Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Questions are Answered! # E, F, and G

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this is the last post of this series. i will publish a post with a direct link to all of the posts in this series later in the month. adoption luvs

Answers from the lovely birthmothers:
Note – not every birthmother has answered every single question, please match the fonts to know whose response you are reading!

if you would like to answers any of the questions please do so in the comment section and be sure to leave the number of the question that is being answered.

Stefanie     http://stefaniejinelle.blogspot.com/
Megan  http://angryoctopusstudios.blogspot.com/
Alyssa       one of our guest bloggers
Anna      http://annamaryk.blogspot.com
Jennilee     one of our guest bloggers
Amanda     http://travisandamandarosemans.blogspot.com/
Nicole    http://lifeafterfirstmom.blogspot.com/
Kelsey    http://thebestforyoubook.blogspot.com/
Andee      http://anabananandee.blogspot.com/
Janessa     http://janessasjourney.blogspot.com/

questions for birthmothers from other birthmothers (1-17): see previous posts!

questions for birthmothers from adoptive couples (A-G):

E. Did you get professional photos with your birth child? Did the adoptive couple pay for it?

I did, I got photos taken at Kiddie Kandids, and no the Acouple didn’t pay for them, but they also didn’t know we’d taken them until we had given them copies.  It was a great idea and I would have loved it if the couple had offer to pay for them.

I did get professional pictures taken. They adoptive couple did not pay for it. My mom did. I expressed that I wanted some and my adoptive family was totally cool with it. I had a picture taken of me and the adoptive mom kissing Olivia on each cheek. It means so much to me. I wanted professional pictures taken so I can put them in frames and things. I hope to get more as she grows up.

I did get professional photos done with my birthdaughter before placement, but my mom paid for it. It was just something we wanted to do to remember her, etc. We’ve done that with every child I’ve had since, too, although my husband has paid for those…

Before I placed I took my son to kiddie kandids for professional pictures. I took some of just him and then a couple with me and him. I paid for it and made a CD for the couple. On my first visit with my son the couple, child and I all took professional pictures together and we both paid for what we wanted. They usually take professional pictures every year and send me some and they pay.

**I went off to school right after placement, but I carry a camera around each visit, and the adoptive couple are more than happy to take pictures

No professional pictures, just Kodak moments that are very private

I did and I paid, it was my idea- and want to do more in the future

No I didnt. Wish I could have. I think they should.

No.  That is something I have always thought would be really cool, but it’s not something I’m going to ask for. I think it would have been great to have them at the hospital, but none of us really thought about it. So I’m bummed that we didn’t do it, but I’m okay with it.

I didn’t… and I really wish I’d hired someone to come in for a bit while we were in the hospital.  I wouldn’t have expected the APs to pay for it (unless they were the ones requesting it), but it could be a really sweet gift.

no I did not get professional photos.  I believe this is something the birthmother should pay for.

F. I am not sure if on the first meeting if I should bring a gift. Wouldn't giving a gift the first time we meet make her feel like she has to pick us? Like pressure? What are acceptable first time meeting gifts?

YES, bring a gift!  It’s the least you can do.  I got flowers and a precious moments angel statue (they said because I was their “Angel”, awe), such a great idea! I would not come empty handed, after all they are giving you a child and worst case scenario they could change their mind about you. She has already picked you at this point usually, and yes it would help to motivate her to pick you, not pressure her.

The weird thing was that I knew my adoptive couple before. I knew them since I was 14. I found out when I was 3 months pregnant that they were looking to adopt. And I had no idea what I was doing at the time but I was trying my hardest to keep. So I have no idea about giving gifts the first time you meet. I think an ipod is a very good first gift, come on, we're giving you a baby! hahaha. I'm TOTALLY joking. If I was picking between two couples and one gave me a gift and the other one didn't, I'd totally choose the one that gave me a gift because it stood out to me and it made me feel like they were looking out for me, not just because they want my baby.

Mine brought me some flowers their older son had picked in a little bud vase, and some cookies on a cake plate. (Their family has a tradition of baking cookies every sunday and they used the cookies as an oppurtunity to tell me a little more about themselves.) I still have the bud vase and the cake plate (and the cooke recipe!). I didn't feel like there was any pressure. I assumed that they knew as well as I did that nothing was ever certain. Don't bring something extravagant, if you feel like you should bring something, but something small would definitely be okay.

The first time I met my daughter’s family, they gave me a little basket with some bath salts and some yummy-smelling soaps. I really think it’s a great gesture. Not required, certainly, but it shows a certain amount of class. It also makes the birthmom feel really special, but not pressured.

I had already announced and choose my couple on our first meeting. They did bring me a gift. They gave me a flower, scrapbook and a gift certificate to a salon. We met a day before my birthday so part of it was a birthday present not “first meeting” I think if you don’t know them well flowers are good, also a scrapbook. Something not too personal or expensive on the first meeting is what I would suggest especially if they haven’t chosen a couple yet. Now if you were chosen before and you have been able to correspond a little then you may have some ideas for a more personal gift like maybe a CD of one of their favorite artist, jewelry etc.

