Although it sucks, it is not out of the ordinary for birth parents to feel various levels of regret post-placement. You may constantly ask yourself “What if I did not lose my job?” “What if I stayed away from that person?” “What if I listened to what others warned me about?” Those who are parenting their children may say things like “If I sent him to this high school instead of that high school, would he be more prepared for college?” “If I invited their mom to have dinner with us on Thanksgiving, do you think they would like me more?” The truth is whether you are a birth parent, adoptive parent, step-parent there will always be some regrets you have along the way.
A loving parent will never half-heartedly make a decision that will affect their child’s well-being. The decision to place a child for adoption should come from the birth parents without pressure. Although this was not an easy decision to place your child for adoption, you did it because you saw the truth and the reality of what was best for them. Closure from your decision will not come right away, but here are some things you can do to help you come to peace with adoption.
Do not make your regret taboo:
Let your feelings be heard! You can even reach out to your social worker to meet up for coffee and talk about how you feel. Your social worker will hear you out and truly LISTEN to what you have to say. Aside from your social worker, it can be beneficial to see a therapist to talk about your feelings. Getting advice from a therapist could be refreshing since they are more or less a third who can help you and offer a new perspective.
Remember that it is also ok to vent to your friends when you need to. Although your friend is not a professional in the field of adoption or psychology, they will be there to listen. A true friend will allow you to express your regret about placing your child for adoption without judgment. You don’t need anyone in your life that brushes off your regret with a “you made your bed, lie in it” response. That is not a true friend.
Acknowledge regret, but don’t let it take over you:
Regret is a strong feeling that can truly paralyze you emotionally if you allow it. Regrets are like diseases that can put you into a deeper funk the more you dwell on them. Only YOU hold the power to how YOU feel. Keep reminding yourself that you are loved, you are brave and have so much to offer this world. You will forever be an important and loved figure in your child’s life. While you must not ignore your regrets, you have to push yourself to heal. Again, finding closure is no “walk in the park,” but remind yourself it is necessary in order to live the beautiful life you deserve.
Remember your “Why”:
Above all remember your why in why you placed your child for adoption. Every birth parent has their reasons for choosing adoption. As a birth mother or birth father you want your child to receive the opportunities and necessities they deserve. Out of love and instinct, only you know why and what your baby deserves in life.
Healing is possible! Remember to always believe in yourself.