Friendships & Self-Care

Posted by Heather Sewell on August 31, 2017  /   Posted in Adoption Support, Family Support, Together in the Trenches

By: Amanda May

I’ve always struggled with friendships.

I make friends easily, I know how to make people feel welcome, and usually I’m surrounded by a lot of people. But they almost always leave. Whether it is through circumstances or their choice, both hurt. My best friend in college died in a car accident when she was just 19 and I was 20. Other friends moved away, some to other states and many to other countries. Sometimes it just feels lonely to have lost so many people over the years. I can’t begin to describe how refreshing it was for me to go to a retreat for adoptive and foster moms. It was the one place I felt like I could just be me. I didn’t have to pretend that we have our life together, or that our kids are perfect. It was so freeing to listen to other women’s stories of the struggles they have been going through and hear their advice.

Adoption is the biggest blessing I’ve ever received, but also the most frustrating challenge that often leaves me feeling rejected and helpless. It’s hard to explain how suffocating it feels to watch your child grieve, how their grief becomes your own. But these women get it. There is an instant connection between women who sometimes feel like they are just the babysitter, or the “other” mom, or the temporary one. These women have fought battles for their children and come back scarred, but somehow stronger. They know what it’s like to travel across the world for their child, only to have him cry for someone else. But there are also moments I’ve shared with my oldest son that I wouldn’t trade for anything; he is so precious to me.

It’s comforting to know that even though I may always have a hard time finding lasting friendships, there is a community of adoptive moms that can come together and share life together, even if it’s just for a weekend. But I have a feeling these can be some of the strongest friendships ever, because of our common experience and love for the fatherless.

I’ve always struggled with friendships.

I make friends easily, I know how to make people feel welcome, and usually I’m surrounded by a lot of people. But they almost always leave. Whether it is through circumstances or their choice, both hurt. My best friend in college died in a car accident when she was just 19 and I was 20. Other friends moved away, some to other states and many to other countries. Sometimes it just feels lonely to have lost so many people over the years. I can’t begin to describe how refreshing it was for me to go to a retreat for adoptive and foster moms. It was the one place I felt like I could just be me. I didn’t have to pretend that we have our life together, or that our kids are perfect. It was so freeing to listen to other women’s stories of the struggles they have been going through and hear their advice.

Adoption is the biggest blessing I’ve ever received, but also the most frustrating challenge that often leaves me feeling rejected and helpless. It’s hard to explain how suffocating it feels to watch your child grieve, how their grief becomes your own. But these women get it. There is an instant connection between women who sometimes feel like they are just the babysitter, or the “other” mom, or the temporary one. These women have fought battles for their children and come back scarred, but somehow stronger. They know what it’s like to travel across the world for their child, only to have him cry for someone else. But there are also moments I’ve shared with my oldest son that I wouldn’t trade for anything; he is so precious to me.

It’s comforting to know that even though I may always have a hard time finding lasting friendships, there is a community of adoptive moms that can come together and share life together, even if it’s just for a weekend. But I have a feeling these can be some of the strongest friendships ever, because of our common experience and love for the fatherless.

 

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