January 28th, 2008
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It comes in spurts. What does? Everything. As a birth parent, I’ve learned that all of my emotions come in spurts. From anger to happiness to sadness to growth, each group of things seems to come together in little groups. I’ve seen other birth parents say similar things so I’m thinking it may not be a singular reaction. But, for the purposes of this blog, I’ll speak singularly about my experience.

When I look at the calendar year, I can pretty much predict how I will be feeling about the adoption and our relationships at any given time. Her birthday, as one might assume, is the hardest part of the year. It’s a time of sadness and introspection that begins as we enter the month before her birthday and lasts for quite some time afterwards. I’ve been rather quiet and introspective since her birthday and it was over a month ago now, nearing on two. I’m not overly sad now that the date has passed but I have found myself with an inability or lack of desire to “deal with” some of the emotions that surround the adoption. I call this my “Frozen Phase” which just so happens to fall in the middle of winter.


The summer is usually a happier time for me. And I don’t really base it on the seasons. It’s just the ebb and flow of our relationship and contact. During the summer, we’re more prone to have visits scheduled. Visits lift my spirits and make it easier for me to discuss those things which are hard to discuss. Perhaps they’re easier to discuss when you’re not deep within the muck of those emotions. Yes, that seems to make sense.

I find a few angry points throughout the year. I’m baffled by one of them, really, as it is Munchkin’s biological father’s birthday. I get irrationally angry on that day! The totally irrational part, of course, being that I have forgiven him for the wrongs he was involved with in the adoption. Perhaps it also has something to do with the fact that his birthday is also somewhat near to the date of conception. (In fact, that might very well be it! Mental note to bring it up with the therapist!) I also have an angry spurt in November as everyone talks joy and love and happiness regarding adoption. Of course, that leads back into the sadness and the downhill slide into her birthday month. Very cyclical there.

Of course, one happy day is usually my birthday! D often goes out of her way to have the Munchkin send me a card. One year it was a video. Even just a phone call from the family on my special day makes things a little brighter. I don’t yet cringe at growing a year older. (I already have gray hair so it’s not a big deal to me!) Maybe someday my birthday won’t be on my list of happy days. But I hope not. I like to think of myself as that optimist and birthdays bring about hope for new growth each year.

Mother’s Day, of course, is one of the hardest other than her birthday. Though I’m not angry or even overtly sad on that day. I’m just immensely aware of her missing physical presence on that day. I actually feel a physical emptiness and loneliness even though I’m surrounded by love and family. It’s hard to explain.

I know other birth parents have talked about how seasons, holidays and various times have an effect on how they feel regarding the adoption. Feel free to share anything you want on the topic!

For more, read these posts.

Photo Credit.

2 Responses to “It Comes in Spurts”

  1. detrop says:

    i SOOO relate to this. since i’ve started therapy in earnest about two years ago, it’s been frustrating to know that i have this immense issue hanging over my head that i am, for large parts of the year, wholly unwilling to/incapable of facing. so i really relate to the “frozen” parts of the year and it happens to be during winter for me too, since mother’s day is may and her birthday is august. every once in a while i get reminders of what’s brewing under the surface: i saw “there will be blood” last week (amazing film) and there are some pretty intense scenes, including one where daniel day-lewis, having sent his young son away, is made, in the midst of an emotionally-charged, turn-of-the-century evangelical baptism service, to repeatedly yell out “I ABANDONED MY CHILD!”. of course, i was bawling. talking about it in therapy afterwards, i was similarly struck with emotion. so it’s there, but for months at a time I am utterly unequipped to deal with it. it seems like only the times when it forces itself on me (i.e. mother’s day and her birthday) am i able to really look it in the face. i think even these little moments of circumspection are progress, however, as i feel i spent the first five years after her birth in completely numb denial.

  2. marie_141 says:

    Hi! I so relate to what you say about Mother’s Day. I would rather sit in a dark room with a blanket over my head. This will be my 7th Mother’s Day. When does it get any easier???

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