A Birth Mother’s First Christmas in an Open Adoption
By choosing adoption, you gave your child and their adoptive family an amazing gift. Likewise, being in an open adoption provides you with the gift of having a presence in your child’s life, as well as the potential to develop a beautiful relationship with them over time. Now that Christmas is just around the corner, it is a great time for you to reconnect with your child and see how they continue to benefit from your loving and selfless choice.
Here at Adoption Choices of Kansas, we want to make sure that your first Christmas in an open adoption will be memorable and full of joy. There are so many ways for you to make this time special for you and your little one, but here are just a few to consider.
- Spend quality time with your child and their adoptive family
Because you entered into an open adoption, the opportunity of having quality time with your child didn’t end as soon as you left the hospital after you gave birth. Seeing your baby again can feel rewarding and reassuring as you see them happy and thriving in their adoptive home that you chose for them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your baby’s adoptive parents to see if they would like to arrange a time to visit during the holiday season.
There are many ways you can go about an in-person visit. Maybe you spend Christmas morning exchanging gifts with them at your house or theirs. Or you could set aside some time later in the afternoon or for an entire day to spend some alone time with your baby. This can also be a good opportunity to meet your baby’s extended adoptive family, or for your extended family to see your baby. If distance, time, or logistics won’t allow for an in-person visit, consider having a video call with the adoptive family so that you can catch up with them and see how much your baby has grown.
- Send a Christmas keepsake
Since the holidays can be a hectic time for everyone, it’s possible that a visit or chat can’t be arranged. Also, because it’s your first Christmas in an open adoption, it’s completely natural and understandable if you have some reservations about seeing your baby for fear that it will interfere with your healing process. If you still want to find a way to be a part of your baby’s first Christmas despite these potential complications, consider sending them a token of your love for them. This can be a great way to ease into embracing your presence in your child’s life if you aren’t quite ready to reunite in person.
Get as creative as you want when it comes to the type of keepsake you give for your child to cherish in the years to come. You can always give them a more traditional gift or a stocking full of goodies. Another option is to buy an ornament for them, and then buy a matching one for yourself so that you have something unique to share with your child. To add a personal touch, consider writing a heartfelt letter for your child that he or she can revisit as they get older. You can also start a tradition of sending along pictures of yourself and your family as a way for your child to get to know you better later on.
- Don’t forget about self-care
While the holidays can give you the opportunity to develop and deepen your relationship with your child each year, they can also bring about strong emotions especially in the early years after placement. As important as it is to focus on your child’s happiness and well-being, it’s equally important to not neglect your own mental health if you find yourself struggling during this time. Attending to your emotional needs can make in-person visits easier so that you can get the most out of them.
Your healing process may come in the form of relying on family or friends for emotional support or seeking out professional help. By talking through any feelings you feel burdened by with another person, you potentially open yourself to a fresh perspective that will make it easier to cope in a healthy manner. Connecting with other birth mothers who can relate to your experiences is a wonderful way to build community and to remind yourself that you are not alone. It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling negative emotions if you think you should feel happy for your child and lucky that you get to see or hear from them.
Your First Christmas in an Open Adoption
Reconnecting with your child during the holidays is a great way to fulfill the hope that comes with open adoption. If you are a birth mother in Kansas and would like further guidance on navigating open adoption during the holidays, feel free to reach out to Adoption Choices of Kansas today.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.