There is a great need to explore healing in relation to our adoption experiences. To heal, we must acknowledge what is and what has been our experience, forgive everyone for everything, and then express gratitude for lessons learned and grace given. Until we heal the wounds in our hearts, there is no room to receive the joy in life or love in adoption!

Healing is not a one-time event. We imagine our wounded heart being repaired and restored forever only to discover they are ripped open time and time again. Perhaps, we should look at healing as a pattern we should repeat daily to cleanse our hearts. This cleansing takes down the walls and repairs wounds (large or small) that accumulate throughout our adoption experiences.

Imagine if everyone’s hearts in our adoption community were ready to give and receive more love. Isn’t that what people advocating open adoptions hope for? More love!

I had a friend ask me (during my fourth adoption) what had changed in regards to my views about open adoption. My prior experience had been with closed and semi-open adoptions. I immediately knew the answer was me. The world of adoption had not changed my views. I had changed. I was what was different in my world.

I was more open to experiencing an open relationship because I healed my heart (through the grace of God and learning healing methods). I was no longer fearful of many things I was before. I have forgiven and released past adoption experiences. I healed wounds of infertility. I recognized misbeliefs. I was open to receiving and giving more love. I had done the work to prepare my heart for a new experience.

The healing process I use regularly involves 3 essential steps:

Step 1: Acknowledge what has happened and how it affected you.

Step 2: Forgive everyone for everything. This includes forgiving oneself and others for your/their feelings and actions.

Step 3: Express gratitude for the lessons learned and the good in your life.

In theory, it is simple and digestible. However, in real life application, it can be very complicated. What if I can’t easily identify what is happening and how it makes me feel? What if I struggle with forgiveness? What if I don’t feel joy and gratitude?

I have found it extremely helpful to have support and resources to assist me in effectively experiencing my healing processes. This support may come in the form of meditation, counseling, friends, medication, or new tools in your tool belt. Education and understanding can also create a new perspective to view our need and ability to heal.

This healing work is individual in nature. No one can do it for you. You are the only one who has access to your heart. Therefore, you are the only one responsible for healing it. Others can play a role in helping you feel loved, and LOVE HEALS. But the only who can let the love in, is you.

Louise Hay (author and renowned expert on self-healing) says, “It is with joy that I learn to love myself more and more. The more resentment I release, the more love I have to express.”

Love is a powerful force that can inspire change. The more love we offer ourselves, the more our hearts will heal. A healed heart can change the world. And it does change the most important world: ours—yours and mine. My experience has taught me that if we are going to change the views and perceptions of adoption around the world, we must start by changing our own!