Being mindful and open is incredibly important as you go through your adoption journey. Adoption can certainly bring a whirlwind of emotions, but practicing mindfulness can be incredibly helpful. Mindfulness gives you the opportunity to process your emotions and experiences in a healthier way by focusing on the present moment and taking the time to slow down and acknowledge how you’re feeling.
There are countless ways to begin practicing being more mindful. One of these ways is journaling. Journaling can be a great way to process your experiences in the moment. It’s also a way to look back on your adoption journey, and perhaps, one day share it with your child.
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Ultimately, the exercise of writing down your thoughts, emotions, and experiences forces you to take in what is happening around you rather than moving on to the next thing before truly processing.
There is so much that happens before the adoption process begins and even more that happens after, no matter when you start practicing being more mindful, there will always be something to reflect on.
During our Adoption Family Retreat last year, we began with a mindfulness exercise called “I Remember…”
If you’re not one for journaling or wish you had journaled more in the past, the “I Remember…” exercise could be perfect for you! This will help you look back on the things that got you to where you are today by writing out as many details as you can remember. Use it as an opportunity to see just how far you’ve come and recognize the strength you may not have realized you have. It might help you see that there’s so much more to the story.
Start with a blank piece of paper and take your time writing out as many details as you can—it is amazing just how much you will remember! Sometimes the details become more clear once you’re not in the midst of it.
—What do you hope you will never forget?
—What did it feel like when you finally were matched with a birth mom?
—What was the most difficult part of your journey?
—What did you learn from it?
Although this is a great exercise for looking back, it can be just as great for looking forward. If you are just starting out on your adoption journey, visualize what it might look like and feel to finally be with your baby. This is the time to manifest the future you’ve been hoping and dreaming of!
—What are you looking forward to?
—What part of the process scares you?
—How are you feeling right now?
—What has been the biggest challenge so far?
—Has something positive happened in your adoption journey so far? How did that feel?
No matter how or when you start bringing mindfulness into your daily life, it will make the positive moments even better and the more difficult ones a little easier to manage.
You can’t control the process, but you can control how you respond to it. Mindfulness leads to a more open heart and mind, something incredibly important for your adoption journey. The more open you are, the more the universe will respond.