The holidays are always a great time to reconnect with your loved ones and appreciate one another’s company. As an adoptive parent, this includes your child’s birth family. You want to include them in your celebrations and make sure they feel welcome. So, how do you do this?
American Adoptions has assembled this guide of five tips for how to connect with birth parents during the holidays. There are a lot of ways that you can try to connect during the holidays, and you can share your own holiday traditions to help birth parents visualize what their child’s life is like with your family. Without further ado, here are five tips to get you started!
1. Send Holiday Letters and Photographs
One of the most common holiday family traditions is to send out festive cards to other family members and close friends. Likewise, many adoptive families mail out letters and photographs to their children’s birth parents. This is something that you can do, too! It’s not too difficult to put together, and it’s a kind gesture that goes a long way toward telling the birth parents that you appreciate and care about them.
Remember that you will need to time this holiday mail so it arrives when you want it to. Aside from this, keep in mind how special it is for birth parents to receive updated photographs and letters throughout the year, too. This doesn’t have to be exclusive to the holiday season, and it’s a wonderful way to ensure that you stay connected to your child’s birth family.
2. Make a Care Package for Them
Another way that you can connect with your child’s birth parents is by making them a care package. This can include holiday-themed candy, pictures of your child, special ornaments, a heartfelt note and much more. Still, make sure to check in with your adoption specialist before sending anything, whether it’s a care package or a letter, to the birth parents. If you get the green light, then sending an annual care package could even turn into one of your holiday traditions as adoptive parents!
3. Schedule an In-Person Visit with the Birth Parents
The holiday season is a perfect time for you to pay a visit to your child’s birth parents for an in-person celebration. When you are considering this option, though, make sure that you reach out to them far in advance. The holidays are notorious for being a busy time of year, and it’s easy for your schedule to fill up fast. The birth parents’ schedules may fill up quickly, too, so the sooner you can nail down a visit the better.
But, don’t feel bad if neither party can work out a date or time. The holidays come with plenty of other commitments, and juggling visits with many families can turn into a headache. One way that you can meet in the middle is by scheduling a Zoom or Skype call; the birth parents would love nothing more than to see how happy and healthy their child is this holiday season!
4. Buy or Make a Thoughtful Gift
As is customary for the holidays, gifts and presents are a common way to show your appreciation and love for someone else. As an adoptive parent, this is something that you can do for your child’s birth parents. Not everyone can afford presents, and that is completely OK. Your child can always make them something, and you can help them with it!
In fact, a homemade gift from your child may be even more special than something that you buy at a store. It can be something that the birth parents treasure for years to come. But, if you find a gift at the store that seems perfect for the birth parents, then this is a wonderful option, as well. In other words, use your own judgment to think of what the birth parents would enjoy the most.
5. Have a Meal Together
The holidays are also a time filled with festive meals. One way that you can connect with your child’s birth parents over the holidays is by sharing a home-cooked meal with them. Before you cook, though, ask if the birth parents have any dietary restrictions or preferences that you should be mindful of.
On the other hand, you could even all go out to a restaurant together, if that’s what everyone would prefer. Remember, though, be respectful of everyone’s other commitments (including your own) before making any promises. One piece of advice that we can give is to not make promises you can’t keep. Find realistic ways for you and your child to connect with the birth parents, and it can be a special moment.
The holidays can be a bit stressful and busy, but they can also be magical. They can be the perfect time to connect with your child’s birth parents, and we hope that this guide helped you find a way to connect with them this holiday season.