The Birthmother Experience: How Do Birth Mothers Feel Seeing Pictures and Receiving Updates of Their Child?

How Do Birth Mothers
Feel Seeing Pictures and Receiving Updates of Their Child

How Do Birth Mothers Feel NOT Seeing Pictures and Receiving Updates of Their Child (next
week)

Open adoption has so many components to it, and if we are
being honest, IT’S SCARY. While I can only imagine the fears and worries adoptive
parents might experience when starting their open adoption journey, I can tell
you from my personal experience that having openness is what has reaffirmed my
decision over and over and over again.

I think the number one fear I have heard from adoptive
parents over the years is, “What if she sees the baby and then wants him/her
back?” And while I can’t guarantee that there are not birth parents out there
that might feel that way, I would say the overwhelming majority don’t. In fact
receiving updates and seeing my birth daughter has had the opposite effect on
me and many other birth parents.

I vividly remember my first visit with my birth daughter and
her parents after leaving the hospital. I was so nervous about how I would feel
seeing her and holding her. I honestly was afraid I would want to take her
back. I remember holding her and talking with her parents and genuinely
enjoying the time we were spending together. Then it was time for them to go.
After they left my mom asked me how I felt and I said, “Actually Mom, this is
the most at peace I have ever felt with my decision.” It was the first time
that I 100% felt like I had made the best decision for her. I got to witness
them doting over her and fighting about who would GET to change her diaper (not
HAVE to change it). She had two amazing and loving parents who were there for
her every need. It was exactly what I wanted for her. Exactly what she
deserved.

Over the years as our openness has grown, seeing her
laughing and smiling and thriving is what reassures me every time that I made
the right decision. When I get pictures of her smiling on vacation in Europe I
get so excited that she is getting the chance to travel the world. I see the
beautiful life she is living with endless opportunities that I could not have
provided her, and I am so happy that she has that. That’s all I ever wanted for
her. Now, again, I wouldn’t want to lead you to believe that there aren’t times
when I see her pictures or get updates that don’t make me sad or make me miss
her. That definitely happens too. But then, not too long after the sadness, I
am reminded that she is living her very best life and that is because of my
decision.

Here are some things that other birth mothers have said about
seeing pictures and receiving updates about their child.

“It makes me feel so happy that he’s growing and enjoying
life with his family. I have an open adoption but sometimes the pictures are
fewer than before. And I’m ok with that, because I know he’s living life. But
sad sometimes because I wonder if his parents ever think of the hospital
experience or of me or my daughters.” – Cedia O.

“At first it was very hard to see and now, after 5 years, I
look at my son and am shocked at how big he got and the crazy things he’s doing,
and then I get happy and realize it was the best thing for him.” – Jessica G.

“My daughter went to an amazing couple who sent pics and
updates all the time. I felt as if I really knew my daughter from a
distance. I love them both to the moon and love hearing about their life
together….” – Darcee C.

Openness is scary and it is a huge unknown. We get it. BUT
openness and updates can be the difference between your birth mother healing or
not. It can be the difference between your birth mother feeling reassured, or
spending the rest of her life wondering if she made the right decision. This
woman has given you her everything and in return has asked for a few pictures
and updates throughout the years. And when put in that perspective, it seems
like a reasonable request. So if you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it
for your birth mother, the woman who entrusted you with the most precious gift
she has to give. It can make a bigger difference than you could ever imagine.

Author: Ali D.

Written by Jason Granillo

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