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Post-Adoption Blues

Adoption is a long journey—often with unexpected bumps, stressors, and roadblocks along the way. It takes a great deal of energy  to build your growing your family! A common misconception is that all stress is alleviated once your baby comes home. For some, perhaps, but many parents feel overwhelmed and guilty, not overjoyed, if their lives are not instantly transformed into utter bliss. Post adoption blues are real, and when they hit they’re unexpected and unwelcome. 

Much like Postpartum Depression, Post-Adoption Depression is common in adoptive mothers. According to Adoptions Together, almost 65% of adoptive parents will experience depression after bringing home a new baby. There are so many factors that can attribute to a new adoptive parent feeling down: 

    • Attachment/Bonding Issues: Attaching to a new baby can be challenging for moms of all kinds. It’s so important to practice self-care and not get discouraged if the bonding process takes longer than usual. Prior to bringing your baby home, connect with some support groups for advice and tips for how to safely ease into bonding. It’s easy to get frustrated, but understand that you’re not alone. 
    • Emerging Feelings of Grief: Bringing home a new baby can reignite feelings of grief or despair brought on by previous infertility or adoption struggles. Feeling grief and sadness is okay. Give yourself the time and tools to process those experiences, so you’re able to make peace with those realities and move forward as the parent you are today. 
    • Distance Between Partners: Bringing a new child home can be stressful on a relationship. You will lack sleep, alone time, and general structure. It’s important to make a concerted effort to build time into your day to connect with your partner or yourself. 

 

 

There are a few signs that you might be experiencing Post-Adoption Depression: difficulty concentrating or completing simple tasks, loss of interest in common hobbies or activities, excessive guilt, weight gain, or suicidal thoughts. 

These feelings are more common than anyone thinks. Taking care of yourself, your partner, and your child are the most important things. Like with any type of parenting, you will learn along the way the best way to take care of yourself and your family. While at times it may seem overwhelming, you will ease into your new normal. 

Image via thebump.com