The relationship between adoptive parents and birth parents can sometimes be very difficult to navigate. Although we are going through this journey together, it can sometimes feel like we are in two completely different worlds. Understanding one another can help to break down the barriers that can come up throughout the process. I asked birthmothers in our Healing Hearts group what they wished adoptive parents knew about birth parents and here are some of the things they said.
WE ARE EXPERIENCING A LOT OF THE SAME EMOTIONS AS YOU. I think often times you forget that we are human too and we are feeling just as scared and nervous as you. Offering each other grace during this process can go a long way in building a relationship. At the end of the day, we both want what is best for our child and if we can come together on that common ground, I think it will go a long way.
WE CAN SENSE WHEN YOU ARE BEING GENUINE. We don’t need you to tell us what you think we want to hear. We want to feel cared about in a genuine way and when we are, we can feel it.
ALL OF OUR STORIES ARE DIFFERENT. ALL OF US ARE DIFFERENT. Whether you have adopted before, or heard about another adoptive parent’s birthmother, please remember we are all different. Coming into the relationship with preconceived notions or assumptions can get in the way of a great relationship. Hopefully you have the opportunity and are open to getting to know us, not just as your birthmother, but as woman.
DON’T BE AFRAID IF WE WANT ALONE TIME WITH THE BABY. Sometimes we need that time to grieve privately and feel that we can deeply experience our emotions. The hospital is such a difficult time and the privacy to say what we want to say to our child, and cry, and grieve is often very necessary and healthy. It isn’t always a red flag.
BE PATIENT WITH US. This is a difficult and emotionally charged situation. There may be a million things in our life that are not in our control. This is the one situation we have control over and to be honest, we need that control. Sometimes we need to do things at our own pace.
WHILE YOU ARE GAINING SOMETHING GREAT, WE ARE LOSING SOMETHING GREAT. I think this speaks for itself. It is just a reminder that a joyous time for you is a heartbreaking time for us.
IF IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE PULLING AWAY, PLEASE DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL. Sometimes we need space. Sometimes it gets too hard to confront. Sometimes we want focus on moving forward with our lives. It doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong or that we are upset with you. Healing is an ebb and flow process and at times we just need space. When we are ready, we will come back around.
WANTING OPENNESS DOESN’T MEAN WE WANT TO CO-PARENT. It also doesn’t mean that we want our baby back. Openness can be a big step in our healing process and something that brings of peace and reassurance that we made the right decision.
WE MISS OUR BABIES EVEN IF WE AREN’T INVOLVED. Even as we move on with our lives, we still think about our children and love them deeply.