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Starting a Holiday Tradition in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother

Starting a Holiday Tradition in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother

Thinking about the holidays and how that will play out between you, your child and their adoptive family can be a challenge. Especially if it’s your first holiday with them in an open adoption. Even though you’ve already hashed out a lot of details while you were getting to know your child’s adoptive parents in the adoption process, it’s natural for other questions to surface. For instance: What are the appropriate boundaries? Can you visit or should the first holiday season be between your child and their new adoptive family? If you are invited to be part of the celebration, can you bring gifts? 

These and many other questions fill your head as you see your other friends and family members  start the holiday season with their annual holiday traditions and get togethers. Ones that have been long since established. But, this is your first time starting a holiday tradition in an open adoption as a birth mother and you aren’t sure how to proceed. What’s more, there are so many holidays and different types of traditions for each to choose from. So, how do you go about celebrating the holidays with your child? 

Adoption Choices of Florida is here to provide you with some guidance!

Adoption during Christmas/Winter Holidays

With it currently being December, it is no wonder that Christmas and other winter holidays would be at the top of the list. This time of the year is often filled with families getting together, exchanging gifts and celebrating holiday cheer. If this is something that’s important to you, you, undoubtedly, chose an adoptive family for your child who has similar beliefs as your own and who would be willing to open up and let you celebrate with them as well. 

To begin a holiday tradition during the Christmas and winter season, be sure to talk with your child’s adoptive parents about starting a small gift exchange or meeting at a restaurant for a meal. It doesn’t have to be on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day, but it still gives you all a chance to celebrate together and show your appreciation and love for each other. What you choose to do and where you choose to meet will then become easier and  create a stepping stone for future Christmas and winter holidays  as well. 

Adoption during Birthdays

Another celebration you may want to have a tradition with is your child’s birthday. It’s natural that you’d want to spend some quality time with just you and your child, and to celebrate their important milestone of one year older, but it’s important to talk to the adoptive parents about what would be okay. If your child’s adoptive parents already have plans for his or her actual birthday, that’s perfectly fine. Ask if you could give your child a gift and spend time with them on another day. 

A great way to go about starting a holiday tradition in an open adoption as a birth mother is to communicate with your child’s adoptive parents. Be sure that you remain flexible and respectful of the boundaries you set in place during the adoption process. This can be difficult, especially with special holidays, but it’s important to ensure that you are all on the same page and that any and all heightened emotions you may experience don’t get the best of you. Making  a tradition with your child’s adoptive family will help your relationship with them remain healthy and strong, and encourage positive development in your child as well. 

Adoption during Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving is another major holiday during the year where families get together to express their gratitude, celebrate and eat good food. If this is an important holiday for you and your child’s adoptive family, discuss what aspects are the most crucial and come up with a plan that would work every year. Whether this is on the day of Thanksgiving or a different day close to it, this holiday is a great opportunity to show your appreciation for all your child’s adoptive parents have done for you and vice versa.

When you choose to have an open adoption agreement, you -- along with your child and their adoptive family - create an extended family. That said, scheduling may be a factor when you’re first starting to form a holiday tradition, just like it would with your other friends and family. It may take some time to figure out how to merge your usual celebrations with your child’s adoptive parents, but this is natural and to be expected. Remember that if you aren’t able to meet in person, you can still schedule a phone call or a virtual meeting through ZOOM, Skype or FaceTime. With all the online options available now, you don’t have to be in person to express how thankful you are for each other. 

Starting a Holiday Tradition in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother

As it is currently the holiday season, we chose to highlight several of the most commonly celebrated holidays in the United States. There are many more that are not on this list -- Easter, Hanukkah, Ramadan, New Years, Labor Day, Halloween, the Fourth of July and so on. 

Family events and holidays can be tricky and a little confusing. Figuring out what your own traditions are and trying to merge them with someone else’s is never easy. This is why it’s important to always have open lines of communication with your child’s adoptive family and work together to create a holiday tradition that works for all of you. In an open adoption, this is the true secret to success and starting a holiday tradition that goes from year to year.

We understand that birthdays and other holidays can be both exciting and challenging for a birth mother. That you want to have the opportunity to celebrate with your child and watch them grow into a happy, healthy adult. We also know that emotions can hit more on certain holidays and not as much on. So, if at any point during the holidays, you feel like you need an extra amount of support, know that our doors are always open. We will not be closing on any upcoming federal holiday. Our adoption counselors are here for you, ready to give you the encouragement, comfort and support you need to make it through the tougher moments.

If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108