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Dear Adoptive Parents, Holidays are hard

Beloved Adoptive Parents,


Hear me out, I really want you to picture all this as you read what's to come. Pay attention to how it makes you feel; ~ Families gathering, young children squealing as they chase each other with sparklers in hand; sweet messy faces dripping with watermelon juice. Red, white and blue outfits stained with ketchup within the first hour of wear. You stocked up on stain remover before going to the Grandparents cookout because you knew your independent little one would want to eat the messy hamburger all on their own.


Now, picture this;



~ Families gathering, teenage children lounging in the sun with their feet in the kiddie pool that they're far too big and far too mature to splash in now. You and the gang of onery uncles connive together; all at once, you jump in the middle of the filled to the brim kiddie pool, raining down water and screams among the cousins. Laughing continues as you all enjoying the company of your extended family, reminiscing of the fourth of July orneriness gone by.


One more;


~ Your grown children, with children of their own, are enjoying watching their babies enjoy their you and your spouse, their Grandparents. Ketchup stains and watermelon smiles zip past the yard as the little ones chase each other with sparklers. Flashbacks of when your grown children were the age of ketchup stains and juicy watermelon chins bring a soft smile to your face.

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How did that make you feel? Did you smile, perhaps let out an air blown laugh? Now picture this;

Reading the above imagined Fourth of Julys and finding deep sorrow. Reading the above stories from a place of lack and weeping over the loss of experiencing this kind of sweetness with your child.


Missing out on so many holidays, as the fourth of Julys imagined above is the reality for many birth families. The years zipping by with many of us birth families not knowing if we will ever get the chance to meet, let alone be involved with our birth children's lives and their children, our birth grandchildren. Holidays, including the fourth of July, can be so hard for birth families, especially those in a closed adoption.

Gathering with family, seeing the joy of nieces, nephews, and second cousins can be gut-wrenching for us. Praying that our birth-children are loved wholly by all their extended adoptive family and experiencing joy as we hope-filled imagine. Holding back tears in front of the crowd of our relatives because this joy and beauty may not be our birth child's experience but we don't want to be that vulnerable to that many people at that moment.

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Empathy is when we acknowledge that others see the world from another lens and we honor that viewpoint, not just in words and thought, but in action as well. Remember this fourth of July to capture those beauty-filled, messy moments with your adopted child and share them with his/her birth family.

Many of us placed to give our children different, prayerfully better, lives. An instinctual parental drive to love and protect our babies is what brought numerous of us to the choice of adoption. All of us are still parents after placement. Remember this when you smile warmly at your adoptive child's joy. A mother out there is longing for those joy-filled moments and wondering if they even exist.

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With empathy at the reigns, I encourage you to picture these new imagined stories and sit with how they make you feel;

~ Families gathering, young children squealing as they chase each other with sparklers in hand; sweet messy faces dripping with watermelon juice. Red, white and blue outfits stained with ketchup within the first hour of wear. You stocked up on stain remover before going to the Grandparents cookout because you knew your independent little one would want to eat the messy hamburger all on their own. You and your child's first family laugh as the first ketchup glob hits the cloth. You both called that happening the week before which reminded you to stock up on stain remover.

Now, picture this;

~Families gathering, teenage children lounging in the sun with their feet in the kiddie pool that they're far too big and far too mature to splash in now. You and the gang of onery uncles connive together; all at once, you jump in the middle of the filled to the brim kiddie pool, raining down water and screams among the cousins. Laughing continues as you all enjoying the company of your extended family, reminiscing of the fourth of July orneriness gone by. You notice that your child has walked off with their birth mother and smile as you appreciate them getting to pour into each other. Little did you know they were off pouring into squirt guns, planning orneriness of their own. Payback for the kiddie pool rain down was about to go down. At the first spray, everyone was up and running, squealing for joy like they were little again.

One more;

Your grown children, with children of their own, are enjoying watching their babies enjoy their you and your spouse, their Grandparents. Ketchup stains and watermelon smiles zip past the yard as the little ones chase each other with sparklers. Flashbacks of when your grown children were the age of ketchup stains and juicy watermelon chins bring a soft smile to your face. Your child's birth family has this very same smile as they too remember that time. With great gratitude and love they speak with you about the joys and years you have shared as what has become a beautiful extended family.



With great love and respect, Jennifer Mae

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© 2019 by Jennifer Mae.