What to Do on a Visit

October 30th, 2009
Categories: Visits

Read TogetherA question was posed by an adoptive mom on the Birth Parents in Open Adoption forum just the other day. New to the process of open adoption, she was asking what we (as birth parents) liked to do on our visits. She wanted to know what we (as birth parents) liked to do with our placed children. Anything! Everything! And nothing! All at once. The scope of our visits with my daughter's family has changed over the years. At first, it was about me spending time with her. Now it's more about her spending time with my parented sons, her brothers. The point in sharing that is this: what is fun and what is important during a visit will change… [more]

Who Should Come Along on a Visit?

May 31st, 2009
Categories: Visits

A question was posed of me recently: Who is and is not appropriate to take along on an open adoption visit? The question was posed by a birth mother involved in an open adoption with her son (3) and his family. She had recently started dating someone for the first time since placing her son and wondered if and when it was appropriate for him to accompany her on one of their visits. This one kind of stumped me as my husband was involved from a very early point. I think this topic is something that comes down to boundaries. Who would you want your child to meet if you were parenting him? Would you let them meet every boyfriend or girlfriend that you had? Maybe. Maybe not. Your choices would (and… [more]

Ideas for Summer Visits

May 31st, 2009
Categories: Visits

The weather is (finally) warm! Children will soon be out of school. Free time is just waiting to be eaten up by trips, vacations and, if you're involved in an open adoption, hopefully a visit or two. Planning a visit can sometimes be daunting. However, don't forget to use the weather to your advantage. Get outside this summer for a visit. 1. Visit the zoo! Watching the joy on your child's face as he/she views the animals will be a memory to last a lifetime. If neither family lives near a big city zoo, consider visiting a petting zoo or a local farm. Animals delight children whether they're lions or pigs. 2. Go to an amusement park. And it doesn't have to be big like Disney. Consider smaller… [more]

Preparing for a Visit

February 28th, 2009
Categories: Visits

In the weeks and days leading up to a visit, you may be excited, nervous or a combination of both. One emotion may be more prevalent at any given time. Depending on your relationship, the length of time since your last visit and other factors, your feelings may lean more toward the positive or the negative. Either way, as you prepare for a visit with your child and the adoptive family, there are things you can do to ensure that you are ready. 1. Get sleep! The night before a visit, whether you're traveling or hosting the visit, be sure to get enough rest. I know this may seem difficult as you are likely to be excited. I find it hard to sleep the night before a… [more]

Post-Visit Crash

January 31st, 2009
Categories: Visits

I've been home for a week from a visit with my biological daughter, her mother and her younger brother. It was a great time. I came home feeling content, satisfied and very happy. And while I am still feeling happy, I am entering what many refer to as the post-visit crash. Also called the post-visit blues, it's a general time of sadness after a visit. I'm referring to it as a crash this time around because I don't feel overly blue. I'm not exactly sad or depressed. I'm still happy! But that general feeling of elation has worn off and here I sit: facing reality. Many other birth parents have talked about the post-visit blues and/or post-visit crash. It's based on that very thing that I'm facing… [more]

How to Have a Healthy Visit

August 29th, 2008
Categories: Visits

For birth parents involved in open adoptions with their child's family or for those involved in reunion with their adult child it doesn't come as a surprise that not all visits are happy-go-lucky, memory-making, balls of rainbows and butterflies. In fact, sometimes these visits are downright hard. They can be emotional, trying, taxing and draining. However, despite all of those things, even the most difficult visit can be healthy. Note that I didn't say happy. I said healthy. The difference? Well, there are a few differences. First and foremost, your attitude is key! I'm not suggesting to hide your emotions under a bushel. In fact, I'll hit on that in my next point. The thing to remember regarding your own attitude is that if you react negatively, negativity is the only… [more]

A Birth Parent’s Dream Visit

September 5th, 2007
Categories: Visits

I was thinking of fun and inventive topics to discuss here on the blogs. I thought I would make a post on the forums asking first parents to share what their "dream" visit would entail. Nothing was too big! Use your imaginations! I was expecting trips to Tahiti. Skiing in the Swiss Alps. Treks across Europe with backpacks and laughter. Imagine my surprise when not one birth parent replied in that kind of manner. The two most common answers: any visit at all would suffice and maybe just a smidgen of alone time with their child. It broke my heart into a million pieces. It also angered me a little bit. Thanks to the media's disinterest in reporting the mundane, well-managed adoption life stories, we… [more]

When A Visit Has to End Early

April 3rd, 2007
Categories: Open Adoption, Visits

Waving GoodbyeWe're home from our visit. A full day early. The long and short of it is that we (as in both myself and Nicholas) had hit our breaking point. Nicholas, at sixteen and a half months, is cutting his two year molars. Dealing with that grumpiness as well as my own emotional issues that surround the Munchkin, I made the executive decision to leave early. Broaching the subject was not easy. I had been feeling it for most of the day on Sunday as Nicholas was continuing to get worse. My mommy nerves, both parenting and birth parenting, were frayed. The Munchkin had said quite a few things over the course of a week that moved me to tears, sometimes good and sometimes… [more]

Time for Your Spouse During Visits

March 29th, 2007
Categories: Visits

Josh is Biting my Nose BulbIn the past two days I've stressed the importance of making time for your parented child and yourself during visits with your placed child. Another important person to make time for would be your spouse (or significant other). While it is true that your spouse is an adult and can therefore handle his or her own emotions, taking a few minutes to show them that they are important even in the midst of something very special can do wonders for communication between the two of you. I see this as important in two different scenarios for two differing reasons. For the birth parents who placed a child together and stayed together afterwards, thus attending visits with one another, taking a… [more]

Take Time for Yourself During Visits

March 28th, 2007
Categories: Visits

Some Alone Time YesterdayYesterday I talked about the importance of making special time for your parented child(ren) during visits with your placed child(ren). Another vitally important part of a visit is taking time for yourself. Visits can be overwhelming at times, even for the most secure birth parents. There will be situations, words and memories that may be hard to process while everyone is present. There will be times of sadness intermixed with great joy. While all of this is normal and to be expected, it would be beneficial to all involved in the visit if you remember to take some time, alone, and do one of two things: 1) Attempt to process these emotions/issues, or; 2) Just completely relax. I do believe that remembering these two… [more]