i am often asked by adoptive moms 'what do i get my childs birthmom?!' or 'when should i give presents?!' heres what i came up with as an overview of some basics, although creativity and uniqueness = endless possibilities in the gift giving department.
what would/do you love to receive? (please leave comments!!)
~~~~Special days that a birthmom remembers and especially ponders on with the child(ren) she placed:
The day she first made contact with you
The day she picked you
The day she gave birth
The day she placed beebee in your arms
Both you and your spouses’ birthday
Babys bday (actual bday and the day of each month – 9 mos, 10 mos, 11 mos, etc)
Major holidays (xmas Easter Halloween thanksgiving Vday etc)
The day she found out she was pregnant
It would be beyond amazing to know that you remember these days (if applicable) and take a special moment to ponder as well. A phone call, a card in the snail mail, a quick email, something to know you are thinking of us too, means more than we could ever say in human words. By all means, don’t feel obligated, but if you are thinking of us, it helps us to heal to know that you care and remember.
~~~~Birthmoms love pictures, any and all pictures are very deeply appreciated, portraits at milestone ages are awesome and a great way to see the changes in baby. taking a picture on the day of birth each month or taking pics next to the same stuffed animal (basically something to track growth) is a fun pattern. we also love not just the ‘posing portraits’ ones, we LOVE real life pictures. We love to see ‘moments’ and candid pics of growing learning playing. We don’t care if the baby/child is looking directly at the camera and smiling perfectly in every single pic, sometimes we’d rather see a pic that truly captures the essence of this little person rather than a forced pose.
We love pictures of baby with mom, and dad, and siblings, and gparents, we love to see baby with their family. Its good to see everyone loving baby and baby loving everyone. That’s what we wanted when we chose placement.
And yes, honestly, sometimes it does tug the heart strings a little but that’s ok, don’t let that stop you from sharing pics with us or think that you cant be in any of the pics you send, we will deal with it as we know best, maybe that means we wont reply right away or comment on every single picture, but we still would love to have them to see and cherish in our way and time. i dont think there could ever be too many pictures sent. and with blogs, shutterfly, photobucket, email etc, its sooo easy to upload even hundreds of pictures with just one click - i do it every week. if you feel like taking the pics is an inconvenience and/or obligation, well then you need therapy cuz that is a travesty ;-)
~~~~Video clips are awesome treats for us! A simple 30 sec file from your digital camera of baby laughing or smiling or walking or getting messy or eating, etc is such a fun thing to be able to watch over and over and over. Its amazing to be able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ real life, esp if visits are not possible.
~~~~Something that I think would be so fun but have never actually received is a letter themed, ‘a day in the life of ____’ written from the baby’s perspective. Creative, different and personal, I think it would give a great insight and healing confirmation to any birthmom- a letter like that would confirm the reasons placement was chosen (even if as an Amom you don’t know those specific reasons) and theres nothing more wonderful for a birthmom than thinking ‘yep, right there, THAT is why I chose placement!’. how fun to get a letter like this at various stages in growth and development, some sort of regular interval.
~~~~Sentiment goes a very long way. If a gift or card or picture or letter or date is sentimental to you, beebee or birthmom, or better yet all three, then it is a fabulous gesture. For ex, I very much heart sunflowers, and the gifts I receive are always wrapped in some sort of sunflower ribbon, a portrait of beebee was framed with a sunflower, and from my side of the spectrum, I give childrens story books that are sunflower themed at xmas and bday. Sentiment just adds that little extra umph of ‘we care about YOU’.
~~~~Sincerity!! The best thing ever is just a simple loving phrase of ‘we love you’, or ‘we love our baby’, or ‘not a day goes by that we don’t remember the blessings and miracle of this adoption’. Use your own vocab words of course, but nothing quite touches the heart of one mother from another, than a simple sincere expression of love.
|some of my sentiments received at placement|
(((there is a list of adoption and birthmother gift ideas on our left side bar! if you have any links resources or ideas that we can add, please leave a comment!)))
*** There is no right or wrong ‘gift’ to give a birthmother, any and everything is appreciated beyond words able to be expressed. Sadly though, most birthmothers have never received anything besides an agency-required couple of low quality pictures at the one-year birthday or one annual portrait with a mediocre update. Perhaps as you remember your child(ren)s birthmother(s) you can take a moment to remember those of us who have been forgotten as well. ***