Cake, Ice Cream, Pinatas—sounds like fun! Nothing warms my heart more as a birth mother than to just watch my birth son exist among his friends and family, to see how he acts. I can get all the updates and pictures in the world, but experiencing it in person really shows me that he’s becoming a person I always hoped he could be. It shows me that he’s happy, and after I knew his physical needs were taken care of, all I wanted was him to be happy.
Holidays are a hard time for me. For whatever reason, I think to myself “what if . . . ” a lot more during holidays. I wonder if I could have managed to parent him and create a quality life for the both of us. I’m sure I could have, but being around him and his family over a holiday meal or a visit to Santa, maybe trick-or-treating or making a Valentine’s Day craft together proves to me that he’s loved, I’m loved and trusted, and allows me to trust and love even more in return.
If you had asked me to write this a week ago, I don’t think I would have included this. However, this last week my birth son was “VIP” at his school and asked to do a presentation on his family. I was asked to attend so he could introduce me to his class. My heart swelled with pride as he casually introduced me, his birth mom, as if a birth mom was as common as someone’s aunt. To know that I’m a casual and common part of the conversation in his household meant more to me than anything else I can imagine in my life. Seeing him beam with pride as he showed off his favorite books and toys was overwhelming. I was able to meet his best friend and watch him interact with his peers. That award ceremony taught me more about my birth son than I’ve learned in many of our visits, just because I was able to see him in his own environment.
Most people look at their religion as an extension of their personal lives. For a birth mom, being invited to an event like a baptism is being invited further into the personal lives of the people who are raising the child she carried.
Birth parents who participate in an open adoption usually just want to be included in the child’s life. Attending a basketball game means they can go and shout to the world their pride in that child. They can literally shout and dance with happiness for the love of a child. During down time, these events provide a great chance to talk with the adoptive family, to bond and build a better rapport with them. The birth parent will also see the child interact with friends, see him do something he loves and can take pride in, and see the genuine smile on his face as he works hard to accomplish something.