Emotional Terrain of Holidays

Navigating Adoption and the Emotional Terrain of the Holidays

Emotional Terrain of Holidays
By Eric Somarriba

The holiday season is a time of joy for many, but for adoptees, it can be a more complex period. Family is a core value of the winter holidays, with many families gathering and celebrating together. It’s then easy to see how adoptees can see this time differently than those with more of a traditional family makeup. The holiday season can potentially have adoptees question their sense of belonging and identity.

The holidays can be a joyous time for many, but for adoptees, they can also bring up painful feelings of grief and loss, particularly related to the familial atmosphere and missing cultural traditions. It’s important to note that adoptees have a wide range of experiences during the holidays, and some may find great joy in the season. However, we want to emphasize that all feelings are valid, and we’re here to support anyone struggling to understand themselves. 

We are here to help adoptees who are finding the holidays challenging and provide strategies for finding support from both others and within themselves. Specifically, you can find valuable resources and connect with other adoptees through online communities, support groups, and therapy.

All About U Adoptions strives to support every person in the adoption process, including adoptees, of course. For over 15 years, we’ve offered many resources to support adoptees with their lives, and we’re ready to help. Our adoption agencies want you to have a successful and happy life above all else.

1. Acknowledging Your Feelings as an Adoptee

Our first point goes hand-in-hand with what we mentioned above: Your feelings are valid. Knowing your birth mother placed you for adoption can be particularly difficult when families celebrate and connect. A wide range of emotions can result from that feeling, such as anger, sadness, grief, and any kind of combination. No matter what you’re feeling, resisting or suppressing them is rarely helpful. Bottling up emotions can be detrimental in the long run.

By acknowledging them and letting them free, you can flush them out of your system. Even if it doesn’t easily pass, embracing your feelings is still a key part of the coping process.

Of course, everyone is different, and you may find yourself needing outside help, which leads to the next point, seeking support from the people around you.

2. Building Your Support System as an Adoptee

There’s support wherever you look if you feel you need it. You, of course, have those closest to you, from your family to your friends. If asked, they’d likely want to help and try their best to understand your feelings. If you feel distant and unsure about your place in your adoptive family, your family will want to know. They can do their best to make sure you’re included and can affirm your importance to your family. Friends can be just as important as family, and they can help, too. They can offer their own guidance and perspectives on this time that may be different from your immediate family.

While we encourage you to find support from them, we understand that you may feel alone in your situation. You may be the only person you know who’s an adoptee and the only one who can understand this scenario. If you feel you need to hear from other adoptees, we encourage you to look online. There are plenty of support groups made up of adoptees that are very welcoming and supportive. You can connect with them in person or online, and they can show you how to enjoy the holiday season while healing.

Lastly, know that All About U Adoptions provides counseling and support to all members of the adoption triad. Many therapists are available that may help you during the holiday season. If you’re seeking professional assistance, reach out to explore the comprehensive support services available.

3. A Celebration for Adopted Individuals

While the holidays can heighten feelings of loss and isolation for adoptees, remember that you are not alone and your adoption does not define you. You are still a valued member of your family and worthy of love and belonging. 

Being an adoptee is part of who you are and taking pride in that can help you through the season. Whether you’ve known your whole life or have just learned about this aspect of yourself, you have an incredible story. Take this holiday season as an opportunity to explore and celebrate who you are. Embracing your true self is the most transformative gift you can give yourself this holiday season.

4. Practice Self-Care as an Adoptee

Finally, try to make sure you take proper care of yourself through this period. Self-care comes in many forms, so do what feels best for you. It can be something simple like eating a healthy meal and relaxing or you can do something creative. Anything from writing to art can be a good outlet for your emotions that can help you work through them. Even if it’s just a temporary distraction from negative feelings, having a bit of peace is always helpful. This is especially relevant during the holidays, which is a time many take to have cozy days and family fun. Self-care can help build up emotional resilience to keep yourself going through difficult times. No matter where you’re seeking help from, don’t forget to help yourself as well.

The Holiday Season With All About U Adoptions

The holidays are ultimately a time for you to enjoy and we truly hope you do. Adoptees have a perspective few other groups have during this time and we understand the struggle. All About U Adoptions has plenty of expertise in supporting our adoptees, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re an adoption agency dedicated to our adoptive families, so let us know how we can help. Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, we hope you have a safe and wonderful time.

If you’re navigating an unplanned pregnancy or considering adoption, don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can begin your adoption journey.  All About U Adoptions is ready to help create your adoption plan in Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota or help you apply. We work to create a safe space for everyone involved in the process and to set the foundation of a successful family and life.

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