3 Ways to Beat Post-Adoption Blues

What to do when sadness outweighs the joy of adopting.

Shelley Skuster December 27, 2014
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The road to becoming a parent—no matter what route you take—can be bumpy.

It can be emotional.

Adding a child to your family can be a beautiful moment. The waiting and anticipation are over, and life as you know it will never be the same. But sometimes, when you close that chapter of anticipation, it can be sad.

While I’m not a medical professional, I’ve visited with fellow adoptive moms about a topic not a lot of people talk about: Post-Adoption Depression.

Stacey, an adoptive mom, said, “I know that I, though just as anxious and excited to become a mother like anyone else, felt EXTREMELEY overwhelmed at becoming a parent nearly overnight. Even when you work so hard and wait so long for that little baby, it isn’t always rainbows and unicorns afterwards for everyone.”

Another adoptive mom, Elizabeth, said the following:

“There definitely is this perception that because you worked so hard and planned so thoroughly for this child that you should just be happy.”

Just like there are mothers who don’t experience postpartum depression after giving birth, there are also adoptive moms who say they’ve never experienced post-adoption depression.

“I lived in a glow for a long time! A strong support group can do wonders for a new mommy adjusting to all the emotions and newness of motherhood, especially in stories like ours where everything happened so fast,” said Annette.

But for those who do have a more challenging time transitioning to parenthood, the adjustment can be difficult  and can feel isolating.

I’m not a medical practitioner–and I certainly don’t have all the answers–but in talking with fellow adoptive moms, we’ve compiled these three tips to help beat the post-adoption blues:

1. Talk to your doctor. Seek professional help by talking with a trusted doctor about how you’re feeling.

2. Connect with other adoptive families. No one understands your feelings better than people who have walked down the same road.

3. Take care of yourself. Your life likely revolves around your new child, but don’t forget to take care of you, too. Eat healthy, rest when you can and take time to relax.

For those of you who have adopted, how did you adjust to parenthood?

What surprised you during the transition?

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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