I've had an aversion to that phrase up until recently. I felt that by saying I had "moved on" or was able to "move on" in relation to my decision for adoption, I was somehow hurting my son. As though it meant that I was happy because he wasn't here or that I was forgetting him or replacing him.
In the beginning, I never even felt the need to use the phrase because that was simply not where I was. I was defined by my birthmotherhood and for the first few years, it still felt too fresh.
But I noticed strength building as the updates came and as I started focusing on my spirituality and other things in my life. I still needed a shoulder to cry on occasionally, but it was no longer a daily struggle. I was finding normal.
I married and anticipated the end of our updates, feeling content with my progress, though expecting hardship when that first year of silence came.
Our son was born shortly after our last update on R and so yet another chapter in my life began. I was taken by surprise when I felt twinges of heartache, holding my son, seeing how my life had changed, how I was an able mother now, and wondered what it would be like to have my five-year-old with me as well.
All in all, though, I knew I couldn't be here if it weren't for that decision. And life went on. I found purpose and happiness in parenting and in my marriage and involvement at church. I became more outspoken about my adoption, something that I had been too shy and insecure about for many years.
Sometimes we have a tendency to self-sabotage: if things are rough and hard and unsure, we doubt and hurt and wonder if we'll ever see the daylight. And then when the sun does rise (and it will), we are filled with new doubt and guilt and insecurity.
We know being a birthmother is hard. It requires healing and recovery. You need support groups and counseling. It involves loss and grief.
And as much as we need to prepare for that, we need to know that one day it will in fact become manageable and someday we will find peace...and it's okay. Scary. New. But good. Okay.
There's no time-limit on grief, so be gentle and patient with yourself. But don't self-sabotage and get stuck in mourning-mode when you know you've reached a new phase in the process. When you feel that peace and when you find your emotions have reached a calming balance, embrace it! You've given joy to a family, and happiness and opportunity to your child, and after much grieving and burden, it's your turn to find comfort for your decision, enjoyment in your life.
How are you doing with your healing? Are things still bleak, or can you see the sun rising in the distance?