A question I often get asked or see online is: “How do I write a Dear Birth Mother Letter?” The simple answer is that everyone is different. There is no way of saying your letter is the perfect letter to be chosen by every expectant parent that reads it. Your letter, however, may be the perfect letter for that specific expectant parent that is looking for all the qualities YOU have. When this question gets asked on adoption forums, the language or term “Birth Mother” is usually the first to get addressed. Adoption language is important and raises the hairs of many people when the “wrong” terminology is used. Below you will find out why the use of “Birth Mother” is not preferred as well as many other helpful things that will guide you in writing your introduction letter.
When people start their adoption journey, one of the most common fears I see is the anticipation leading up to the home study. I was no exception to this fear. The idea of having someone possess the ability to dash my hopes and dreams of becoming a parent again was terrifying. What if they didn’t like my furniture? What if my personality rubbed them wrong? What if they saw the dust I forgot to wipe off the ceiling fan? What if I had too many pets? A million what ifs. So what is a home study?
Something I have recently been proud to take on is volunteering for my county’s Children’s Services. The children that are waiting for their forever homes were in great need of updated profile pictures for the adoption website. As a photographer and adoptive mother, what better way to donate my time and ability than to provide them with new portraits! Now that I have photographed a lot of them, I want to share them with you. If you are looking to expand your family and have love and nurturing to provide. I hope you will consider these wonderful children!
For more information on the children listed below, please contact Butler County Children’s Services and speak to a social worker or adoption specialist. Please share this page with everyone you know. We need to find these wonderful kids their forever homes. While I had the pleasure of spending time with them for their portraits, I learned just how wonderful these kids are. Yes, they may need some special care to adjust to a new environment, but they are loving, polite and charismatic kids who eagerly want to be adopted!
300 N. Fair Ave.
Hamilton, OH 45011
Website: Butler County Children Services
Denessa (purple) and Anna (blue) are sisters.
Adopted With Love is a website full of great gifts for yourself, your child or someone you know who may be adopting. I will be giving a way this gift soap pack to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is tell me what your favorite adoption related gift that your received, gave or would like to have or give is, and that enters you in the random drawing. But make sure you post your email address in your comment, or else I won’t be able to reach you.
A little about Adopted With Love:
The idea behind Adopted With Love originated from our personal experience of becoming parents through adoption. It was a roller coaster ride, with ups and downs, tears and laughter, uncertainty and hope, despair and blessings. Throughout our journey, we had friends and family supporting us in a variety of ways, whether a small note with encouraging words, a thoughtful gift, or a listening ear.
When our baby came home, our friends and family threw us a baby shower. It was a wonderful party, a celebration of family and adoption. Many people commented on how they wanted to celebrate adoption with us, but found it difficult (if not impossible) to find adoption-related items. Plenty of newborn and baby gifts, and some books on how to explain adoption to children, but in a time when adoption has become more acceptable and open, still very little to actually celebrate families created through adoption.
So we thought of all the things we found important about our and our daughter’s lives coming together, and the little things we do to honor our history as an adoptive family. The holiday season spent with our loved ones, the memories of our travels abroad to finalize the adoption, our lifetime bond with a foreign country we never thought we would travel to. We tried to capture each idea in a thoughtful item and before we knew it, our adoption gift boutique was born.
We created blankets to give your children comfort on their travels home, bracelets celebrating adoption and family, journals to chronicle your adoption journey for your child, and of course gift bags and decorative table stands to really make a baby shower adoption-specific.
We hope you enjoy our gifts as much as we enjoy creating them. Because in the end, the only thing that really matters is a family full of love and support, whether through birth or adopted with love.
1. Comment with your favorite adoption related gift.
2. Include your email address so I can get in touch to send you the gift!
You can also use the coupon code HEART20 to get 20% off any item on their website as a thank you to our readers!
I am sooooo excited! A few months ago, I was asked to be a part of an ebook that adoption.com is publishing. It is a collection of short stories from adoptive parents about advice they can give or lessons they have learned in their adoption process. Each chapter is a story from a different adoptive parent. I can’t wait til it is released! (Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it is. Stay Tuned.)
