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Holiday Joy and Grief After Adoption

By Moki Murillo

Holidays are often times of joy, but they can be complicated if adoption is involved. If you had an unplanned pregnancy, you may have thought about putting your child up for adoption. Choosing to pursue a child adoption is never an easy decision for a birth mother to make. Unfortunately, if you can’t raise your child in a stable environment, adoption might be your child’s best option. Being a good parent means putting your child’s needs over your own, after all. 

Unfortunately, even the best rationalizations can’t shield birth mothers from emotions such as grief or regret. A child’s absence can especially dampen a birth mother’s ability to enjoy holiday celebrations. Thankfully, we at Adoption Choices of Texas believe in supporting our birth mothers throughout the adoption process.

How to Pursue Adoption in Texas

If you are pursuing a TX adoption specifically, Adoption Choices of Texas can provide you with various options. We have adoption agencies in Dallas and adoption agencies in Odessa. There are also Austin adoption agencies and Houston adoption agencies. Wherever you are in Texas, our agencies will help you facilitate your child’s adoption. To receive our help, you must first call Adoption Choices of Texas through the number on our website. Our staff will connect you to an adoption specialist who will help you make an adoption plan. The plan will determine almost every aspect of your child’s adoption. This can include choosing the child’s adoptive parents and your ability to contact the adoptee after placement. Your adoption plan can also give you access to our various services, depending on your circumstances. Choosing adoption in San Antonio TX, for example, can allow us to cover any reasonable living or medical expenses. 

Our Mental Health Services During and After Adoption

Our adoption agencies in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas also offer mental health services. As part of your adoption plan, you can enjoy various services if you are eligible. If you are pursuing adoption in San Antonio TX, for example, you could get free, one-on-one therapy sessions. Birth mothers pursuing an Austin adoption or Houston adoption can choose group therapies instead. As mental health needs vary wildly among our birth mothers, all of our adoption agencies offer both therapy forms. Your adoption specialist can even recommend other forms of therapy and even connect you to support groups and retreats. 

Adoption Choices of Texas offers these services both during the adoption process and after placement. We will continue paying your expenses for six weeks after your baby is placed with their adoptive family. Our agency also understands that birth mothers may need further support after this six-week period. To make these arrangements, you would have to talk to your adoption specialist.

Taking Care of Yourself and Making New Traditions After Adoption

In our experience, birth parents need to take care of their mental health both during and after adoption. Birth mothers especially need to take care of themselves during this difficult time. Pregnancy hormones and conditions, such as postpartum depression, can exacerbate the negative feelings that can often persist after placement. These feelings can also worsen during the holidays as family joy is often a core theme. This can serve to remind a birth mother of their child’s absence and trigger negative emotions. 

As such, taking stock of your mental health during the holidays is important. It is also wise to seek help from multiple sources. While therapy is helpful, spending time with friends and loved ones can be just as comforting. Self-isolation, after all, is usually dangerous to a birth mother’s mental health. We also find that making new traditions, especially with those close to you, can help you reclaim the holidays. 

1. Attending Holiday Parties with the Adoptive Family

If you chose an open adoption for your adoption plan, then you can make contact with the adoptive family. You can even make personal visits and see your child. However, your child’s adoptive parents have the final say about when and how you can interact with the adoptee. How limited your contact will be depends on the adoptive parents’ desires, though you have the power to negotiate.

If the adoptive parents do permit it, then attending their holiday celebrations can benefit everyone. Celebrate the holidays with your child can help alleviate any pain your distance from them can create. Attending these celebrations can allow you to bond with the adoptive parents. Forming new friendships over the holidays can often pull you out of dangerous isolation. It will also reassure your child to know that all their parents are getting along.

2. Sending Cards and Gifts to Your Child After Adoption

Of course, your child’s adoptive parents could be more restrictive about your visits. Alternatively, you could have chosen a semi-open adoption, where only indirect communication with your child is allowed. For either case, you can instead send greeting cards or gifts during the holidays. Of course, the adoptive parents still control the terms of this interaction. For example, you would have to respect certain boundaries, such as the price of your gift. If you are able, however, sending gifts or cards to your child has the potential to help you both. Even if the interaction is indirect, supporting your child during the holidays can feel gratifying. Your child will also likely appreciate knowing that their birth mother is thinking of them during this time.

3. Knitting Baby Clothes After Adoption

There are also birth mothers who want a closed adoption, where there is no contact with the adoptive family. Nothing is inherently wrong with a closed adoption. Many birth parents feel that it’s for the best if they are not involved in their child’s life. If you feel the same way, then it’s the right thing to do. You know your own circumstances the best after all. However, we hope you know that this decision doesn’t have to be the end of motherhood for you

One way to keep this hope alive over the holidays is knitting baby clothes for your future child. While the reminder of your absent child could be painful, it can be reassuring. If you want to, this can be a reminder that motherhood doesn’t end with adoption. You can also share this experience with your friends and family to help keep this tradition positive. Turning the knitting into a contest or game could even be a fun distraction or social event.

Self-Care Over the Holidays

We hope that you and all our other birth mothers remember to take care of yourselves over the holidays. It is fine, healthy even, to admit that you are not okay. What is important is that you remember to reach out for help when emotions get too hard to handle. We hope you have people in your life that you can rely on for that. Whatever your circumstances, remember that Adoption Choices of Texas is also open to you should you need that support.

If you need help pursuing a TX adoption, call Adoption Choices of Texas today.

Adoption Choices of Texas siempre está disponible para las madres biológicas que desean una adopción en Texas.

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Serving Expectant Parents Statewide
Birth Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call  24/7)

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