Thursday, August 2, 2012

Expected Grief

Recently I had the occasion to sit with a pregnant young woman who plans to place her child with an adoptive family when she delivers in 8 weeks. The local pregnancy center thought she might enjoy talking with me and asking me questions about life on the other side of placement.

Now, I've had some of these conversations before and it seems as though they are usually upbeat despite the content. Usually the young woman is telling me all her reasons for choosing adoption and how wonderful the adoptive family is and is going to be.

Not this time. As this young lady, I'll call her Sadie, just cried and cried, I found myself at a loss for how to encourage her. Finally, through my own tear-filled eyes, I said this: "Sweet girl, I'm so sorry. But the truth of the matter is that you will cry about this for the rest of your life."

I wasn't at all trying to be harsh, just real. And pretty soon after that, her crying stopped and we were able to have a conversation about some of her fears and concerns.

I'm not sure what I thought she needed that day, but when she was in front of me it was pretty obvious she needed someone to acknowledge her grief.

Come to think of it, sometimes I still need that or I at least need to recognize that I am grieving. How about you?

Photo credit


  1. very true words, you spoke. its been almost four years since i let my little girl go. times i cry just as if it were the day i did. doesn't mean im not ok with my choice. just means i miss that piece of my soul.

  2. Yes! You are so right. Whether we have a relationship with our child and his or her parents or not, we deal with a lifetime grief. This is why we should surround ourselves with birth moms, because they understand that the grief doesn't ever go away, and they acknowledge that we're not just "overreacting." I don't think most people minimize our grief on purpose, and sometimes I think we help them minimize it because we don't want to deal with it either. Very thought-provoking post.

  3. Thanks girls. I referred that young woman to this site because you all are so supportive and encouraging!

  4. Definitely! That grief is always going to be there at some points through out our lives whether our child is 2 or 22, whether we have an open adoption or we're in reunion, we will grieve for the motherhood we lost, especially on trigger days like birthdays or Mother's Day.

    I think sometimes all we need is to hear someone say that it's OK to grieve or still be grieving, whatever the case may be.