Book Review · feelings

Book Review: The Post-Adoption Blues

I hesitate to post this, because I know people will judge me. But I want to help people, so I hope someone out there find this helpful.

I’m normal!! At least, that’s what this book showed me.

As you know from reading, I have really been struggling. Not so much with being a mommy (I love Little Man to the ends of the earth and back) but with the realities of being a mommy (lack of sleep, isolation, major life changes). Apparently, these changes in life (when one becomes a mommy) can really throw a woman for a loop.

Add into that the additional aspects of adoption (family acceptance or not, friend acceptance or not, communication with birthparents or not, etc., etc.) and it is VERY common for adoptive mothers to experience something akin to post-partum depression.

Although the majority of this book is dedicated to adoptive parents who have brought home older children, there was still a fair amount of material aimed at helping adoptive parents through ALL stages. The subtitle, in fact, is “Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption.”

I put in a call to my social worker two weeks ago to meet with me. I was experiencing a whole host of emotions that I was feeling guilty about feeling. Then this book arrived via inter-library loan, and my whole outlook changed. I realized the emotions I was feeling were normal and okay to feel and I had nothing to feel guilty about!

I’m not really going to go into detail about what I was feeling, because that belongs to me and our family. But there is a very helpful little section that asked point-blank questions that I could answero yes, yes, no, no, no, yes, yes, no to, and that just opened my eyes to what I was feeling.

I’m not sure I’m completely “over it.” There are days I still feel like I’m playing house (except when I was little and played house, the house was always clean and the husband was always home by 5:00), but those are fewer and further apart.

If you (or someone you know) are stuggling AT ALL since beginning the adoption process or bringing home your child(ren), then by all means grab this book. It is a bit clinical (it’s written for parents AND professionals) but not so much so that the average reader wouldn’t get it. It’s full of true-life stories written by true-life adoptive parents and professionals alike.

If you have questions about the book, or even what prompted me to read it (thanks, Debbie!!!!), then by all means email me!!

The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption.
Karen J. Foli and John R. Thompson
Rodale Press, 2004

6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Post-Adoption Blues

  1. I love that you are so open and honest (if someone judges, that is their issue). I didn't really have the “blues” so to speak and I didn't struggle, but I do remember feeling like a fraud a lot. Like when people called me “mom” in reference to R or when I (on the rare occasion) refered to myself as “mom” in the third person. It just felt like I was doing a really good job of pretending and convincing everyone around me- including R.

    I'm glad you are working through it and I am glad you know you are normal! 🙂

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  2. No judgment from me. Went through it myself and read the book, as you know.
    You're right, it helped me feel normal. I'm not sure I ever wrote a full post on the book, I might do that.
    I still have days. More often then I would like, but I'm no longer worried about it. Glad you got the help you needed so early.

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  3. Something about the extreme exhaustion of new motherhood, really can bring a person to their knees. Exhausted, and emotional, if we were on the edge of something, it becomes easy to fall. Lot more women deal with depression than we admit. Thanks for throwing this out here!

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  4. Thank you for being so honest! I haven't had much of a struggle but the past few days have been hard on me. This little guy just won't nap and he wants to eat constantly! So I feel frazzled because by the time my husband gets home, the house is just as it was when he left. I can't seem to finish a load of laundry or anything. If that is what you have been feeling to some extent, then yes, I do feel that too. I need a little time for ME now and then and I haven't had that in the past few days. I think it's all normal, and would be even if we gave birth to them ourselves. Just a huge life change, and it takes time to adjust. You are doing great, he is just the cutest little guy!!!! This will pass and it will get easier! I say that for you, and for me! 🙂

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