Starting a Holiday Tradition in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother
Holidays are a wonderful time of year for families, but where does it stand in an open adoption? Open adoptions create a bridge of communication between you, as the birth mother, and your child’s adoptive family. You can start a holiday tradition in an open adoption as a birth mother the way new families start their own family traditions. Depending on what boundaries are already set up between you and the adoptive parents, there are many different ways to celebrate the holidays as a birth mother with your child and their adoptive parents.
Here are 5 of our top tips for birth mothers to celebrate through the holidays:
1. Share Your Love With Words
Letter writing is a wonderful way to start a holiday tradition in an open adoption as a birth mother.It allows your child and the adoptive family into your life. You can also include pictures if it’s agreed upon by both parties, providing a visual update about what is going on in your world.
Writing a letter to your child is something that you will want to discuss with your child’s adoptive as you’re getting to know them in the adoption process. It’s important that you all agree on the type of communication exchanged and the frequency as well. Any letters you write, of course, can be read by the adoptive parents to your child until he or she is old enough to read themselves. Yet, sharing your love through words can brighten your child’s holiday season and give them a sense of connection with you, even when you’re apart physically.
2. Gift Giving
Gifts may not seem like the most creative idea, but the tradition itself stands on a foundation of love. Giving your child up for adoption does not negate the fact that you are a mother, and what do mothers do during holidays? Give their child a gift that pertains to their personality, their interests and their wants. Starting a holiday tradition doesn’t have to mean completely overhauling what happens on holidays. As a birth mother, giving your child a gift reiterates the passion, love and care you feel for them by picking out the perfect special gift. It provides him or her with something that reminds them of you throughout the years to come.
Another way to make gift giving more of a personal holiday tradition as the birth mother is to write an accompanying card about why you chose this gift for your child. This can help them form a stronger connection with what you bought them, especially if the gift has sentimental value from your side. If you’re fond of a specific animal, get them something related to that and explain why.
3. Make an Ornament or Decoration
An individualized ornament doesn’t necessarily have to mean you make it yourself if you’re not confident in how it will turn out. There are many ornament makers with online stores, like Etsy, that sell handcrafted and customized ornaments. So, you can have someone else make it for you, but tell them what you want the ornament or decoration to say. For instance, include your child’s name, their age, or a special message. Or, you can dedicate the ornament yourself. The ornament can celebrate the creation of life and the love you have for your child.
4. Phone Calls
Calling your child every holiday season at a specific time gives them something to look forward to each year. Having a scheduled call for however long you wish gives the adoptive parents the ability to work in their plans without conflicts. This way, if you’d like to speak with your child’s adoptive parents as well, you know that they will be available.
Give life updates. Swap holiday stories from each other’s families. Some birth mothers in open adoptions agree beforehand to intermingle the immediate families together.
Depending on your open adoption plan, having a video call through ZOOM, FaceTime or Skype is another way to see your child on the holidays — especially if you both live far away from each other. You’ll be able to share the experience of them opening gifts or opening a gift you gave them live.
5. Meeting In Person
Holiday seasons can be a bit chaotic, but if you and the adoptive family agreed upon seeing your child for an hour or two is a wonderful holiday tradition. Gift exchanges can happen or a meal shared between the two of you. Pick a special restaurant for the two of you to go to each year. A favorite place both of you enjoy. Spending time together somewhere each year will give your child memories to hold close to their heart.
Holiday Traditions in an Open Adoption
Adoption does not take away that you are a birth mother who loves and cherishes their child. Starting a holiday tradition in an open adoption as a birth mother is going to look different for everyone, but each one is as important as the next. Create lasting traditions that strengthen the bond between yourself as the birth mother and your child.
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