Where I find support and solace

Where I find support and solace

When I started my blog a couple of years ago my aim was to share my experiences to help other adoptees. Now I want to share what’s worked for me in terms of support. I’ve talked about my supportive partner and being in therapy - these are my pillars and everything below is additional to that.

A lot of this falls into the category of self-care, which - although a trendy buzzword - has really helped me. You will notice that the majority of things on the list are things I have found myself and, in many cases, paid for myself. Currently this is the scenario for many adult adoptees, but by connecting we can share resources and – in the future – work together to form a central support organisation in the UK.

The Needy podcast by Mara Glaztel

Mara is not adopted but she is a self-confessed people pleaser as many adoptees are. She also focuses a lot on boundaries which I know many of us struggle with, as highlighted in the recent episodes of AdopteesOn. The Needy podcast is wonderful and she has lots of (free and paid for) resources on her website. I would recommend starting with episode one, and if you only have time for a few more, try episodes 4, 8, 14 and 21.

  • free resource

  • not specifically for adoptees

 

Restorative yoga

When I was coming out of the fog, I spent many evenings weeping and sniffling by candlelight at my local restorative yoga class. Something about holding a (soft) pose for a long time until the emotions emerge from where the body has been holding them. When I spoke to my yoga teacher, she said being able to cry in the class means I feel safe there.

Also known as cuddly yoga, there are lots of props like bolsters and blankets and the instructors are usually very soothing. As I am not religious I find it very grounding to listen to a calm voice tell me everything is ‘exactly as it should be’. At the end we lie in savasana, or corpse pose, under blankets with lavender eye bags. It’s dreamy. Classes are not cheap where I live in London, but you can find free classes on YouTube. I really love Yoga with Adrienne, who has lots of yoga videos for anxiety and stress.

 

  • paid for locally - ask in your local library or local Facebook group

  • free classes online

  • not specifically for adoptees

 Fellow adoptee Rachel Young has a great yoga channel on YouTube and she will be guest blogging for me soon with some calming, grounding poses for adoptees. Can’t wait!

Self-compassion meditations with Kristen Neff

Kristen Neff is the self-compassion guru and has worked with Brené Brown, among others. She says that research has shown that “self-compassion is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to create health and happiness.”

i recommend Kristen’s self-compassion workbook, as well as the short meditations on her website, including a meditation for self-compassion.

If you are new to practicing self-compassion, be aware that some uncomfortable feelings may surface initially. Kristen describes this as: “when we give ourselves unconditional love, we discover the conditions under which we were unloved.” It does get easier with practice. I remember bursting with laughter when my therapist suggested I look at myself in the mirror and say, “I love you”. Now I can say it without laughing: “I love you. You are doing a great job. What you are feeling is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation (being adopted).”

  • free resource (meditations)

  • paid for resource (self-compassion workbook)

  • not specifically for adoptees

 

The Baggage Reclaim podcast

Not for the faint hearted, this has a totally different vibe to the Needy podcast mentioned above. Baggage Reclaim is ideal if you’re ready for some tough talk about boundaries, co-dependency and other issues many adoptees have told me they struggle with. There are loads of episodes and some may not be relevant i.e. the episodes about dating. I recommend starting with some of the earlier ones, such as episode 22: Stop asking permission to have boundaries. Episode 118 is about pretending to be someone you’re not and episode 38 is about being too hard on yourself.

  • free resource

  • not specifically for adoptees

I know other adoptee friends who swear by gardening, exercise, etc. I would love to hear what works for you. We can never not be adopted but we can support ourselves and each other to heal and be emotionally healthy.

Also, if you have ideas for the type of support needed by adult adoptees in the UK please comment below or contact me directly. I would be interested to know how many people would be wiling to pledge financial support to a UK organisation. Currently in the business planning stages but it does feel like an obvious gap in the UK that I would be honoured to help fill. UK-wide survey on what’s needed and how we can fund it coming soon!

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplas

An open letter to Long Lost Family from an adoptee

An open letter to Long Lost Family from an adoptee

To my biological father’s wife

To my biological father’s wife