Unwrapping Holiday Joy and Grief for Birth Parents
By Mona Jradé
The holidays can be particularly challenging for birth parents. You may experience contradictory emotions over the Christmas season as you celebrate with family and friends and grieve as you watch your child grow up with another family. In an open adoption, birth parents may be allowed to share holiday traditions with their child and adoptive family. This is an example of spending the holiday together, exchanging gifts, and sharing special meals or traditions.
It is essential to keep in mind that each circumstance is unique, and there is no universal answer to this topic. It is acceptable to have a range of feelings, and it is essential to choose a manner to commemorate and celebrate the holiday that feels appropriate to you. Here we will discuss how to manage the holidays as a birth parent, including strategies to maintain contact with your child and the adoptive family and 3-5 significant holiday traditions you can share with them.
Some Traditions You Can Share With Your Adoptive Child And Their Parents
It is normal to experience conflicting emotions regarding holiday traditions and the child you placed for adoption. It is essential to keep in mind that each circumstance is unique, and there is no universal answer to this topic. Consider the following holiday traditions depending on your relationship with the child and adoptive family:
1. Keep in touch by sending letters or cards
Sending holiday cards or letters to the child and adoptive family might help you maintain contact and show them you’re thinking about them. It can also be utilized to communicate updates about your life and let them know you are still a part of their lives, even if you are physically unable to meet them. When sending holiday cards or letters, keep in mind the adoptive family’s and the child’s feelings and wishes. If you’re not sure how they’ll react to receiving holiday cards or letters from you, talk to them about it ahead of time. You can also contact Adoption Choices of Arizona, and we will assist you in determining the best course of action.
2. Consider making a unique holiday tradition for yourself
Even if you are unable to enjoy the holiday together in person, you may honor and remember the child you placed for adoption by developing a special holiday tradition especially for you. This can be a good alternative if you are not in contact with the child or the adoptive family or if you wish to observe the holiday in your own way.
Here are some suggestions for unique holiday traditions to consider:
- Light a candle: On the holiday, you could light a candle to honor and remember the child. You could also pray or recite a special poem or passage
- Read a unique book: Choose a book that has a special meaning for you and make time to read it during the holiday. This could be a method of instilling a sense of ritual and connection to the holiday.
- Take a walk or go on a nature hike: Spending time in nature can be a relaxing and rejuvenating way to celebrate the holiday. Consider going for a walk or going on a nature hike and finding a special place to sit and reflect.
Remember to find a holiday tradition that is meaningful and comfortable for you. Seeking help from a therapist or a support group may also be beneficial as you navigate your feelings about the holiday and your relationship with the child you gave up for adoption.
3. Maintain contact with the adoptive family
If you have a good relationship with your adoptive family and feel comfortable doing so, you should consider reaching out to them to see if they have any holiday traditions that you can participate in. Even if you are unable to be with the child in person, this can be a way to stay connected with them and be a part of their holiday celebrations.
When approaching the adoptive family about holiday traditions, keep the following points in mind:
Communicate honestly and openly: Share your views and thoughts about engaging in holiday traditions with your adoptive family. Clarify your preferences and be receptive to their opinions and emotions as well.
Respect the boundaries of the adoptive family: It is essential to keep in mind that the adopted family is the child’s primary family and that they may have their own holiday traditions and traditions. Be willing to compromise and locate somewhere you can all celebrate together.
Consider the child’s emotional state: Keep the child’s feelings and preferences in mind while discussing holiday traditions. It is essential to ensure the child’s comfort and satisfaction with the settings.
Keep in mind that an adoption is an act of love
The holidays are challenging, but remember that adoption is a loving act. As a birth parent, you made the tough decision to place your child for adoption because you believed it was their best option at the time. It is common to experience a range of emotions throughout the holidays and to have contradictory thoughts about this decision. Reminding yourself that you placed your child for adoption out of love and that the adoptive family is devoted to providing your child with a caring and nurturing home can be helpful.
Reaching out to our Adoption Choices of Arizona specialist to get in touch with our birth mother support group can be an effective approach to processing your emotions and discovering meaningful ways to respect and celebrate the holiday. Contact us if you are searching for support groups in Arizona.
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call us at or text us at 602-922-0408. If you are a prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please, instead, visit us here!