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Thread: How to move on?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default How to move on?

    Dear Pat.

    I would like to ask your advice on how to cope with the fact that after 6 years of infertility we have now moved on to adoption only to discover that I have so much grief for the biolgical child we never will have and anger towards this fact? I hope you understand that the decision to apply for adoption was not taken lightly and I wholeheartedly can say that is the correct path for us but it has brought up so many difficult emotions such as why do my younger siblings have children without any trouble and I need to go through adoption to become a parent, etc. At the same time I also wonder how and when to tell everybody about the adoption application and how to best do that. We will have our first interview with a social worker this week and I am extremely nervous.

    Any suggestions on a good support group for this matter, reading material etc. is highly apppreciated. We are applying for international adoption and not in the US)

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Pat Johnston Guest

    Default

    Selena, if you have read my book Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families, you will know that I fully understand this kind of grief. There are at least six separate major losses that accompany infertility, and dealing with each of them one at a time can be very helpful.

    What you are describing, though, is beyond to scope of a support group. I would encourage you to find a local therapist, psychologist or clinical social worker who is experienced with infertility and adoption. Several sessions with such a person will help you in resolving this loss.

    Since you are about to see the adoption worker, be honest with him or her about the fact that you are still feeling some grief about the genetic child you will not conceive and give birth to.(This is not an unusual thing, so it won't be a surprise to him or her.) Ask for help finding the therapist.

    If you tell me what major city you are located in or near, I may be able to identify a really experienced counselor.

    The adoption is going to take a while, so there is plenty of time to do this personal work and get ready to parent the child who WILL be coming into your life!

    Pat
    Quote Originally Posted by Selena View Post
    Dear Pat.

    I would like to ask your advice on how to cope with the fact that after 6 years of infertility we have now moved on to adoption only to discover that I have so much grief for the biolgical child we never will have and anger towards this fact? I hope you understand that the decision to apply for adoption was not taken lightly and I wholeheartedly can say that is the correct path for us but it has brought up so many difficult emotions such as why do my younger siblings have children without any trouble and I need to go through adoption to become a parent, etc. At the same time I also wonder how and when to tell everybody about the adoption application and how to best do that. We will have our first interview with a social worker this week and I am extremely nervous.

    Any suggestions on a good support group for this matter, reading material etc. is highly apppreciated. We are applying for international adoption and not in the US)

    Thank you in advance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Almost 10 years ago, I posted the same question to Pat. The first day that my daughter came home I had collapsed with grief at the 'finality' of it -- the living breathing proof that I was never going to be genetically related to my children, that my daughter wouldn't have my blue eyes.

    One suggestion that I remember very clearly was to remember that feeling and the fact that mourning the genetic connection doesn't mean that you don't love your children 100% (or in your case will love them). It will make you more compassionate when your child realizes that you do not have that link and they mourn it.

    Right now the grief is front and center, it will become background noise at some point (if you can find a good therapist, it can really help).

    Erin

  4. #4
    Pat Johnston Guest

    Default

    Thank you so much for following up, Erin!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Dear Pat and Erin.

    Thank you so much for your answers, it has been a lot of help. I took a week off from work to stay home, read your book and allow myself to go through the emotional rollercoaster of things. Me and my husband found your little project of numbering the different kind of losses highly effective. Turns out that we do agree that the loss of control and the loss to parent are the very highest on our list.

    The interview with the social worker was ok but very stressful. I am not sure if I can ask another question right away on this thread but I will try anyway. The main issue that the social worker had with our application is our finances. We have always thought that we are very well off financially as we are both educated professionals but we now live abroad in a very expensive city and they do minus our student loans from our assets, making us just on the verge of being ok on the record now that I am back to school. This means that we have to cut back on a lot of things and the first thing on the list is our travels that quite frankly have kept us alive through all those years, giving our life more purpose while waiting for our child. Now that the holidays are coming up we would like to run off like last year and do some backpacking but all we can afford is to go back to our home country as our families expect us to do. I have recurring nightmares and stay awake for hours in the night now that Christmas is coming up. I have a seriously hard time coming to terms with being forced to keep up a brave face through all the family events. To make things worse, two of my much younger siblings are now expecting their first born.

    Thank you again for your support, I am so thankful for finding this site.

    Selena.

    P.S. We live in Copenhagen, if it is not too much trouble I would like to take you up on the offer if you can recommend a assistance on this in the neigbourhood.

  6. #6
    Pat Johnston Guest

    Default

    Selena, let me be sure I know what the question is in your post! Are you asking whether you should spend/borrow-on-credit-card the money to take a backpacking trip which will lift your spirits vs going home to family for Christmas vs something else? OR have I missed the question!

    While I wait for you to clarify, I'll see if I can find a colleague who knows of a good Danish counseling source! I don't have many European connections.

    Pat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Dear Pat.

    Thank you for your prompt reply and pardon my rambling.

    Well yes I suppose my question is, do you recommend facing the difficult family Christmas or escape the holidays and the pain they cause by travelling? We do have savings but it will not look good on paper for the adoption application (since they minus our student loans from our savings to find out our actual assets) and for our family.

    This issue took away our last sense of control over our lives. I am even regretting my choice of spending on further education (which I had postponed for years while going through the fertility treatments). I know the adoption process will take years so putting our life further on hold is a difficult thought.

    Thank you in advance for your input.

    Selena.

  8. #8
    Pat Johnston Guest

    Default

    Thanks for clarifying, Selena. I think a compromise is in order If traveling home to family is going to exacerbate your grief and frustration, I'd say avoid that. On the other hand, spending money to travel while you are working on the adoption doesn't sound like a good idea either.

    A compromise is in order.

    Consider making plans to "vacation in place,' near to home base doing things you've not even considered doing before--visiting restaurants you don't know, volunteering at homeless shelters or soup kitchens. Or consider hosting a holiday dinner for folks at work or in your housing area who don't have family to travel to.

    Back to the family--do they know what is going on? Do they understand how difficult being with young families is right now--especially at a time of year that celebrates birth? Perhaps it is time to let them know!

    When control is a big issue, sometimes we over control our privacy, leaving us without a support base!

    I've not been able to locate a specific therapist in Denmark, but I think that if you will make a call to a local ART clinic they may very well be able to give you a referral!

    Keep in touch and let us help.

    Pat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Dear Pat.

    Thank you for your advice and support.

    I have come to terms with the fact that my grief and depression has become too overwhelming for me to cope with and I do need some professional help in order to be able to go on with my life. It does however scare me more than I can ever explain that by getting help I might risk our adoption application (our last chance of becoming parents) as I need to be in good health (the social worker actually asked a lot about my migraine in the interview and did mention it in the referendum of the meeting although it is far from being serious).

    It does seem like I will be going back to my home country for the holidays as my mom in particular is extremely worried and needs me to come home. Also I think my husband needs a support base as he has been alone in holding me up lately. I do not know how to cope with going home and how to avoid the holidays and meeting people that make things too hurtful for me. After we opened up about this to our closest family we have gotten some stupid remarks that do not help (example: do not adopt a black baby, it will never be able to get work...)

    Your book (sound choices...) was truly helpful. Can you recommend some further good reads for me? Preferably something available with Kindle so that I can read it over the holidays.

    Love,
    Selena.

  10. #10
    Pat Johnston Guest

    Default

    Selena, the book I most recommend that you read is not available as a Kindle. It's called Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility and it really is quite good!

    Go to Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/Unsung-Lullabi...sr=8-2-catcorr

    I'll look through the Amazon Kindle infertility catalog this morning and post again.

    I LOVE my Kindle! Did you read my book on your Kindle? I hope so!

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