Anyhow, they are almost done with editing and formatting the book and the editor of adoption.com wrote to me with an update and asked me to join adoption.com as a Staff Writer (Storyteller). Their reach between adoption.com and adoption.org is over 2.5 million monthly viewers! That’s a lot of eyes! I will be writing a short piece every week on adoption. It will include personal accounts, navigating adoption, tips, pictures and advice. They will be thought provoking, educational, touch on real world news, celebrity adoptions, etc.
I am so excited about this opportunity and I hope you will check me out on adoption.com soon!
If I can give one piece of advice, it is that in all the training you will receive, you may not be taught that starting off the relationship on the right foot can never begin too early. When I say that, it means learning positive adoption language is a big deal. You may learn a few things like to use “created an adoption plan” over the dated version of “giving up for adoption”. There are many other situations though that choosing your words carefully can go a long way. But it really isn’t about just being politically correct, it’s about respect. It’s about understanding people’s feelings. It’s about willingness to learn.
Today with open adoption being the more normal route domestic adoptions are taking, starting that relationship off with respect is so important. As adoptive parents we are gaining something that we could not achieve on our own; a child. Imagine the heart ache and loss the expecting mother goes through every day leading up to placing her child and will likely feel every day after the placement. Respecting her as a human and the parent of that child shows you love not just her baby, but her as well. And don’t forget about the father, he may or may not be involved, but until you know otherwise, assume he is.
Remember, positive adoption language is not just about being politically correct, but respecting her. Moving forward in an open adoption requires respect. Respecting her for her decision and not just going after her baby and saying “all the right things” will create a lasting relationship that your future child can respect you for. There are many resources out there to ensure you understand positive adoption language. If it is not offered in your adoption training, seek it out for yourself, you’ll be happy you did.
Part of respecting her, is also respecting her story. Respecting that her story is also your future child’s story. People can be nosey when it comes to adoption. Some are genuinely curious about adoption, some just want to the juicy details. So decide how much you want to share with people and stick to it. People will ask all sorts of questions that you never dreamed of. IE. “Why is she giving him up?” “Is she on drugs?” “Does she know who the father is?” “Why doesn’t she want to keep him?” Etc. Keep in mind that what you share with people now, may get back to your child or give the inquisitive people less respect for the birth mother in the future. While you may have the best intentions of sharing the story with people, they may repeat it back at inconvenient times. If your open adoption ends up being like mine, we invite our son’s birth parents and other biological family over a few times a year for family gatherings. We want everyone to feel comfortable. They are all part of our extended family now. While a person may be at a low moment in life at the time of placement, often the reason for them creating an adoption plan is to not to just give their child a better life, but to also give them the ability to improve their own life.
I think that letting the expecting mother know that you will support her in any decision she makes is very important. It shows a great deal of respect. Yes, of course you want to be a parent and adoption is your goal in having this relationship with her, but her knowing that you will be ok if she decides to parent or picks another family over you, goes a long way in her trust in you as good people. But don’t just say it, MEAN IT! Get yourself in the right frame of mind before entering the relationship. She is not there to make you a parent. You are there to parent her child.
Starting off on the right foot with the expecting parents will help you in a lifelong respectful relationship that will be cherished by your child and all members of the adoption triad for years to come.
Hey guys, I wanted to let you know about a project I am helping a friend with. Russell Elkins, author of Open Adoption, Open Heart and Open Arms, was asked by Adoption.com to gather stories from domestic adoptive parents for a book they are putting together. This book will feature about 25 chapters, each telling a story and giving one piece of advice about adoption that you would give someone just entering adoption. Each author’s submission will be a stand alone chapter. If this is something you’d be interested in doing, please see the criteria below:
- Must be an adoptive parent or potential adoptive parent through domestic adoption.
- The entry cannot have previously (or if selected, in the future) posted to any blog, article or book.
- Must be approximately 1500 words.
- Must lend “one piece of advice”.
- Can submit using real name, pseudonym or anonymous.
- Permission from anyone named in the submission, otherwise change names or use generic terms like “my son, birth mom, husband, wife” etc.
- Due ASAP, we are behind schedule.
This is an unpaid project that will serve as an educational piece to help future adoptive families through Adoption.com. Time is of the essence for this project. It is behind schedule and we are looking for 5 additional entries to quickly complete this project. Please email me your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in Russell’s books about adoption, please visit my book review’s page to see a description and a link to purchase his books. Thanks!