Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's a Mom to Do?

an overview of the end of the series on Situational Anxiety in Adoption

This post isn't so much a teaser about how I plan to wrap up the series on situational anxiety in adoption as it is an outline for myself of points I've been mulling and want to make sure I touch on when I come back. I also know that when people are anxious, predictability is reassuring.

So  I'll be taking a few days off here at the end of the week. Tomorrow, the last pieces I need for the manuscript will arrive and I need to get it the whole thing off my desk and into the mail. Then I'll be back and finish up. When I do, I'll be addressing two things: what we who are experiencing SAA can do to minimize how it affects us, and what people in our support systems can do to help.

On our side, knowing that physical causes, elevated levels of stress hormones, underlie our feelings, we can target the hormones with physical strategies that reduce hormone levels. There are also cognitive strategies we can employ to help regulate the stress of the wait. I will also talk about the spiritual struggle that ensues for people of faith because that was the ground on which my own battle was won.

For people in our support group, understanding is the name of the game. We can hardly expect them to work intelligently to support us when, until now, few of us have been able to articulate the dynamics of our experience and we've felt afraid of the ramifications if we filled them in. But once they are in the know, I think the people around us will realize there are things they routinely do in ignorance that increase our struggle with SAA, and things they can routinely do to help us manage better.

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