How timely! After publishing a post on healing through writing, we ran across this article on adoption.com by a birth mom who began writing poetry after placing her son for adoption. She says that writing poetry helped her to heal: “Anytime I would feel the grief beginning to surface, I would break out a pen and try to get my feelings on paper.”
In addition to the heartfelt poem she shares, what particularly sticks out to us about this article is the author’s differentiation between grief and regret. Folks outside of the adoption world tend to have a hard time understanding that grieving is a natural part of the process; they often think that when birth mothers are sad after placement, it must be because they feel they made a mistake. But as this birth mom explains, “I missed my little baby with every fiber of my being but I still did not regret the decision that I made for him. Expressing sadness is a part of the grieving process…Sadness does not equal regret, and it is perfectly acceptable to feel sad and cry.”
She is absolutely right. Feelings of loss do not prove that you made the wrong decision; they prove that you made a difficult decision. There’s a big difference.
The author of the post also explained that after writing “quite a few” poems, she found new ways to express her feelings outside of writing. We loved her point that even if writing isn’t the way you choose to express your feelings, the important thing is to find something that works for you, whether it is “something you think you are not good at” or “a talent you already have.” Our birth parent counselor always talks to the birth moms with whom we work about finding their own methods of self-expression, whether that means writing, drawing, singing, dancing, painting, or anything else.
Head over to adoption.com to check out the article and poem, and let us know in the comments section below how you took care of yourself during your healing process!