Recently, I have read in a couple of blogs and a book, about how important it is to grieve the loss of your biological child before adopting. While reading them, I thought, that doesn’t apply to me. I felt it applied to those women who, unfortunately, had suffered a miscarriage. They needed to grieve the child they had carried inside of them, yet never met. Not me. I have never been pregnant. Not even close. As I was reading, I thought it was something every woman who had miscarried should think about before adopting.
A few days, or maybe a week, after reading about grieving the loss of your biological child, I realized that I did, indeed, grieve. I actually grieved for years, and sometimes I still grieve. However, I do not believe my grieving is over the biological child that never was. Of course, it would have been neat to see what features my husband and I would’ve passed onto children, but to me, motherhood wasn’t about that. I just wanted to be a Mommy, no matter what my child looked like. I always felt like that. Even as a teenager, I had planned on adopting one day.
Where does my grieving come from? My grief comes from never experiencing pregnancy. Never experiencing a life growing inside of me. Never seeing a baby on the sonogram monitor. Never being able to give life to my children. That is what I grieved. I wanted to be able to have the option to “just get pregnant” if I wanted another child. I thought the pain of never being pregnant would dissipate once my daughter was born. It didn’t—not even a little bit. I avoided pregnant women like the plague. I don’t even think I realized I was grieving. I was jealous of what came so easily to others, and confused as to why it couldn’t happen for me. I felt guilty too, because I was so grateful for my daughter and I wouldn’t have her in my life if I had become pregnant.
It was a hard place to be. I realize now, the articles about grieving the loss of your biological child would have been something good to read before adopting to eliminate years of anger, confusion, frustration, and jealousy. I haven’t grieved never having a child that looks like me; I didn’t need to, but some people really do. They need to wrap their heads around the fact that their children will never resemble them or share family traits. For me, I needed to grieve never experiencing pregnancy and never being able to give my kids the gift their birth mothers could—LIFE.
No matter what place you are with your adoption, please know, it is okay to grieve. You might save yourself a little grief (pun intended) if you deal with it before you adopt your precious child. I didn’t, and it worked out for me in the end, but some things would have been a lot easier if I had. Take the time you need to grieve. We all need to do that sometimes. Even when we think we don’t.
What are your thoughts about grieving the losses of infertility? How has it affected your adoption experience? Share your feelings in the comments below.