Adoption and Holidays

family treeI hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!  We were able to go see Ezra’s birth parents and siblings on Good Friday since Joe was home from Chicago and we all had some free time.  We all had our own things going on for Easter, so it was nice to spend a couple hours hanging out and catching up, plus we got to see their new house! We are all getting together again on Mother’s Day weekend to celebrate and I had a little gift picked out for T for Birth Mother’s Day to celebrate all 3 of her children, but of course, I couldn’t wait that long and gave it to her when we visited.  (She knows I am terrible at waiting!)

A year and a half into our adoption, new things are constantly coming up.  I am starting to think a lot more about how I will talk about Ezra’s adoption with him as he begins to understand what it means.  Holidays bring the unique relationship forefront.  Having an open adoption and often celebrating holidays together with all our extended family, brings a different dynamic to adoption.  Also, things come up between us and his birth parents now as we all try to navigate this process.  I LOVE how open J (Ezra’s first father) is with us about his feelings on the adoption. He is so honest and addresses things so respectfully.  He asked us on Friday what we would like for Ezra to call him and T moving forward.  Obviously Mommy and Daddy are reserved for me and Joe, and although J obviously longs for that title a little with Ezra, he also knows that it would be very confusing.  We tossed around a couple ideas and landed on just using first names for how Ezra will address them, but Joe and I will still talk to him about who they are.  Ezra also has biological siblings.  Isaac is Ezra’s brother as far as Ezra currently understands, but there will be a time where Ezra learns more about his biological siblings.  They are a couple years older than Ezra, so they already have a slightly better understanding of who he is to them.

With holidays, there is also the involvement of extended family and friends.  Whether it is on the child’s biological side of the family or the adoptive, when everyone get’s together, especially the first few times, it can be awkward.  The beauty is everyone is so in love with the child, there is that as an instant connection and bond.  Sometimes it can be a little strange though for people like me, who are ultra aware of other people’s feelings.  I am constantly over thinking, protecting, being cautious, and trying to stay politically correct or comforting.  So, I may fumble over the introduction when introducing Ezra’s birth parents to people.  Or I may feel uneasy saying “Come to mommy” to Ezra with his first parents right by me.  I may keep a watchful eye on conversations and interactions with different members of the family. With time, these fears are easing as our relationship grows.  We all love him so much and we just have to show Ezra that we are all willing to do EVERYTHING it takes to make his life the best we can.

This year’s Mother’s Day weekend cookout will be our third full family gathering.  A few people from my family that weren’t able to make it to the first events will be attending, so I am not out of the woods yet with my watchful monitoring, but I am sure it will go great.  I know new things will continually come up as we learn to navigate and understand open adoption, but I am glad I have support and amazing people in our journey to help us along.

So, there are a few things I would love your feedback on? Comment below.

1. What holidays are your favorites to celebrate with you child’s birth family (or adoptive, if you are a birth parent)?

2.  Have you ever had any hiccups between your family and the birth family at events? If so, what happened and how did you handle it?

3. What does your child call his/her first parents?

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9 thoughts on “Adoption and Holidays

  1. I am a soon-to-be birthmother, a term that both I and the adoptive mom kind of hate. While it is definitely descriptive, it’s just not the kind of word you want to teach your toddler… Sigh. If you come up with a better term for your birth mom, I would love to know what it is!


    • Thanks for your input. We kinda interchange birth mom and first mom as simply descriptive. But we obviously don’t want Ezra to call her “birth mom” when he is speaking TO her. We’d like to use something that is more personal than their first names, but Aunt/Uncle isn’t really accurate, although that is sort of the type of relationship that they have with him.

      Thanks for commenting and good luck with your adoption! I just followed your blog and I can’t wait to read your insight!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that is the dilemma we are facing too. While he will know that he is adopted from the beginning, I don’t necessarily know if I want him to know that I am his birthmother right away, or if it is the healthiest thing for him to know who I am while he is young. So many obstacles in this process:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We have decided to have our son call his birth mother “Mommy (first name)”. It’s something I fretted about for a while and it just seemed to work for us. Just calling her by her first name didn’t seem to acknowledge the complexity of that relationship. We saw her yesterday at Easter, and though it can still feel awkward, we’re getting there. I’m interested to hear what others think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @fillipifamily Oh I know of two other adoption situations where they do just the same thing! Well one is “Mommy ____” and the other I know of is “Mama ____”. Kinda reminds me of like “aunt ____” or “uncle _____”. Except with the adoptive parents, they are simply mommy and daddy.


  3. As an adoptee who grew up in a closed adoption these dynamics are very interesting to read about. I am just now beginning my search for my birth family/first family/family of origin…..I haven’t figured out what to call it either!


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