Birth Mother Blog

Holiday Traditions For an Open Adoption in MO

It’s been another year, and the holidays are fast approaching. Naturally, the holidays are a time for family, and those who adopt or give their baby up for adoption are no exception. Once an adoption is finalized, the child is no longer under the care of their birth parents and, by extension, will spend the holidays with the adoptive family. In the case of open adoption, there is direct communication between adoptive and birth families, so holiday plans will likely include both. If you choose an open adoption, you may be concerned about giving and receiving gifts, visitation, vacations, traditions, and getting along with the extended adoptive family. These additional concerns may make the holiday season seem like an impossible challenge, but the reality is that even traditional families can have it rough during the holidays. Your experience may not be what most families deal with, but that doesn’t mean the holidays can’t still be fun and memorable. A good discussion among involved parties can often prove we might be overthinking our concerns.

Dealing with Conflicting Wishes

The adoptive family may want a small gathering with just their members. Other families may be accustomed to larger gatherings. Regardless of what they choose, those wishes should be respected. Talk to them and discuss your ideas. Be ready to compromise. It is not the end of the world if you don’t spend the exact holiday date with your child. You can still make arrangements before both families return to their normal routines. The best way to avoid conflicts is to discuss things ahead of time. In the end, nothing stops you from mailing a gift or a card. Many people stress over holiday plans, but the plans themselves mean less than the holiday’s purpose itself. 

Sharing Traditions

Traditions should be introduced earlier rather than later. It’s natural for parents to want to pass down traditions to their children, especially since traditions hold precious memories. When two families come together, so do the traditions. These traditions for an open adoption include special dishes and things related to cultures. Many families make their own ornaments, so there is no harm in sending one to your child. Suppose your child’s adoptive family doesn’t celebrate the same holidays. In that case, that doesn’t stop you from showing you care. Exchanging life updates, video calling, and letters will still allow you to share experiences. 

Additionally, if you are able to share the holiday with your child, talk to the adoptive family about what your child may enjoy. You do not want to put a lot of money or effort into a gift or tradition that your child won’t like. Traditions are done annually and should be enjoyable to both families. You do not have to pass down every tradition, just the most important ones. 

You can also consider creating a tradition with your child and adoptive family. Brainstorm ideas with the adoptive family for what activities you want to do with the holiday. Creating a tradition can be memorable and helps build relationships between families. It will also make everyone excited for the holiday season. It is also important to be open-minded because the adoptive family may have different cultural traditions or may not celebrate the same holidays. Learning their culture and frame of mind also helps build family bonds. If they do not celebrate the same holidays, it will not spell death to an enjoyable season. Holidays are a time for family, and that remains the same regardless of religion. Once again, talk to the family instead of making assumptions. You don’t have to wait until a holiday to give a gift, and everyone can still pick a day to enjoy a nice family dinner.

The holiday season is looked forward to worldwide and can be a joy or stress depending on how it is managed. Navigating the season stress-free is all about focusing on what’s important rather than every little thing you feel you must do. Regardless of whether you exchange traditions or have new ones created, the value of memories remains, and everyone can still have a good time. 

Adoption Choices of Missouri has specialist and post-placement services to help navigate the Missouri adoption process and adjust to life after adoption in MO. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or are starting the process of adoption.

Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll-free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at 816-527-9800

SenneaMeet the author: Seannea Wharton is a student at Miami University majoring in English. As of now, she is working on her first novel, starting a book blog, and learning American Sign Language. She was raised in a suburban town in New Jersey and has various hobbies such as gardening, cooking, and crocheting. She enjoys learning about a wide range of topics and loves finding new books to read.