Call Us at 800-813-9345

Adoption and the Holidays

This week, as we begin to celebrate being family and being thankful for life’s blessings, some of you may have questions about how to handle the holidays during or after an adoption. One expert shares her wisdom and offers answers for those difficult questions when it comes to what to do:
From Thanksgiving to the end of the year, everyone’s focus is on family. Even TV commercials show happy families celebrating the holidays together. As a result, this season can be painful for birthparents, especially if their contact with their children is minimal. And parents in open adoptions deliberate over what and how much to share with them. Will detailed information be painful—or reassuring—to the birthmother?

What you should keep in mind is that your son’s birthmother is a relative. You don’t have to love her, and she doesn’t have to be your best friend (as with some of your other relatives!)—but you should think of her as an extended family member. This is what open adoption is about. Knowing that he’s happy will help your son’s birthmother continue to feel good about the difficult decision she made eight years ago. And the holiday season is an especially important time to let her know you are thinking about her.

What to share

How can you let your son’s birthmother know she’s in your thoughts? The type of contact will depend on the relationship you have maintained over the years. If you have been in regular contact, whether by mail, phone, or visits with the family, your son’s birthmother will expect a detailed update or a get-together. If your contact has been more limited, I’m sure she’ll appreciate a letter and a photo.

Your son’s birthmother will enjoy hearing the details about his life—who he is at eight years old—his personality, his interests, his accomplishments. Parents might worry that details would be painful or would make the birthmother regret that she placed her child for adoption.
The reality is that the adoption plan was made out of love. She chose not to parent him, but she will always love him. So go ahead and tell her about the wonderful things your child does—that your son won the spelling bee at his school last year, for example, or that he’s learning to play the guitar.

You might ask your son what he’d like to share in a holiday letter to his birthmother. At his age, many children write their own letters to be enclosed in the holiday cards sent to the birth family. Or your son may want to draw a picture to send with your letter. By including him in this project, you gain an opportunity to talk with him again about his adoption story. You can remind him of the permanence of your family, as well as the love of his birthmother.
A 10-year-old I know, David, doesn’t visit with his birthmother, but he enjoys writing his own letter to her at holiday time. This year he talked about his accomplishments on the soccer field, and he asked her what her favorite sport is.

Many families also exchange gifts with their children’s birthparents at holiday time—as they do with other family members. If you have a close relationship with the birth family, consider a gift exchange. To children your son’s age, a gift from a birthparent is concrete evidence of her love; it attests to the fact that she thinks of him often.

Katie, an eight-year-old child I know, loves the teddy bear her birthmother gave her last Christmas. The bear sits on Katie’s bookshelf, and she tells visitors that it is from her birthmother, Susie. If you wanted to send a gift to your son’s birthmother, she’d surely cherish a framed photograph of him.
Whatever level of communication you have with your son’s birthmother, the holidays provide a wonderful opportunity to talk with your child about family and about all the people in his life who love him.

Kathleen Silber is the associate executive director of the Independent Adoption Center in Pleasant Hill, California, and coauthor of Dear Birthmother and Children of Open Adoption (Corona).

Want to know more? Request a free packet of information regarding the adoption process.

Joshua and Matt
Read More
David was a terrific resource for us throughout the adoption process and I firmly believe we wouldn’t have our wonderful daughter without all the support he provided us. He is a highly experienced professional who made us feel reassured through each step of the way. We have recommended him to friends who have also successfully adopted through his services as well.
Dylan
Read More
I wanted to send you a very special note to thank you for helping me join my new family. My mom and dad are so happy, and I'm having lots of fun. I really love my new home and thank you so very much for the part you and everyone in your office had in making my family so happy!
Fran
Read More
How do I thank you for making my dreams come true? Stacy is a healthy, beautiful, wonderful child and I am so in love with her and so very happy. The entire process of adoption was a joyful one for me and I am so very glad I took your advice regarding the wisdom of an open adoption as I still have a warm relationship with my birth mother. I thank you for your guidance and help.
Catrina
Read More
You've been wonderful through this whole thing. Very helpful, understanding and patient. This is probably one of the hardest things in life to go through. You found the perfect parents for my baby. No one in this world could be better than them.
Lidia
Read More
Thank you so much for all the sweet things you've done! You're wonderful at what you do. You've touched my heart in many ways. I'll never forget you.
John and Catherine
Read More
We thank you, David, for being so supportive through it all, and especially for helping us find each other.
Heidi R
Read More
Thank you so much for making my adoption journey as pleasant as possible. I was so pleased with your office & most of the staff. Thanks again.
Marcus, Sue, and Samuel
Read More
A few days ago we celebrated our son's one month birthday. We are all so happy and we feel so blessed. We also realize that our happiness as a family is due largely to your efforts and the efforts of your staff. We appreciate all that you've done for our family.
Joe and Sue
Read More
Thank you for our first Father's Day.
Previous
Next

© The Law Offices of David J. Radis | Terms of Service & Privacy Policy | Sitemap