First Christmas in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother
The holidays are meant to be a joyous occasion, no matter what you celebrate. Christmas, among the many other holidays around this time, is an opportunity for families to gather and celebrate their togetherness. Yet, for many adoptive families and birth mothers, this is their first time doing this.
For some, the stress levels might be through the roof now. Birth mothers and adoptive families want to make this a momentous time for not only their child, but for their new, extended family as a whole. The first Christmas in an open adoption as a birth mother is a milestone, and Adoption Choices of Missouri wants it to be a special one that will continue in years to come.
Here are some tips to help you navigate through this first holiday season.
1. Stop and Breathe
Remember that you are not doing this alone. In an open adoption, you have your child’s adoptive parents to collaborate with about how to make your first holiday season together special and memorable. You may be overly excited and anxious to see your child again post adoption, and that’s natural. But don’t forget to breathe. The holidays are indeed a significant point in the year, but it’s important to take time for yourself, relax, and enjoy the holiday celebrations.
2. Bond with Your Child’s Adoptive Parents
Coordinating how you want to spend the holidays together can also be a great opportunity for you to bond with your child’s adoptive parents. To get to know each other more and learn why the holiday season is important to them.
Doing this will not only be beneficial for you all, but it will also positively impact your child. When he or she sees how well you and their adoptive parents are getting along, they will feel more secure and gain a better understanding of how an open adoption can work successfully.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Grieve
Unfortunately, many times, life throws us curveballs. Whether it’s issues with travel, finances, or timing, plans may get changed or cancelled. If you are not able to see your child for their first Christmas, this may be a difficult pill to swallow. It may provoke a series of emotions you weren’t expecting. Know that it’s okay to take time to grieve and process what you’re feeling. Acknowledge how much it hurts not being able to spend the holidays with your child. Journal. Seek support from friends, family or from one of our adoption counselors.
When you’re ready, find some joy in knowing that your child is with their loving and supportive adoptive family and that you will get to see him or her another time. Christmas is not the only opportunity for you to see your child nor is it the last.
4. Schedule a Virtual Visit
Due to the unpredictability of the pandemic, Christmas this year may look different for everyone. Seeing each other in person may be more challenging than ever before. If you find that this is the case for you this year, reach out to your child’s adoptive parents and schedule a virtual visit on ZOOM, Skype or FaceTime. This will still give you an opportunity to set some time aside to see your baby and get to say ‘I love you.’
If you’ve sent gifts to your child and their adoptive parents, a virtual holiday celebration will provide you with the chance to watch their reactions as they open those. Even though you’re not able to be in the same room physically, having this connection can give you some peace and reassurance that your child is happy and enjoying their first Christmas.
First Christmas in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother
You faced an unplanned pregnancy, made it through the adoption process in Missouri, and now, if this is your first Christmas in an open adoption as a birth mother or the tenth one, there’s never a bad time to be thankful for the ones you hold close and dear to you. Every chance we get to be around our family is a blessing, and one that should not be taken for granted.
You were the one to make a new family and, with it, a new tradition of being together on the holidays, no matter the circumstances. It’s all too easy — especially during the holiday season — to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and miss out on making memories together. So, take the time to celebrate with your baby and their adoptive family. Cherish the moments you have with them, so that memories you create during the holidays with your child and their adoptive parents will last a lifetime.
Meet the Author: My name is Alexander Charles Cooper, I come from a family of four that originates from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I, along with my younger brother Greyson were born in North Carolina, three years after my parents had wed and moved to the state. Alexander shares his birthday with Maya Angelou, which he takes great pride in.
Growing up, Alexander had the privilege of having both parents in his life and a stable upbringing in which he was surrounded by family and friends. He believes that much of his family foundation is built on faith which has given him a discipline and practice that has allowed him to discover and build his spiritual self. He is also interested in politics and worldly news that allows him to excel in American literature, philosophy/ethics, and higher learning.
From that, his passion in writing bloomed and he found his true calling: “I wished to create and write for a living and know it will be what makes me happiest. My only wish is for me to bring about positive change for others both near and far and leave a lasting legacy that contributes to the overall wellbeing and joy of others.”