1. Invite them to doctor’s appointments.
A good open adoption relationship begins to develop even before placement. When I was pregnant, I wanted the parents to experience my pregnancy with me, so I invited them to attend my ultrasound appointments. The husband had to work but the wife attended most of them. It helped build our relationship. I also made sure to give them copies of each ultrasound picture.
2. Keep them up-to-date on your pregnancy.
As I grew, I wanted them to see how I was growing and she was growing, so I took baby bump pictures every week and emailed them so they could see the growth. When I went to my appointments, I also gave them an update on how the pregnancy was progressing and how the baby and I were doing.
3. Include them in the birth, as you are comfortable.
Before I gave birth, I decided that I wanted them in the room for the birth of their child. They were both there until I started to push, and then the husband left. I had asked him weeks prior to cut the cord and he said he would be honored. After she was born, he came in and cut the cord. It was a beautiful experience for all of us.
4. Celebrate their other children.
When birthdays and Christmas were coming, I made sure to ask the adoptive mom what the kids were into at the time so they would be sure to get something they would enjoy. Every year on each of their childrens’ birthdays I sent a birthday present for the child, then another present for the other children so they didn’t feel left out. I also sent a present for each child on Christmas. It became a bit of a tradition, and it was nice to hear from the mom about how much they loved their gifts. She also sent pictures of them playing with their gifts.
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5. Be interested in them.
I began sending them emails asking how they were and what was happening with them. They would in turn ask how I was and what I was doing. It is nice to know how they are doing and what they enjoy doing; it seems to build a stronger bond. I enjoy hearing about all of their adventures.
6. Express your love.
When I met the adoptive parents the first time, I made sure to express to them that I loved them and I would love their children not just the child that I gave birth to. Whenever I send an email I always end it with “love, my name.” In the email I also say that I love them. On several occasions, I have told them how thankful I am that I found them to raise my daughter. That there is no one better suited, and that they are doing a great job. They seem to really appreciate the gratitude and encouragement.