Overcoming the Grief of a Failed Placement
How do you let go of the pain of a failed adoption? How do you set the feelings of your heart aside and be truly present in every way for a new prospective birth parent after you have been disappointed and let down by birth parent(s) in the past? There is no magic answer. In order to maximize your chances of a successful placement, it is important that an adoptive family not allow their feelings of hurt, sadness, or rejection from previously failed adoptions or foster placements overshadow their joy towards a new prospective birth parent.
Understanding the Emotions
A failed adoption can be really difficult and hard to overcome. Adoptive parents must find a way to work through these feelings or at least keep them in check when approaching a new prospective birth parent. It isn’t this new prospective birth parents fault that someone else has disappointed you or let you down. It isn’t this new prospective birth parent that has hurt you. It isn’t fair to this new prospective birth parent to be greeted with a diminished level of excitement and anticipation than was shown before your failed placement. A new prospective birth parent will likely pick up on your reservations and it could potentially make or break the match from moving forward.
Allowing Room to Grieve
If you do not feel like you are capable of encountering a new prospective birth parent with the same level of excitement and anticipation as you did initially, it is okay to take a break. Take some time to grieve the loss of the other potential adoption. Maybe there are additional levels of grief and loss related to adoption that haven’t been dealt with. Come back to the process when you are ready to welcome, love, and accept a prospective birth parent with open arms that are not overshadowed by previous failed placement. The new prospective birth parents deserve it and so do you!