This guest post is by Preetha, a hopeful adoptive mother.
Typically, holidays should be a time for celebration and happy moments. But for some, especially those who have battled infertility issues and who are waiting to adopt, they might be a source of stress. They might be a reminder of what was lost and/or what is missing, and others may not be able to relate to this sentiment.
Having gone through infertility issues and having lost an unborn child, I used to dread the holidays. This is primarily because most things tend to revolve around families and children, including holiday cards. But since we started our adoption journey, I chose to change my perspectives and look at it differently. Here are some of the things I have done to manage my feelings related to the holidays.
Trying not to dwell on adopting too much
As human beings, we sometimes have the tendency to brood over disappointments but one of the lessons I’ve learned is to not think too much about negative aspects. Forcing myself to be distracted has helped me maintain my sanity.
Counting my blessings
It’s too easy to focus on what we don’t have, so I often try to remind myself about all the things that are going right in my life. In fact, I have a journal where I have written down a list of all my blessings and all the positive things in my life. Whenever I feel low, I force myself to read that list, and it helps me keep things in perspective.
Taking an adoption “time out”
During the weeks leading up to the holidays, almost everything revolves around that theme – sitcoms, movies, advertisements, etc. Something that has helped me is engaging in activities that have nothing to do with the holidays, like reading a book, playing with my dog, hanging out with friends who are not moms, etc. Some people may see this is as escaping the issue, but there are times when distancing yourself from something helps, and this has certainly helped me.
Getting support from other adoptive parents
Connecting with others in my situation has benefited me. It has helped me realize that I’m not the only one experiencing feelings of loss. Online forums or talking with others could provide different perspectives.
Although the holidays used to affect me earlier, they don’t any more. I view the holidays as a time to reflect on what I have and to help others who are less fortunate. This helps to take the focus away from me — it should not be all about me — and keep in mind what the holidays really should be about.
Preetha and her husband, Don, have been happily married for ten years and are currently living and working in Bloomington, Illinois. They are looking to expand their family through open adoption and are working with Independent Adoption Center (IAC), a licensed, non-profit organization.
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