Keeping Your Child Connected To His Or Her Birth Family

On my son’s fourth birthday, he and I were sharing a quiet moment. As I snuggled him close, I told him about the day he was born and listed all the people who love him. At the top of the list was the name of his birth mother. Upon saying her name, my son turned to me and said, “Mama? What does her voice sound like? I want to hear her voice.”

We have an open adoption. Her pictures are in his bedroom. We talk about her regularly, but she has been most comfortable communicating by text and email. We “talk” every few months, but sadly, my son had not heard her voice since he was born. I knew I needed to make it happen. At that moment, he was expressing something from deep within his heart; he needed his birth mother in his life.

The short version of this tender story is that I was able to text her and ask if she would be comfortable sending him a video or voice message. He isn’t that great on the phone yet, and I wanted something recorded, that he could listen to over and over again if he wanted to. She happily obliged, and within thirty minutes, our son was listening to the sweetest birthday message from his birth mother. He smiled his big, beautiful, trademark smile. I cried happy tears. I have always believed in the importance of open adoption, but this experience drove it home. Our children need to feel connected to their birth families.

For those who are lucky enough to have a very open adoption, keeping that biological connection is as simple as a text, phone call, video chat, or visit. But for those whose adoption is not so open, what can you do?  I asked adoptive mothers from all adoption situations how they keep their children connected to their biology. Here are some of their ideas.

Obviously, these ideas may not work for everyone. But with a little creativity, most can be adapted to your own situation. Helping your child feel connected to their biological family, or at least, connected to their culture, will help them feel secure in who they are and who they can become.

We would love to hear your ideas on keeping your child connected to their birth family. Share them below!



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