Here I am sitting before this poised, engaging speaker who has built a wonderful life for herself. As she talks I hear so many things we share in common today as women in their early 50’s, and, as she tells her story, I also hear many things we shared in common during the 1980’s – early success in our professional career, fun adventures a la 1980’s clubbing with big hair, big shoulders and lots of dancing.
Then, like me, Angela moved to L.A. where she looked forward to making her mark only to find a large isolating city with few supports. Our stories diverged at that point as Angela also discovered she was pregnant.
Angela pulled from her resourcefulness, wisdom and strength that was observable to anyone in her presence to make a plan for her daughter to provide a childhood Angela herself was denied. Making an adoption plan was the right decision for her, her daughter, and the adoptive parents.
However – the missing link in Angela’s plan was processing the pain of her loss and identifying the unfair and socially misdirected shame she felt about having experienced a crisis pregnancy.
Like many clients we serve, Angela remained focused on completing an adoption plan as a way of “solving her problem”. By doing so she successfully made a plan and helped her daughter, herself and her daughter’s adoptive parents. However, like many of our pregnancy clients, while pushing away or avoiding the pain may have helped get her through the immediate needs of her pregnancy, and have the courage to complete an adoption plan, it came at a big cost: finding a way to process her pain and loss.
Fortunately, when Angela later experienced the pain of her loss through depression, she was also smart and resourceful enough to get support in processing this pain. Not all of our clients are as insightful and resourceful as Angela.
Hearing Angela’s story reminds me that each of our clients experience their pain in different ways and at different times in their life. It also reminds me of how grateful I am to work for an agency that is committed to remaining available to, and supportive of expected and birth parents for whenever they are ready to process the pain and continue their healing.
Too see Barker’s next regularly scheduled birth parent support group go to the Barker Monthly Discussion & Support group page here.