This year will be my first Christmas post-placement. Sometimes,it’s hard to believe that I will be celebrating without my son. Last year he was still a little bun in the oven, kicking around, and this year he will be a 6-month-old. My heart broke at Thanksgiving and I can’t imagine it being much easier at Christmas. Time and God’s grace seem to be healing a lot of these wounds, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt any longer. So in this post, I’m going to share my plans to survive my first Christmas post-placement.
Plan a Visit
If you have an open adoption that allows for visits, ask politely (and only once) if you can do a visit early this month. This would allow you to have your own little Christmas. I know asking is scary but if you agreed to an open adoption that allows visits you have nothing to fear. As long as you are polite and do not harass them, they won’t mind. Hopefully, they will say yes but if not remember that December is a busy month and it’s nothing personal.
Buy them a present
Again, this depends on the openness of the adoption. If you are allowed to send things, send something special that they can keep. Be creative! I am getting my son a stocking that has his nickname on it and a stuffed cow! Whatever it is, make it a keepsake that they can cherish. Show them that you thought of them that first Christmas.
If you have a less open adoption, write a letter. You can keep it or send it if you choose but it is an excellent way to get out those feelings. Tell them how much you miss them. Tell them what you wish you could have got them for Christmas. Tell them what their birth families Christmas traditions are! Whatever is on your heart, write it down. Eventually, that letter will reach them and they will know how missed and loved they are.
I would also encourage you to write the adoptive parents a letter. This is a great way to remind yourself why you chose adoption and why you chose them.
Start a Tradition
I love the idea of starting a Christmas tradition that includes my birth son. Your birth child is as much part of the family as anyone else. These traditions can also be a great way to familiarize your future children, if you plan to have any, with their brother(s) or sister(s). Some great ideas are:
- Custom Ornaments
- Hanging a stocking with their name.
- Keep a present for them under the tree
I know this sounds crazy but I will always encourage crying. You deserve to cry. There is nothing wrong or shameful about it. You have suffered a loss and need to grieve. Crying has this amazing way of taking a weight off your shoulders. As birth mothers we hold things in a lot, but this Christmas, you deserve a good cry.
Surround Yourself with Love
This Christmas I will be spending with my parents, my sister, my favorite cousin, and my best friends. These people have loved and supported my decision from the beginning. They also love my son. They will join me as a weep. They will miss him too. They will love him as well. Sometimes you just need to know you’re not alone and you’re not the only one who misses them.
Remember Why You Chose Adoption
Somewhere out there is a beautiful child who is getting loved and spoiled. Somewhere out there, there is a couple whose hearts have been made whole. Somewhere out there is a family that is complete because of your choice. Don’t ever forget that you made this decision for a reason and while it may hurt now, it was the best thing for that beautiful little baby. Celebrate that!