The process of grieving is a long one for some, a short one for others. Our children are stuck in a state of grieving and cannot move on. I want to make sure I remind you that this is in no way professional advice. It is information I took from a seminar I attended. So far we have talked about:
The first is accepting the reality of their loss. They have to admit their birth mom is gone and that this was a sad experience for them. Denial can look like "I don't care. She was mean" all the way to "If she saw me again I could help her and it would be different."
The second is working through the pain and grief. This means allowing themselves to feel the sadness instead of turning it into anger or not allowing themselves to feel anything.
The third is adjusting to the new environment. They have to realize how losing birth mom has affected them externally in both positive and negative ways. They will not see her. They moved to a new family, home, and school. They have opportunities in their lives now they may not have had before. We have to realize that any one of us, even if we lived in dire poverty would react as they have to some extent. If someone showed up at your door, pulled you out and took you in the car, it would not matter if they took you to live in a mansion in an exclusive neighborhood. If they said "Here is your new house and family. You can never see your old family again. This is best." You would be unhappy and rejecting of it all. At least I would. If our children work through the stages of grief they will be more likely to be able to move on.
They also have to realize they have to adjust on the inside. They need to know this does not mean they have to reject their birth mom. It would be best if they could make a new place in their heart for you. I often talk to my kids about how we don't have to choose one grandparent. We can love them all. I don't want to take the place of his birth mom. He can make a new place in his heart for me.
Changing yourself is hard. How many times have started over on that diet. How many times have we vowed to stop over spending, start exercising, or to change something internally. Their self image has taken a beating. My boys were in foster care for 3 years during their preschool years. They were in 4 homes. Each move tore them down just a little further as to their worth. Telling them over and over that they are unique creations of God. I am glad I am their mom. I think they are handsome, smart and funny. It is hard when they are so busy destroying their world around them. This step means they have to acknowledge how their losses have changed them. We cannot rush them through these steps. I believe I have one who is still at step one! Keep praying. Keep believing!