When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.
Some of you may know that I recently completed an e-book on search and reunion for adoption.com. This excerpt discusses the forgiveness that is needed at reunion. (A plug for my e-book? Who me?)
However, there can be many opportunities for forgiveness in adoption. In open or closed adoptions, events occur that wound us and sometimes make us want to remain angry or upset with ourselves or someone else. Sometimes we might be angry at society in general.
For birth mothers, we often tend to be our own harshest critics. Eventually, however, forgiving ourselves for losing our child to adoption can release a huge burden from our lives. Forgiving ourselves is paramount to healing from adoption wounds.
Forgiving others is tough to do as well at times. A couple of points to keep in mind when considering forgiving others:
1) You will probably benefit more from forgiving someone than the person that you forgive. It might help you to forgive someone if you understand that you are doing it more for your own benefit than for theirs.
2) Forgiving others will make you feel healthier and more at peace. You will be a better person for your loved ones to be around unburdened by holding on to anger and not forgiving those who wronged or hurt you.
3) People who hurt you rarely do so intentionally, and therefore they deserve to be forgiven. For older birth mothers whose families pressured them into adoptions, it is important to note that often they had your best interests at heart. They may have truly felt as though they were giving you the best possible advice.
4) Forgiving others feels good and makes you feel better about yourself.
Forgiveness is something that adoptive parents probably struggle with as well. When they adopt children who have been mistreated, forgiving those who abused, neglected or otherwise harmed must be extremely difficult. However, showing your children how to forgive could be a valuable legacy that you can leave them.
Forgiveness may be challenging for any triad members, however, it frees us to forgive others.
Photo by Jan Baker 2007