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Dear new adoptive parent:
Thank you for visiting us in the adoption clinic for your child’s care. As a social worker I see many newly formed families each week. I’m writing to you to talk about the range of feelings experienced by new adoptive parents. You probably learned about some of them during the home study process. You read about post adoption depression and thought, “yeah, I can imagine how that happens to OTHER parents. But I’m sure those parents didn’t prepare or have supports like me.” And then you got busy…busy with the paper chase and the getting the room ready and the packing and the imagining and the planning. And in some ways, you’re right. Families like you who come to see us in clinic express a variety of emotions at those first few visits, ranging from overwhelming joy at finally achieving the dream of parenthood, to exhaustion from the duration and stressors of the trip.
But once in a while, more often than people might imagine, a parent (usually a mom) walks into our clinic and I can tell from the time she sits down that she’s struggling. She may have a vacant expression on her face, or she may cry when asked how she’s adjusting. Often she’s quiet. When I talk to those parents alone after the visit, or on the phone days later, they will often confide to me tearfully the following feelings:
So I’m writing to you, dear new adoptive parent, because I care about the well-being of you and your family. You are NOT crazy. Other parents have walked in your shoes. Adoptive parent, I need you to know it is common for each spouse in a couple to feel differently from one another after adoption. I want you to know I have talked to MANY parents who’ve shared feelings similar to yours and I’ve talked to those same parents 6 months later, and I’ve learned, IT GETS BETTER. I want you to know there are many possible reasons you feel the way you do right now and NONE of them mean you are a bad parent or a bad person.
Most importantly, I would like you to know there are things you can do to begin to feel better. It takes courage, and it’s certainly not easy, but hard work and fear clearly didn’t stop you from pursing international adoption, did it?
You are not alone.
The Adoption Clinic Social Worker
This article was generously shared by the University of Chicago Adoption Center whose mission is to provide exemplary care, advocacy and research to meet the unique needs of healthy and medically complex orphaned children and their adoptive familes.
The mission of the University of Chicago Adoption Center is to provide exemplary care, advocacy and research to meet the unique needs of healthy and medically complex orphaned children and their adopting families.Learn more or contact agency 5841 S Maryland Ave Illinois
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