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 www.youradoptiongateway.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.