Birth mothers have a bond with their baby from the start. She’ll wonder what her child will be like, how she’ll care for him or her, and what she’ll need to give her baby the best she can. And sometimes this means making an adoption plan.
It’s a difficult, heart-wrenching choice to make, but it’s one made out of love. A birth mother loves her child so much that she wants to give them a better life; one that she’s unable to provide. After the adoption, she’ll think about her child often and love them for the rest of her life. Adoption is a choice made out of love.
So in honor of her love, this Valentine's Day we're sharing seven ways to extend love to your child’s birth family!
1. Fulfill Your Promises
Following through on the promises you made to your child's birth mother is crucial! Your promises in an open adoption might include things like how often you send updates or schedule a visit. By keeping true to your word, you're taking action to develop a trusting connection with the birth family. Allow your relationship to grow naturally.
2. Share Photos
Whether you send photos via email, post them on social media, or mail photos, it's a great way to keep the birth family updated on how their child is doing. Photo updates allow the birth parents to see what your child is experiencing, your love for them, and how much he or she has grown. A picture truly is worth a thousand words! Consider having a photo gift created through a site like Shutterfly. You might order a sweet photo gift like a phone case, photo printed on canvas, photo ornament, or a calendar to send your child's birth parents.
And photos don’t just have to be of the child, you can take photos of their accomplishments in school or athletics. Video clips are also a great thing to send to your child’s birth mom too.
Check in with your child's birth family to find out what's working (and what isn't) with your relationship. If your child isn't old enough to express what he or she needs or desires, you can speak on their behalf. Be open to making adjustments to this relationship as needed. By checking in, it shows your child's birth family that you genuinely care about their feelings and well-being. Your relationship will naturally change and evolve over time, and it’s important to be flexible.
4. Share Information
Make sure to include information in your updates to your child’s birth family. This might consist of your child's likes and dislikes, developmental milestones, "firsts," favorites, and funny things they've said or done.
By using your words to paint a picture, you're giving the birth family the chance to know their child as they grow up. Especially in cases when there's not an opportunity for visits, this shared information can be very appreciated.
5. Observe Milestones
Take the opportunity to celebrate with your child’s birth family when they have a birthday or a new baby, for example. You might send a gift, flowers, or a card. Recognizing their special occasions show the birth family that you know you'll be forever bonded together!
6. Ask for Input
Asking your child's birth parents for input is a wonderful way to include them, whether it means asking questions on medical history or how to style your black daughter's hair. Ask about their favorite holiday traditions, and then incorporate those traditions into your family.
7. Celebrate Holidays
If your child is old enough, you might have them send artwork or a card on holidays like Mother's Day, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. This is a great way to express your love! Getting a sweet reminder that they're cherished is so thoughtful because holidays can be hard for those who have experienced loss. Some adoptive parents purchase two of the same ornament each year. They give one ornament to their child and mail the other to the birth parents. We encourage you to begin holiday traditions that include your child’s birth family!
It's important to get your child's input on the open adoption relationship as he or she gets older. This includes the way communication occurs as well as the level of contact. After all, the child is the most important part of an open adoption! As the adoptive parents, you have the opportunity to set a positive tone to the relationship, and to express love to your child’s birth family. By doing so, you're showing your child what a healthy, positive relationship looks like.