Birth Mom Guest Blogger on Birth Parent Gifts

This post was written by my friend Desha. She is one of the authors of Birthmothers 4 Adoption and she knows her stuff.

Here she is during a recent fun visit with the son she placed.

I wanted her to talk to us about birth parent gifts …and she did not disappoint. Here are some great ideas to consider.

Thanks, Desh!

 

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 youre 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, BUT 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.  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.

 

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 easting, 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 fun!

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 there’s nothing more wonderful for a birthmom than thinking ‘yep, right there, THAT is why I chose placement!’.

 

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 example, 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 children’s 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.

 

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 pictures at the one-year birthday or one annual portrait. 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.

 

Comments

  1. says

    I love it! We made a little “scrapbook” that we called “A Day In The Life” and took pictures of the baby throughout the day. It was super cute and his birthmother still goes on and on about it. :)

  2. Elaine says

    Thank you so much for posting this! We’ve sent our birth mom care packages, but on some things I was unsure if I should send them or not (i.e. pics of us with baby) because I didn’t want her to have hurt feelings, but you cleared that up for me. You gave some fun ideas too! I can’t wait to get her package together for Valentine’s Day :)

  3. Marilee says

    My birthday was last week, and I had an audio clip texted to me with my little dude singing happy birthday. I’ll admit it…I cried in the middle of the restaurant when I listened to it!

  4. says

    A couple things that we have done that our birth mother loves –

    We have a weekly blog for his birth mother and his birth father. Every week we update with pictures and how B has grown. Then for Christmas this year I put together a hard bound blurb book using those weekly updates and called it B’s first year. I had one printed for his birth mom, one for his birth father, and one for Boston (that included everything from both birth parent blogs). I hope to do one every year. I loved it so much I started a blog for my new bio son, so he can have a book about him too.

    When B turned one we sent his birth mom a photo flip book. Each page had a picture of him with a family member and a note from that family member telling her how much they loved him and what they loved about him. We included pictures and notes from my parents and siblings, my husband’s parents and siblings, and my niece and nephews (who just drew pictures), and of course me and my husband. I think this was my favorite gift to give and I think it was her favorite to receive.

    Between my husband and I we have five birth moms in our family (sister, cousins, aunt). One told us that she hated an expensive gift she got when her birth daughter was born, she felt a price was being put on her birth child. Of course, EVERY birth parent is different, but we have kept that in mind. We try to do sentimental gifts about B throughout the year, but then for his birth mom’s birthday we send her something specifically for her (gloves, scarf, purse etc) because that is what i would do for my sisters and it feels like she is my sister. Anytime I have given her jewelry it has been handmade by me.

    I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s ideas!

  5. says

    Desha, What are your thoughts on overdoing it? As in, can an adoptive parent overdo it? My son’s birth mom has kept this very private and we rarely hear from her unless we initiate it. (hence the weekly blog, so she can look at it when she is in the mood and not have it forced on her). Every once in a while I send her a random text telling her something cute B did and she responds happily, but I wonder if I am disrupting her life when I do, she’s not the kind of person to ever say anything negative to us if we were. What are your thoughts?

    • Lindsey says

      I think you were right in your previous response, every one is different. I would just ask her what she likes, wants and needs. :)

    • birthMOM says

      to answer you lechelle, and a few general statements in tow….
      in short, yes. i think adoptive parents can over do it. BUT that is rare and def not the norm. in most open adoptions the adoptive couple is WAY WAY under doing it! so lets not worry about over doing it.

      from what you have shared it doesnt sound to me like you are ‘over doing it’. it sounds to me like you enjoy sharing what you do, when you do and that you benefit from the experience of creating these treasures for the birthmom(s) and in turn your children.

      JUST ASK is what i always tell adoptive parents. ask her if its too much, if shed rather receive something in a different format, if its not meeting her expectations or current needs. be ready to hear, not just listen, to her answer, cuz maybe its not what youre expecting to hear. hopefully the birthmom will be honest, and hopefully the adoptive parents will be flexible.

      often i hear of Apaps saying that ‘enough time has gone by’ therefore they dont need to send gifts or sentiments anymore. ABSURD. there is no timeline, you have this child, and therefore this birthmom for ETERNITY! A birthmother never forgets, never stops wondering about her child, never stops loving her child, and never stops appreciating the gifts that adoptive parents send- these gifts become the most treasured treasures.

      just like in any relationship, checking in every now and again with the other party, to make sure that ‘all is well’, is a must for continued success and growth/development of the relationship, and allows for positive reassessment, changes, modifications, etc. birthparent relationships are no different in that regard. we tell our immediate family members things all the time concerning our wants and needs, for example, ive told my mom that if she wants to communicate effectively with me she needs to email so i can read/reply when im avail – usu way later at night than shes awake to ‘talk’. she made the change and stopped calling my vm and started emailing so now we are more effective in communication. addressing gifts/pics/texts and other contact with your childrens birthparents is no different! even if it seems scary to bring it up. just remember, in the end we are all on the same team!

  6. Sandy says

    Here are a few ideas we did for our birthmother’s:

    1. We went and bought tiles at a repair store. Then every member painted the tiles to how they wanted. In addition we hand and foot stamped some of the tiles. We put rubber tabs on the bottom of the tile and coated the top with a spray to seal it.
    2. Every year we have the kids pictures taken individually. If an outfit has been give from the birthmother’s to our children, then I make sure to take some pictures in that outfit. I give our birthmother’s extra photo’s to pass onto family members.
    3. There is a company called artcow(dot)com. Once you sign up, they will send you e-mails on discounts on free scrapbooks (you design the book), keychains, bags, etc. The product is shipped to you from out of the country so give yourself plenty of time for delivery. I made a ABC book about adoption for both my children. This year I made a book with months in it. I went back and looked at their journals and wrote stories that happened through out the year.
    4. When my daughter turned a year old. I took our pictures and our birthmother’s pictures and made a slideshow with music.
    5. Ok, this will be my last one. LOL I had a mold done of my children’s hands (individually—of course). It was heart shaped with a hand print inside (3D). It was glazed a color and had their name and year stamped on it. One of my favorite gifts!

    To Lechelle: My advice for you would be to just call or text your birthmother. Ask her what she wants or needs. I always tell my birthmother’s “Is this to much? or Let me know if you need more.” I even had to tell one of my birthmother’s that I needed a little time. She was cool with it. It’s best to just communicate even when it may feel a little scarry at times. :) Hope that helps.

  7. sandy says

    THANK YOU! We adopted through CPS and I struggled for so long to figure out what to get them as gifts. I ended up making them a scrapbook of his first year and I think they really appreciated it.
    Another thing I do is that I have a totally private Facebook page where I update pics/video’s about twice a year. Birthparents and family can see it, and if they want they can let other friends know about the page. Anytime someone “friends” us, I ask how they are related and that helps w/ keeping everyone straight. It also helps b/c then we get pictures of them and birth relatives, which will be important to our little one as he gets bigger.

    thanks