**As long as you don't give her fancy gifts, keep it simple I'm sure she won't feel pressure, just sppreciated that she knows you're greatful for her thinking about you as her couple. I'm not sure about before placement, but after many couples give their birth moms' necklaces with the birth stone of the baby on it, or do matching gifts (like best friend charms, etc)

I don’t think I would feel comfortable receiving a gift on a first meeting.  I think a gift would be appropriate later once the couple was chosen.

I would not bring a gift. I do not think a gift is necessary. Just bring yourselves and be yourselves. Should she choose you, then a gift might be appropriate if you feel compelled to give her one. You have enough to think about, no need to get nervous about gifts.

A gift is great and they gave me a cross (Arizona style- they are from Phoenix) for my bedroom wall on our first meeting and it showed me they cared, they also bought me maternity clothes when we did match and I think that was awesome

It depends on the person if theyd feel they had to pick u. I didnt get n e thing.
Whats acceptable? I have no clue...id guess something small and inexpensive. Flowers. A card. Stuffed animal. Journal. Im not really sure. I would avoid religious things.

The first time I met my adoptive couple, they brought me a bouquet of flowers.  I think that’s perfect.  I didn’t think that was pressure to pick them at all. I just thought it was very thoughtful.

At the first meeting, the only thing the PAPs brought me was some additional pictures.  (I don’t think they actually intended to send them home with me… but I brought sonogram copies for them, so they did)  If you do decide to bring something, I would keep it VERY small.  One thing that might be kind of cool is one of those (inexpensive) frames that they make specifically for sonogram pictures…  then it’s a pregnancy-related gift rather than an adoption-related one.  Definitely nothing big or super emotionally heavy!

I would have felt uncomfortable receiving a gift on the first meeting.  If I didn't select those parents, I would have felt the burden to return the gift. 
Or if I did select them as the adoptive parents,  I would have felt the need to return the gesture with a gift.

G. We have an idea of what we want to do on the day we bring the baby home for our birth mother. We are having so much fun putting a basket together of very thoughtful and loving gifts. Are there any you suggest?

Pampering gifts, cause she’s gonna need it.  Sentimental gifts that will help remind her of YOUR love for her and her bchilds love for her.

I think that's so cute! I would put in there a stuffed animal and also give the baby a stuffed animal just like it so she feels like they share something. My couple gave me a stuffed animal that Olivia has and I sleep with it every night and pretend it's her. Or that she's sleeping with hers as well.

My adoptive couple gave me an empty scrapbook and some extra page protectors, and sent flowers to the hospital. (I did not want them to come to the hospital - that was my own time with my son.) Something they did for both me and their other son's birthmom that I thought was kind of neat: they bought two teddy bears that looked exactly alike, but one was smaller than the other. They gave me the bigger one, and kept the smaller one. Every month, they take a picture of him with the teddy bear so I can see how he's growing.

Movie tickets, gift certificates so she can go pamper herself or splurge on a new pair of jeans or something like that… I know I would have loved those things!

Her favorite candies, some good books, music, anything you know she likes that she can feel like she has a special place in your heart.

Anything that would be pampering because she will needs lots of that!  Hot cocoa if it’s winter time, a book, journal, gift certificate to a salon, picture frame for baby’s picture to
go in, a photo album with the promise of sending photos to fill it up, something to cuddle like a stuffed animal or throw pillow that has a special message on it, something that she could have that is same as baby or worn by baby like if it’s a girl take a picture of her with a baby’s ring on and then send to bm to wear on a chain.

The best gift that you can give your birth mother will be keeping in touch with her through the years. Always let her know that you support her, always let her know how her baby is growing and doing, and always tell her baby just how brave she was and how much she truly loves her/him.

Gift certificates-food, house cleaning service, clothes, place that does hair, etc. Depends on her likes-bath stuff. Scrapbook n stuff to make an album for the baby. Something u all can share. If a girl bracelets/lockets for the moms n baby. A letter from u.

My adoptive couple put things in the basket that were “symbolic” to our relationship if that makes sense.  Like, we played games almost every week, so they put a game in there.  They put sour patch kids in it because we all loved them and ate them all of the time, they put lip gloss in there that the adoptive mom had and that I loved, and things like that.  They also gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure and a stuffed monkey that was identical to the one my little girl had.  That way we both would think of each other when we saw it.   They also put a letter in the basket that I will cherish forever and a book called “no one can take your place”.  There were so many things in that basket and they all meant SOO much to me.
I’ve heard of couples getting matching stuffed animals- one for the child and one for the birthmom… any kind of pampering things (although maybe not bath salts/oils/etc as she may not be able to use them for awhile).  Soothing scents like lavender/vanilla/chamomile.  A gift certificate to get hospital photos developed.  Baked goods (my son’s mom brought me blondies in the hospital.  Very sweet.)  A nice journal/stationery for her to write to your child.  Spearmint tea or altoids (helps minimize lactation… obviously don’t include this if she’s planning to pump for the baby!  If she IS planning to pump… mother’s milk tea, motherlove’s More Milk tincture or capsules and lanolin or olive oil!)  Favorite snack foods.

The only thing that I kept was a locket that they gave me and a duplicate teddy bear.  I have one and she has one.  They have sent me pictures where she is sitting by the bear.  It is nice to have the picture and hug the bear.  Sounds funny, but it helps.

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