When you decide to go the adoption route with your pregnancy, worrying about losing contact or never knowing what happens with your child after birth can be easy. Fortunately, with open adoption and modern technology, you can stay in contact with your child and their adoptive parents.
In open adoptions, birth and adoptive parents work together to establish a system that works for all of them. This system can involve frequency of visits, updates, and more! Open adoptions are different for everyone, so it’s important to work together to make a plan that works well for everyone in your situation.
That said, your child’s birthday is a special (and significant) event for both you and your child. For you, it can bring up a lot of valid feelings, including (but not limited to) joy, grief, and anxiety. That’s part of why it’s so important to take some time to decide how you want to celebrate your child’s birthday.
Ways to Celebrate
When you celebrate with family, you have a few options. The first option is, if you’ve been included in birthday plans by the adoptive family, to celebrate with the adoptive family and your child. If they haven’t invited you and you have an open adoption, you can also ask them about birthday plans. Regardless, make sure everything is okayed by the adoptive parents first. If you do not want to or are not invited to be a part of the celebration with your child, you can decide to get your family and friends together for a small celebration.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of emotions that could arise on your child’s birthday. If you decide to celebrate by yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s important to make sure you hold space for your emotions and allow yourself to feel things.
That said, you can still elect to do something on your own to celebrate or commemorate the significance of that day. This can be simple birthday-related things (like baking a cake in their honor) or other creative methods (like going on a hike, planting a tree, or making something in their honor).
Connecting With Your Child
Regardless of whether or not you’re able to spend the day with your child, you can still find some way of connecting with them. You could mail them a gift or a letter or find some other creative way to form a connection despite the distance.
Milestone birthdays are fun and interesting to celebrate. With each milestone having some new point of significance, you can think of gifts or activities that are relevant for you and your child. The possibilities really are endless! The important part with this one is to ensure you’re not infringing upon arrangements with the adoptive parents and that you have their approval of your plans.
You can always reach out to your adoption agency or therapist if you want some counseling to help you through this time. We’d even recommend it. Sometimes having a third party there to talk about and work through your emotions can be very powerful and helpful.
Likewise, if you decide that you want to do something for yourself on your child’s birthday, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Self-care is extremely important, especially when you may still be working through some emotions related to the event. If you decide to indulge yourself a bit, that is perfectly fine.
The way you handle your child’s birthday is completely up to you. Maybe you need a moment alone, or maybe you want to have a get-together with your family or your child and their adoptive family. Regardless of the direction you decide to go, you need to make sure that you are kind to yourself as you work through all of this. If you need a moment to reflect or process your emotions, that is more than okay.
Connected by Love Adoptions is here for you if you need any support while you’re working through this. We can also help support you in making an adoption decision if you haven’t done so yet. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for questions. We’re here for you 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call us today at (321)355-2010 for more information.