Self Care: In Life and Adoption

Self Care: In Life and Adoption

Self Care: In Life and Adoption

Written by Samantha, Guest Blogger & Birthmom


Last Thursday was my 23rd birthday. For the past 23 years, I feel I’ve been in survival mode. I’ve been an all or nothing person, pushing through the big events and not stopping to enjoy the stuff that happens along the way. During my series of unfortunate events, the people around me started pushing the idea of ‘self-care’ and until just recently, I don’t think I’ve even understood what the concept truly meant or how to approach it.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always pushed myself into way too much. In high school, I didn’t deal with feelings as long as I was doing band, choir, and theater activities from morning until night. In college, it was too many credit hours, stage managing multiple shows, and working a part time job. When I met the person I wanted to spend all my time with, I did just that by moving in with him after 2 months. (Thankfully, that one has worked out so far.) So when both my parents died and I found out I was pregnant, I pushed myself into working too many hours and finding the perfect family for my son. His birth wasn’t even an easy affair: in my all or nothing fashion, he came out minutes after they realized that my preeclampsia was hurting us both. I definitely didn’t take care of myself in the hospital. I wanted to spend all my time in the NICU with him and when they forced me to rest, I’d count the minutes that I was losing out on with him. Once discharged, I ran back and forth to the hospital instead of resting up from major surgery, just so I could see him until he went home. I spent a lot of time telling myself to push through and be okay, because that’s what I wanted. I wanted the world to see me as okay.

When the people around me pushed me towards self-care, it always seemed to backfire. When I finally went to a counselor at their urging, she hurt me by using negative adoption language and telling me ‘that it seemed like I didn’t see Heather as Liam’s mother.’ So, I stopped going. When I took a job where I thought I was actually going to help people, something I feel really passionate about, I burned myself. It was a place whose goal was to help pregnant women in need. I can’t even begin to explain how I destroyed myself by trying to help women who were financially and mentally ill-equipped parent, sometimes out of nothing more than pride. They would scoff at my suggestions of adoption, as if I was lesser than them for my choices. It made me yearn for a baby and yearn to be okay. I left the job, feeling and fearing the other extreme about to hit. So now I’m trying to figure out how to live in the gray. I feel that I am in this raw form that I have never quite accepted before. I’m ready to learn how to enjoy each day, eat good foods, see the right doctors, and maybe one day feel ready for the things I want such as marriage and babies. I’m going to need help and I need to learn to accept it.

For all those in the adoption triad, and just those in life themselves, I cannot stress how important it is to focus on yourself. It can be so easy to push your wants and needs to the side to care for others. I’ve done it for 23 years. But use my tale as a warning that neglecting yourself has a hard fall and nasty consequences. Also, realize that you aren’t alone. Realize that it’s okay to grieve, even if you feel you don’t deserve to like I did. There are people, such as me, that want to talk to you and help. There’s a reason for your story, even if you haven’t found it yet. Self-care is going to redeem me and I hope lead me to a life my son is proud of.

Editor Notes: Sam is an inspiring young woman and first mom. We commend Sam for her bravery, her decision to choose adoption and for sharing her adoption story with us. If you are considering adoption and would like to learn more, feel free to visit our company website at or email us at

I am a wife, mother of two, and love anything and everything adoption. I am an avid adoption supporter and love to help others complete their family through adoption. If you love adoption too, Like and follow our blog! <3


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