Often in adoption-related groups and pages, I see adoptive parents ask questions about maintaining a relationship with their child’s birthfamily. Without doubt or hesitation, I’m going to tell you all this: send the picture.
Kids are a beautiful phenomenon. If they weren’t, the industry that brings us all together wouldn’t be in full swing. They do cute things. They do funny things. They do quirky things that you won’t even be able to understand the reasoning behind. Kids are little people exploring our much bigger world with fresh eyes and an untainted heart. So, obviously, you are going to take some pretty wonderful pictures as their journey unfolds.
With adoptions that have any degree of openness, there are bound to be questions as you navigate what is a fragile, emotional relationship. The birthparents are going to grieve this child; it’s just natural to do so. You as the adoptive parent may want to take their pain away, or at least not remind them of the situation with pictures and funny anecdotes.
Queue my son’s amazing mother stage right. She had these same fears, that me seeing a happy, healthy little boy wasn’t going to help me feel better at a time that I felt so helpless. At times it may have caused a pang in my chest and a round of tears, but I needed to see that that sweet boy was right where he needed to be. I needed to see him being loved on by his parents, fresh from a warm bath, with a belly full of warm milk. I needed to see that he had a big brother whose life was made better by his addition. I needed to see him with grandparents and dogs and friends, being accepted and cared about from day one. I needed to see that I was right in choosing a life for him that I wasn’t able to give and that he was so much better off for it.
I won’t say that there aren’t days where the pictures or updates hurt. But that is the nature of grieving a person who is still with us. And truthfully, I’d grieve a thousand times over and give up my heart as many to see that his family, the family that has welcomed me into their hearts and lives, is happy and whole.
So if you ever find yourself questioning it, just take my little piece of advice: send the damn picture.
I am a wife, mother of two, and love anything and everything adoption. I am an avid adoption supporter and love to help others complete their family through adoption. If you love adoption too, Like and follow our blog! <3