Dealing with depression after an adoptionUnhappy Christians are, to say the least, a poor recommendation for the Christian faith.… A depressed Christian is a contradiction in terms.
—D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Depression is one of the most debilitating emotional disorders of our culture today. It is so prevalent that one out of every four Americans is said to suffer from it. New mothers are known to suffer from Post-Partum depression, which can make them moody, hysterical, angry, and in extreme cases, even suicidal. Well, if you thought you don’t have to deal with these feelings because you adopted your child, I am forced to burst your bubble! Post-Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS) is just as real as post-partum depression and just as weakening.

If you are a believer in Christ and a recently turned adoptive parent, do you think you are immune to depression? Or, do you believe that Christians can’t be affected by these life changes? Well, listen to some of the most famous leaders of the Christian faith and you might change your mind:

  • Cursed be the day in which I was born!—Jeremiah
  • It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life.—Elijah
  • Conflicts without, fears within … depressed.—Paul the apostle, in 2 Corinthians 7:6 (NASV)
  • I had my temptations attending me.… Sometimes I should be assaulted with great discouragement therein, fearing that I should not be able to speak the Word at all … at which times I should have such a strange faintness and strengthlessness seize upon my body that my legs have scarce been able to carry me.—John Bunyan [2]

It is clear that even believers come under the attack of this emotional disorder and we must use the Word of God to renew and refresh us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Some of the common driving forces of such depression in adoptive parents include the need to care for another person day and night, increased financial strain, lack of personal space and time, and other changes that happen when a baby is introduced into a family. Sometimes, it can simply be the low that comes after the high of achieving an important milestone, namely, successful adoption.

If you are suffering from PADS, I encourage you to seek help from a Christian counselor. There is nothing wrong or shameful in seeking a bit of professional help to get you through this rough season of life. Include your spouse in your counseling sessions to improve your relationship with each other. But, above all, turn to God in your hour of need. If you feel like you are falling apart, let God provide the strength, guidance, and wisdom you need to get through this situation. Connect to God every day through daily prayer and meditation and learn to use God’s Word to beat your depression.