7 Ways Birth Mothers Can Celebrate National Adoption Month
November is a time of swapping out those jack-o-lanterns and spiders in the front lawn for cornucopias and turkeys (or Christmas lights if you just can’t wait for December). It’s also an important time for the adoption community as it marks National Adoption Month. During this time, we place special attention on raising awareness for all the children in need of a home and honor all those involved in the adoption process.
For birth mothers, National Adoption Month is a wonderful time to nurture solidarity and community with each other. This is very important, especially for those who may be confronting feelings of pain and grief. For expectant mothers who find themselves struggling during the holidays, the timing of National Adoption Month can ease them into the holiday season and make them feel supported.
Here at Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri, we want to ensure that our community of birth mothers feels included during National Adoption Month. That’s why we put together a list of ways birth mothers can celebrate National Adoption Month. Whether you are beginning the adoption process or you placed a child in years past, these can serve as little beacons along your adoption journey for now and for years to come.
- Reconnect with your child and their adoptive family
If you opted for an open or semi-open adoption, this is a great time to touch base with your child and his or her adoptive family. This can be in the form of a letter, a phone call, a Skype call, or even an in-person visit. Maintaining your relationship with your child and his or her adoptive family can bring you peace and hope for the future. It can also strengthen confidence in your choice as you witness your child growing and thriving in the loving environment that you carefully selected for them.
- Reach out to other birth mothers
As wonderful and important as it is to have a close support system of family and friends, it is just as beneficial — and even therapeutic — to connect with those who have similar experiences to yours. They have a deep understanding of what you’re going through because they’ve gone through it too.
Establishing a community with other birth mothers can be an important method of healing and mitigating feelings of isolation. A simple way to accomplish this is by joining or starting a birth mother support group in which you can mentor each other, listen to each other’s stories, plan activities together, and build lasting relationships.
- Spread awareness through social media
An easy way birth mothers can celebrate National Adoption Monthis by posting about it on social media. Whether you’re writing articles about adoption, recommending books or movies centered around adoption, or sharing ideas for creative adoption-related projects on Instagram, you are letting the world know how we can learn more about adoption and become aware of all the ways it can impact our lives.
- Share your story
It isn’t always easy to be vulnerable and share your adoption story with others, especially to complete strangers. But presenting adoption in a way that is personal and authentic can touch and inspire others into meaningful action. If you are comfortable doing so, consider speaking at your local school, place of worship, library, or community center to educate the public about what the adoption process can look like.
By being a diplomat for the adoption community, you can help dispel any misconceptions about adoption and show how beautiful adoption is. Equally important, you can use your platform to destigmatize women facing unplanned pregnancies and encourage compassion for them.
- Reconnect with those who assisted you during your adoption journey
As Thanksgiving is right around the corner, it’s only appropriate to give back and give thanks to those who helped you get through your adoption journey. Try setting aside some time to call up or visit with your circle of friends to show your appreciation for their love and support. Perhaps you can send a card to your adoption caseworker to express your gratitude for their services.
If you worked with us at Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri, we would love to reconnect and receive updates on your life after adoption.
- Go on a solo or group retreat
After experiencing such a profound, life-altering experience like adoption, you may find that you need some space to process everything. It may be beneficial for you to hit the pause button and get away on a personal or group retreat. This is a great opportunity for you to reflect, relax, and recharge after making it through the adoption process. If you find this to be an effective method for finding peace and healing, you can turn this into a personal tradition that you can look forward to each year during National Adoption Month.
- Reach out to couples or individuals considering to adopt
Now that you have gone through the adoption process, you are in a great position to educate not only the general public about all the ins and outs about adoption, but you are also an amazing resource for those in your life who are thinking about adopting a child. Your unique perspective can help them prepare and set expectations for their own adoption journey. Your guidance and empathy can help them develop an even greater appreciation and respect for the woman who will give birth to their child.
A Message of Thanks and Support
To all the birth mothers out there, Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri wants to convey our deep appreciation and admiration for your loving choice. We are celebrating right along with you and are always here for you if you need our support during this time.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.