In the past weeks, we’ve explored how you can get the baby blues as an adoptive parent, and what that could potentially look like. We’ve also delved into healthful ways to combat the baby blues. However, we have yet to unearth another aspect of this discussion. One that is very important. That is, the reasons adoptive parents experience the baby blues.
If you have been reading along and all the while asking why, wonder no more. Adoption Choices of Nevada is here to provide those answers to the best of our ability. We’ve pinpointed three major areas that can prompt the baby blues post placement.
Stress of Parenthood
Entering parenthood is a momentous occasion. One that should be celebrated with love and excitement. Yet, with parenthood comes additional responsibility. Now that you have a new son or daughter, you’ll see your finances changes drastically. Groceries, doctor’s appointments, eventual schooling and college fund, clothing — the list goes on. You’ll also notice your freedom and independence evaporate. It isn’t about you anymore. Everything centers around your baby.
This is one of the reasons adoptive parents experience the baby blues after adoption. When reality sets in, and you fully acknowledge your life will never be the same, feelings of depression aren’t far behind. A heavy stress you’ve never felt before weighs down your shoulders. You lose sleep. You don’t eat or take care of yourself like you used to. That all becomes second to your baby. Preparing for life after adoption is one thing, living it is completely different.
Questions from Friends and Family
Even though you did your best to tell everyone you knew that you were adopting, there’s always going to be someone who didn’t hear. Always going to be more questions. Judgments and stigmas against your choice of adoption. These can be extremely challenging to handle, especially in the first few weeks and months of bringing your baby home.
This is another one of the reasons adoptive parents experience the baby blues. When you’re coming off the adrenaline and emotional roller coaster of the adoption process and trying to get your baby settled into his or her new home, the last thing you want is negativity and to be asked why you choose adoption. Why you didn’t or couldn’t have your “own” child. Know that you don’t have to answer these questions right away, or at all. If it’s not someone you know, or someone who you aren’t close to, you can choose what you say.
Accomplishing a Life Goal
How many years have you dreamt of becoming a parent? How many hours and days did you spend daydreaming about what it would be like? What about during the adoption process? There was the constant up and down. The fear that the adoption would fall through. Lots of emotion and energy go into making and maintaining wishes. They become a large part of you and follow you everywhere. Perhaps you’ve mentioned once or twenty times to friends and family that you’ve always wanted to be a parent. That someday you hope you will be. Maybe you even said this is to a stranger in passing. However it manifested, your dream of parenthood has driven your thoughts and actions for a long time. But now, you don’t have to wish anymore. It’s come true! You’re a parent!
This is the third major reason adoptive parents experience the baby blues. After the first few months of being a parent, and seeing what it takes, those baby blues symptoms can roll in. On the one hand, there is a huge sense of relief and joy that comes with this. Yet, on the other, it’s almost like a letdown. The feeling of, “Well it’s over. Now what?”
Reasons Adoptive Parents Experience the Baby Blues
Whether you realize or not, you put a lot of pressure on yourself when you become a parent — especially when it comes to your child. You want to be the best parent you can be, and make sure they are cared for. Loved. Fed. Clothed. You want to protect them from any questions or potential harm that may come their way. This is natural, yet it can come at a cost. Particularly if you feel any degree of guilt or shame seeping in when your fantasy image of parenthood crumbles.
It’s important to acknowledge any symptoms of depression and anxiety post adoption and make an appointment with your primary care provider. They can help you navigate what you are feeling and suggest various forms of treatment. You do not and should not go through this alone. Your personal and mental health must be 100% if you hope to be the parent your child needs you to be.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Can Adoptive Parents Get the ‘Baby Blues’ Too?” Show Hope, 20 Oct. 2016, showhope.org/2016/01/20/can-adoptive-parents-get-the-baby-blues-too/.
“Postpartum Depression in Adoptive Parents – Post-Adoption Depression.” PostpartumDepression.org, www.postpartumdepression.org/postpartum-depression/adoption/.