While I treasure the visits I am able to have with my birthson through our open adoption agreement sometimes after a visit, I feel a sense of sadness and “let down.” I’ve nicknamed these feelings “the post visit blues.” I’ve also talked with other birthmothers in open adoptions who have shared with me that they too have the post visit blues after a visit. Since I have been dealing with this for six years now, I have come up with some methods of coping that work for me and perhaps they will work for you too.
1. Acknowledge the feelings. It’s important that I acknowledge the feelings I am experiencing and allow myself to feel them. I have learned the hard way that if I don’t acknowledge the feelings now it will only hurt me more in the long run.
2. Write a letter. A few days after a visit, I always write a letter to Charlie. I tell him how much the visit meant to me, I recap things that went on during the visit, and I include pictures from the visit. Mailing the letter is optional. If you didn’t want to mail it, you could put them all in a box to share with your child one day.
3. Scrapbook. I actually haven’t done this in one in awhile but am already sketching out layouts from my last visit in my head. Scrapbooking our time together makes me feel good and gives me an easy way to look back at good memories when I want to.
4. Journal. I recap the visit for myself in my journal writing down what we did, cute things Charlie said, etc. Then as I feel sadness over the next few days, I write about those feelings.
5. Try not to isolate myself. This is the one I personally struggle with. When I am dealing with my emotions after a visit and feeling down, I tend to want to be myself, turn off my phone, and crawl in a hole. While this can be good for me for a little bit, it also could quickly become unhealthy so I usually have to force myself not to hide out.
6. Talk with other birthmothers. No one quite understands what I am feeling besides other birthmothers so when I am dealing with sadness after a visit, I turn to my birthmother friends for support and understanding.
I should also add that although I do not see an adoption counselor or therapist, if you do, you may find it helpful to schedule an appointment after your visit.