Top 20 Holiday Traditions for Your Open Adoption
The beauty of open adoption is that it allows you as a birth mother to have a future that includes the child you placed for adoption. Your adoption journey is not always easy, but there are plenty of things to look forward to when that child is in your life. In the midst of the holiday season, you have a great opportunity to bring your hopes of reconnecting by sharing the holidays with the adoptive family and their new child.
If you are interested in starting any holiday traditions in your open adoption with the adoptive family and their child, Adoption Choices of Kansas has many ideas to recommend to help you make the most of the holiday season both now and in the future.
- Participate in a traditional gift exchange
Nothing encapsulates the Christmas experience better than giving and receiving presents around a fire and Christmas tree. It’s quite fitting to participate in this tradition as a way to symbolize how you gave the adoptive family the gift of a child.
- Start a holiday photo album
What’s great about starting a photo album is that it’s something you can build upon each year. It’s also a wonderful way to capture the child’s growth and remind yourself that he or she is thriving in the life with the adoptive family you choose for them.
- Be in charge of stuffing stockings
Maybe even consider making the child’s stocking for his or her first Christmas if you’ve got a creative streak.
- Exchange ornaments
A nice twist on this can be buying two of the same ornament: one for you, and one for the adoptive family.
- Help out with shopping and gift wrapping
While fun, shopping and wrapping up presents can be time consuming, and it might even be overwhelming for a family taking care of a baby. Lending a hand can give you an opportunity to spend with the adoptive family as well as giving them a little bit of a well-deserved break.
- Light candles on a menorah or Advent wreath
Lighting a candle on some or all nights of Hanukkah, or at the beginning of each week of Advent, gives you even more time to spend with the adoptive family throughout the holiday season.
- Spend some one-on-one time with the child
Make the most of every moment. Whether you’re able to in person or through virtual means, you can create special memories by spending quality time with your child during the holiday season.
- Send a heartfelt letter to the child and his or her adoptive family
After a few years, the child and the adoptive family will have a collection of letters showing your love and gratitude they can cherish forever.
- Have a picture exchange
Not only will this give you an opportunity to see how your child has grown and thrived over the last year, it’s also a way to share your life with the family which means so much after everything you have been through together.
- Have a video chat or phone call
Just because the holidays might be too busy for an in-person visit, there’s nothing wrong with going the virtual route. Consider using Skype, ZOOM or FaceTime for some family fun.
- Bring both families together
Maybe set aside a day for all the grandparents to see the baby. Or perhaps a day for all the aunts and uncles.
- Incorporate the child’s heritage into the festivities
If your cultural or religious background differs from that of the adoptive family, sharing your traditions with them can enrich their holiday season and can instill a sense of pride in the child for his or her roots as he or she gets older.
- Have a holiday movie night
Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas — you have so many great movies to choose from that you, your birth child, and the adoptive family are sure to enjoy and grow fond of over time.
- Decorate a Christmas tree
Your adoption journey was a team effort with the adoptive family. This can be another tradition to commemorate that teamwork by helping each other put up a Christmas tree.
- Plan a trip with the adoptive family
This extended time with them can help deepen your relationship with them, and can give you something exciting to look forward to.
- Spend a day making cookies
Many celebrate the holidays by having a baking day together. There’s just something about creating holiday treats that puts a smile on everyone’s face. In addition to cookies, you could also do a gingerbread house or cupcakes!.
- Go sledding or ice skating
Weather permitting, of course. What’s the fun in sledding down a hill without snow?
- Visit a holiday exhibition
You could take a special trip to a local nativity scene or a Christmas display at a conservatory.
- Bring the child to visit Santa
This is another great photo opportunity. Plus, if the child is a bit nervous at first, you can be right there to help comfort them.
- Drive through the neighborhood to see all the Christmas lights
Take in the wonderful sight of a child’s face light up in awe. Their fingers excitedly point at their favorite house decorations, or when they see a beloved movie or story character come to life on someone’s lawn.
Holiday Traditions for Your Open Adoption
Starting a new holiday tradition in your open adoption can help you feel included in the life of the child you placed for adoption. For a birth mother, no gift can beat that.
If you are a birth mother living in Kansas and are considering open adoption, reach out to Adoption Choices of Kansas today to learn more.
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.