Adoption is a beautiful experience. The acceptance of one human being into the lives of others for shared relationship, safety and love is remarkable. The story is so beautiful in fact, that it almost makes the darker, heavier side of the adoption journey invisible to all but those who experience it first hand.
The story on this week’s episode of the Mamas Well Podcast is a familiar one. It begins, as many adoptive stories do, with the hope of starting a family. Unfortunately, sometimes that hope is met with the heartbreak of infertility, as was the case for Melissa Christian and her husband Dan.
For this couple, the journey leads them through the international adoption process to the country of Taiwan and eventually to 3 children to call their own. While we tend call this a “happy ending”, the grieving is far from over. On top of the extreme circumstances that come with parenting young children who don’t speak your language and have spent their first few years in orphanages and foster homes, Melissa faces medical problems, bonding challenges, and wrongful child neglect allegations. Melissa and her husband find themselves feeling alone and afraid their marriage may not be able to withstand the stress.
Thankfully Melissa finds the permission she needs to grieve all that she has lost. And this permission comes in the form of a word she’d never heard before, Matresence. Matresence is the physical, emotional, hormonal and social transition to becoming a mother. Matresence is important to acknowledge for all mothers, yes, even adoptive mothers. Transitions are often challenging and full of grief. Learning to be kind and patient with ourselves is a worthy journey and one that should not be taken alone.
Don’t miss Melissa’s story and the resulting wisdom and resources she generously shares.