By: Moki Murillo
You have just placed your baby for adoption. If you worked with All About U Adoptions, then you already know that your choice is the right one. No one is ever prepared for an unplanned pregnancy. Not every birth parent has a stable environment to raise children in, either. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that feelings like guilt or anxiety often linger after the child is placed. One of the most common times when these feelings flare up is during the holidays. While they can be joyful times, your child’s absence might trigger feelings of longing or regret.
Open Adoptions and How They Work
Your Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota adoption plan could help mitigate negative feelings if you choose an open adoption. As a reminder, your adoption plan allows you to customize your adoption’s openness. In an open adoption, you are allowed to have contact with your child after they are placed. You can even visit them in person (if agreed upon with the adoptive family). Being involved in your child’s life can be great for a birth mother’s mental health, but there are limits.
Thankfully, our adoption agencies have developed four key tips that can help birth mothers like you through the holidays.
1. Maintain Open Communication With the Adoptive Parents
For better or worse, your relationship with your child in an open adoption depends on their adoptive parents. Our adoption agencies have observed that an open and collaborative relationship between all parents is what is needed. This means that boundaries need to be set as soon as possible. It is ideal if those boundaries are set during the adoption process and before the child is born. That way, you can set expectations early with the adoptive parents and navigate them more easily. This management of expectations is a negotiation, however. It is also common for these expectations to be renegotiated later as circumstances change.
Be mindful of your boundaries and respect any expectations that you and the adoptive parents agree to. For example, the adoptive parents may limit your visits, even during the holidays, for the first few years. They may want the space to form a meaningful relationship with the child they will raise.
The key to maintaining this delicate balance is open, honest, and regular communication. All About U Adoptions understands that every adoption situation is unique. Be sure to make your needs clear to the adoptive parents and deliver any requests from a place of good faith.
2. Don’t Isolate Yourself After Adoption
Although you can’t ignore your feelings, you can also choose to experience holiday joys with friends and family. Isolation is rarely good for a birth mother’s mental health. As such, spending time with loved ones during holiday celebrations can help you remember the other joys of life.
All About U Adoptions knows that not every birth mother has such a support network, unfortunately. Thankfully, we can connect you to multiple support groups of birth mothers who know what you are going through. While we can’t promise that you will make new friends, you should always try to reach out for help. The bonds you could make by joining a support group can help break you out of harmful isolation.
3. Weaving New Traditions After Adoption: Embrace the Joys and Make Them Your Own
Holidays can be bittersweet after adoption. While the joy is still there, it can shapeshift. Embrace this! Instead of feeling like you have to fill a void, spin something new. It can be as simple as joining the annual ugly sweater contest or as unique as crafting traditions from scratch. Here are some sparks to ignite your creativity:
- Reach Out, Craft Love: With the adoptive parents’ blessing, imagine the joy of making a homemade gift for your child, a tangible thread of love across the miles. Or, celebrate the motherhood you dream of by hand-stitching tiny baby clothes. They’ll be a quiet promise whispered in fabric.
- Welcome the Adoptive Family: If you’re lucky enough to visit during the holidays, make it a team effort! Include the adoptive family in your traditions. Baking cookies together, sharing stories around the fire, or building a snowman army – these shared moments can forge genuine friendships, strengthen your bond with your child and ease anxieties for everyone.
- Find Shared Smiles: Even if a visit isn’t possible, there’s still magic to be found. A virtual cookie-baking contest can be a blast for the whole adoptive family, bringing laughter and sprinkles of joy across the distance.
4. Take Care of Your Mental Health After Adoption
You can seek this support from anywhere, but you can rely on our adoption agency. All About U Adoptions can cover the mental health services of any eligible birth mother working with us. Depending on your circumstances, you can even arrange for long-term support after placement.
We also offer a variety of therapy forms to suit the varied needs of our birth mothers. While you should still spend time with loved ones, don’t neglect more professional help. After all, you deserve to be treated right in every way possible.
Remember Your Joys After Adoption
At All About U Adoptions, we understand that the path of adoption sometimes end with placement. If you find yourself in need of assistance or guidance, our doors are always open. Our team is always ready to offer support and compassionate care to ensure that your post-adoption journey is as smooth and comforting as possible.
May the holidays bring you moments of peace, surrounded by the love and support of those nearest to you. If you still require assistance after adoption, don’t hesitate to call All About U Adoptions today.