In this episode, Kelli chats with Jamie Fredericks about her adoption journey and her personal ‘cloud of shame’.
Jamie is a Southern California native. She and her husband Mike adopted twins from Ethiopia in June of 2016 and rounded out their beautiful family to a hearty seven. Jamie is an adoption coach dedicated to helping mamas who are struggling post adoption to connect, attach and bond to their adopted child(ren).
Follow Jamie over on Instagram!
Over the course of two or three weeks, Jamie had a reoccurring dream of two toddlers running around with the rest of her family. She finally sat down with her husband to see what he thought about her dream.
Jamie [4:30]: I don’t get all kinds of messages through dreams… normally.
After going to church one Sunday, Jamie’s husband suddenly felt called to adoption and they made the decision to pursue it.
Jamie [10:00]: Adoption is the most, thus far in my life, process of really learning that you have no control.
While in Ethopia, Jamie struggled with anxiety, wondering if maybe she was biting off more than she should have.
Jamie [17:55]: The moment that I held him [her son] and felt the unfamiliarity of his body against mine, my world came crashing down. The only thing that entered my head was ‘I cannot do this’.
She had prepared for the possibility of the kids attaching to her, but not the opposite. The thoughts that plagued her during this time brought on a cloud of shame.
Jamie’s husband, Mike, stepped up during this time, becoming a source of strength and support for the family.
Jamie [26:14]: I was so busy shaming myself for all the things that I couldn’t feel that I couldn’t move out of that space.
While everyone’s journey to overcome their struggles will differ, they all must learn how to embrace and own their experience. Jamie also changed her diet, removing some things that contributed to her feeling not-her-best. She started exercising more and worked on her inner healing by learning to trust God on a deeper level. She also went on antidepressants and her husband hired a nanny.
After listening to a podcast, Jamie found herself understanding how emotions work and why we do what we do and had a complete lightbulb moment.
Jamie [43:00]: The premise of it is that things happen in life. We have a thought about whatever happens. Like, my kids are sitting on the floor throwing a fit. We have a thought that says, ‘I cannot handle this’. From that thought, an emotion is created. Whatever I think is affecting whatever I’m feeling.
The more we give space to the negative thoughts in our mind, the more they will affect our lives. But by acknowledging those thoughts and working through them, we can change our outlook.
A lot of listeners may be able to relate to the ‘cloud of shame’ and hopefully hearing Jamie’s story will help you step away from your own personal cloud. The more that we can talk about our feelings, both positive and negative, the more that we can all grow and heal.