The holiday season can cause a lot of anxiety in both adoptive parents and birth parents. Especially for those who are in newer open adoption agreements when things are still fresh and everyone is getting acquainted. With all the other stress and emotions that come with the holiday season, this can become problematic.
However, Adoption Choices of New York is here to show you how to navigate your open adoption during the holidays. We want you to be able to enjoy this season together and to build happy memories that will last a lifetime. After all, the holidays are all about bringing families together and creating special bonding moments.
Plan Holiday Celebrations Together
Imagine for a moment. One year ago, your child’s birth mother was pregnant. She was facing a very different future than she had imagined for herself and trying to determine the best course of action. Negative opinions stemmed from her friends and family. She felt lost and alone. Her holiday season felt dark and hopeless.
But this year is better! Why? Because she made a plan of adoption and found you! She found a safe and loving home for her baby — now your son or daughter — and has the opportunity to watch he or she grow. So, why not include her in your holiday celebrations? Invite her over for Thanksgiving dinner, or plan a special visit around Christmas. Consider starting a new tradition with her, as she will be a part of your son or daughter’s life now. This way, you all can continue to learn about each other, and she can renew her sense of joy during the holidays.
Choose to have a Great Time
Anxiety is a natural emotion to feel throughout the holiday season. After all, there is a lot going on. Family gatherings. Traditions. Shopping trips for gifts. It can fill up your calendar very quickly, heightening feelings of stress and worry that there isn’t enough time to get everything done. If gone unchecked, your anxiety can cause you to get trapped in the details and forget what the holiday season is all about.
Yet, keep in mind that your child can sense your emotions. If you are stressed, that will affect his or her attitude as well. So, whenever possible, tell yourself that you’re going to have a good time. Then follow through with that. Smile. Laugh. Catch up with family and friends. Be thankful for the new addition to your family, and bask in the joy and support of everyone around you as they, too, welcome him or her into the fold. In the larger scheme of things, the details don’t matter. Making memories do. The holidays only come around once a year. Why not make them count?
Keep Your Child’s Best Interests at Heart
Studies have shown that adoptees who have access to all aspects of their origin and heritage develop a healthy sense of identity and self-esteem. They struggle less with who they are, and don’t feel like a piece of them is missing. Instead, adoptees who have answers to their deep questions are happier and adjust smoother. That’s why knowing how to navigate your open adoption during the holidays is so crucial. It’s essential that, no matter what you do, you keep your child’s best interests at heart. In other words, communicate with his or her birth family and coordinate a plan to celebrate together. By doing this, you are teaching your son or daughter about building meaningful relationships and showing that your focus is on his or her well-being.
This may not be easy, but it’s vital to your son or daughter’s success in life. For his or her mental development and self-perception. You may be surprised at how much closer you bond with your child, and how much more trust your child has in you. Open adoptions, after all, are all about trust, mutual respect and strong, healthy communication.
Navigate Your Open Adoption during the Holidays
Does the holiday season fill you with dread? Do you find yourself dragging your feet, and feeling your heart pump a little faster with stress the closer it comes? Decide right now that this holiday season will be better. Healthier. Memorable. Plan visits with your child’s birth family. Start new traditions. Choose to have a positive attitude.
By doing so, you are ensuring yourself and everyone else around you that the holidays will be happy and successful.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Andrea. “A Birth Mother’s Experience: The Holidays and Open Adoption.” CHLSS, 6 July 2017, chlss.org/blog/birth-mothers-experience-holidays-open-adoption/.
Dinwoodie, April. “6 Key Factors to Consider for an Open Adoption.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 28 June 2015, www.huffpost.com/entry/6-key-factors-to-consider-for-an-open-adoption_b_7157382.
“Navigating Your Open Adoption During The Holidays Adopting.” Adopting.com, www.adopting.com/adoption-blog/navigating-your-open-adoption-during-the-holidays.