During the adoption journey, some adoptive parents find that they need additional help to work through some of the emotions that arise. Seeking help from a licensed counselor can be an invaluable tool in learning ways of coping, reacting, or addressing some of the challenges and feelings. Here are a few examples of scenarios that previous adoptive families have sought counseling:
• Feeling like they just want to give up because the wait is too long.
• Impatience with the process, especially when it seems so ‘easy’ for friends to conceive biologically.
• Discovering a sense of loss for the unfulfilled dream of a pregnancy.
• Marital struggles that arise, seemingly out of nowhere or are magnified by the adoption process.
• Disagreement over adoption preferences and goals.
• Loss with a failed match or reclaim.
• Simply to have more support.
There is no wrong reason to seek counseling while waiting to adopt. It can be a very stress-filled time, with anxious highs and disappointing lows. At Lifetime, our monthly webinars provide an uplifting time of sharing, through adoption success stories or tips for increasing your opportunities for success. Yet for some parents-in-waiting, an outside counselor can help find other ways to make this time less anxious and more forward focused.
If you need to work on issues within your marriage, it is important that both spouses be committed to working on the challenges together. Remember the old adage “it takes two”, that goes for counseling too!
How do I find a counselor? Start with your health insurance coverage to identify if there are specific providers covered. Ask your physician for referrals to trained professionals in your area. You may not find counselors who are trained to deal with the specific issues of adoption, but most any Marriage and Family Counselor will be able to help you.
Visiting with a counselor may uncover other issues, that are popping up now in unexpected ways. That is very common in adoption. Similarly, getting to know a counselor now may help if, in the future after your adoption, you are feeling the ‘baby blues’, also known as Post-Adoption Depression.
Whatever struggle you may be feeling, please remember that you don’t have to go it alone and without help. A trained counselor is there to help you. Reach out for the extra support.