Sunday, August 1, 2010

things birthmoms love

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
Birthmothers day
Mothers day
Fathers day
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)
Birthmoms bday
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. ***


Meg and Ken said...

Great post! Every adoptive momma needs to send tons of pictures and videos!!!! It is sooooo easy and means the world to your child's birthmom. Not crappy low quality pics, really good ones. Real ones, all different kinds,with everyone in them loving on the little blessing you have from this amazing woman. And updates are a must too! While any birthmom would love gifts, the least all of us can do is great pics and great updates. Personally I love photobucket, its wonderful for the pictures and videos. Like Birthmom said "it's easy to upload 100's of pics with a single click. We have had to start a new one because we used up all the space in the first one.
So get to uploading adoptive mommas, it really does mean the world to your childs first mom!!!!

Deb said...

Oh that last bit really stung my heart. Knowing there are birthmom's out there that the adoptive parents have walked away and cut off contact. It hurts me as an adoptive mom to think that people can be that inconsiderate to anyone especially your child's first mother.

Great list. I really appreciate posts like this. Helps me know what more I can do to remind my daughter's firstmom how much we care about her.

birthMOM said...

just found this link, how cute are these hand/feetie print 'art' ideas?!


Maryann said...

Having been a birthmom in a closed adoption way back when (17 years ago) I would plead with any adoptive parents reading this - PLEASE SEND YOUR BIRTHMOM UPDATES!!!
This option was not available when I placed, and so I rely on 3 pictures and one beautiful letter to get me through my tough days.
Information aides SO Much in the healing process.
A picture is priceless- a picture reaffirms the child's happiness and your decision.
I think every birthmom deserves of picture of the child in their blessing or sealing outfit - I wish I would have thought to ask for that. That has got to a beautiful day when the miracle is complete and a family is sealed.
From their letter it was wonderful to know they prayed for me - I knew I prayed for them, but I never considered they might pray for me and that they loved me.
I think the best non tangible gift they could give me was to tell their daughter, our daughter, they loved and respected her birthmom.

Alli said...

Things my adoptive couple gave me that I loved:

A plaster cast of her hand.

Matching braclets for me and baby.

A photo album.

A framed wall hanging that says "and in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years"

Blankets that matched babys blankets

They returned the dress I placed her in in a very nice box.

Just a few more ideas!

Karine said...

Love the list. Thank you! If you are going to take it down let me know. I will use it as a reference. MY children and I have put together a gift basket for the day we bring the child home... and have kept busy filling it. My children have made some really precious gifts from the talents they have and skills they have learned. I am excited to love our birth mom and show her love in little gifts that she will be so deserving of! :) thanks for your list :)

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