Starting an Open Adoption Holiday Tradition as a Birth Mother
Open adoption holiday traditions can seem overwhelming as a birth mother if you do not have guidance or any prior experience navigating them. Finding time to spend with your child without overstepping their adoptive family’s boundaries can be tricky, after all. The best advice is simply to just keep the lines of communication open and have everyone voice their opinions — you, your child, and their adoptive family. Work together and try to compromise, if at all possible.
What Should I do if the Adoptive Family wants the Actual Day of the Holiday to Themselves?
This is actually pretty common, so there’s no need to worry! Even if your child’s adoptive family would rather have a main celebration day just for their family, like Christmas, there are still ways to get in on the holiday spirit. You could always have your open adoption holiday tradition on Christmas Eve, for example, or a surrounding time like the day after Christmas or a week after Christmas. New Year’s Eve is also an excellent day for group joy and gathering.
If you celebrate one of the other many amazing holidays that take place at the end of the calendar year, you can still suggest these same ideas of having a gathering with your child and their adoptive family on days surrounding the holiday itself. There are also plenty of adoptive families that would be fine with you joining the festivities on the actual holiday itself. Just feel it out and see what is best for everyone.
How can I Plan Activities to do during an Open Adoption Holiday Tradition?
You really do not need to overthink it too much. What do people normally do when they gather for family get-togethers? Maybe you will sit by a fire and share stories. Some birth mothers even share their adoption stories annually during these end of the year holidays as a reminder that adoptions can be successful and happy. You can watch movies, share food, and play board games as well. If you celebrate Christmas, gift giving often seems essential. You could absolutely bounce around to fun stores before Christmas itself or shop the after-Christmas sales as part of your holiday tradition. The options are endless and it’s really just about having fun together.
How do I Make a Good Impression?
It can be alarming to think that you might have to instantly get along with your child’s adoptive parent or parents. It isn’t actually the case that you have to be solid friends right away or ever. Very few people have instant comradery with one another. Still, there are plenty of basic things both sides can do to make open adoption holiday traditions fun, yearly activities. First of all, it never hurts to be polite. That goes back to the idea of respecting each other’s boundaries. A birth mother is important, but the adoptive parents have the right to parent their child as they see fit.
However, it’s probably best that neither side takes the “my way or the highway approach.” It is much more beneficial to learn from each other. This really reflects the second idea that, again, communication is so important. If you are kind and talk things through with the goal of having productive discussions, then things will likely turn out very well and you’ll pave the way for a decent, long-term connection — all for the ultimate betterment of your child’s experiences growing up, having many adult figures that care for them.
What Should I do about Important Days the Rest of the Year?
No one said that traditions have to happen just during the winter holiday season. You can absolutely set up gathering during other important days throughout the year as well, using the same ideas listed above. Birthdays are always a great place to start, but if you have other days in mind, that could work, too! You absolutely have the tools in your tool belt to make annual traditions happen and succeed.
What Should I do if I have More Questions?
The internet can be a great resource if you find the right websites or blogs. Adoption Choices of Colorado has also worked with many birth mothers and many adoption cases, so there are plenty of open adoption holiday tradition ideas flowing through our adoption agency as well. You can absolutely find support if you feel stuck so that you can have a great holiday season with your child. It just takes a little bit of time and care to set up and can be so rewarding.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Nathan Dyer is a university student majoring in Communication Arts with a radio/TV/film focus. He enjoys writing professionally and dealing with hands-on problems in real-world scenarios. Among his hobbies is hiking, which always encourages him to explore new places. He looks forward to crafting written materials in the future that serve to help people from all walks of life.