The desire to know you belong is a real and sincere desire in all of us. Some of us find this with our families, our friends, or our community. When relationships don’t match up in these three major areas of your life, it can be challenging to feel a sense of belonging. Having people around you who understand what you have been through and relate to your life experiences, can help build self-confidence, eliminate feelings of depression and loneliness. Creating a healthy and positive support system, no matter how your tribe came about, can be vital in how you handle trials in your life.
After placing my baby girl for adoption, I felt an instant wave of loneliness. Not only was I dealing with the first signs of grief but I also had the realization that no one around me would ever fully understand what I was going through. I was grateful to have a stable support system. My family was understanding, most of my friends stuck by my side, you could say I had my tribe of people. However, none of them could relate to my life experience of placing a baby for adoption. I didn’t know one birth mom who I could lean on. The loneliness mixed with the grief was nearly unbearable.
As your starting your adoption process, as a hopeful adoptive parent or a potential birth parent, I would advise you to start making connections now. Reach out to adoptive couples who have been there before you. Their knowledge is priceless! They can relate, most likely, to your infertility struggles, along with your new journey of adoption. Ask a lot of questions. What do they wish they would have done better or not at all? Learn from them and lean on them.
I believe my involvement with the adoption community, after placement, is what indeed helped me through the grieving process; still does. Every adoption story is different, but every adoption story carries the same emotions. Connecting with fellow birth moms raised my confidence in telling my story. The courage to tell my story came from the encouragement of those in the adoption community.
The subconscious and conscious desire to feel connected as human beings is a desire I think we greatly overlook. A sense of belonging can make a significant impact on your adoption experience. Many people are here to support your decision to place your baby for adoption or support your decision to adopt. There are also many others who will not agree with you. When those lines are crossed, and you feel doubt about your choice, before or after placement, stay connected to your tribe! Those who have always been there for you like your family, friends, and community and the new tribe that you create in the adoption community.