, will always be with you. This sense of loss just cannot take center stage anymore.
Many couples actually become stronger through the infertility journey. Counseling can be an excellent outlet for realizing your loss and working together toward a new plan for your family.
Have a funeral, ceremony or annual tradition for lost pregnancies.
Do this even if you were never pregnant. You are mourning the loss of what might have been. Many couples feel that a ceremony helps them close one chapter and begin another. Some couples prefer something active like an annual 5k for March of Dimes or a charity that is close to them in memory of their losses. I’ve also heard of couples who plant a flower each year in memory of a loss, hang an ornament on the tree each year, or even make a donation to an appropriate organization in memory of this loss.
Stop blaming yourself.
Infertility is nobody’s fault. It does not make you less of a person, and it will not make you any less of a mom when you adopt.
Stop isolating yourself.
Part of the challenge of infertility is that, unlike a death in the family or an obvious illness, it is oftentimes a very private crisis. Most couples find it refreshing to finally share some of their journey with others when they choose to pursue adoption.
Continue to avoid emotional roadblocks.
You may not want to go to baby showers, and you may not be comfortable in a group of women who talk a lot about breastfeeding. That’s okay. Be true to yourself, and don’t put yourself in situations that could trigger negative feelings.
Surround yourself with happy adoptive families.
Find a local support group of adoptive families. Find families that are “adoption success stories”. Spend time with them. These families will be your support through the adoption process, and they will become your sounding board for advice as you raise your future child.
Get excited about your new plan.
The coolest part about adoption is that you are building your family! Read, research, plan and dream about your new journey. Announce your intent to adopt. Maybe even decorate a nursery. When you’ve reached the excitement stage, you know you are ready to adopt!
About This Blogger: Erica Nowak
Erica Nowak is a new stay-at-home mom to her active toddler, Claire. Erica and her husband are hoping to adopt and are eagerly waiting for an opportunity to arise. Erica enjoys summer sunshine, hilarious conversation, creative restaurants, adventurous new recipes, being a mommy, celebrating with champagne and curling up with a good book.