Adoption can be overwhelming at times – for all involved. To help us navigate our portion of the journey, we chose to work with an adoption agency for both the adoption of our son and for the adoption of our second child. The Cradle adoption agency guided us through our options as well as the process. They were our advocate and provided us with an extensive amount of knowledge about adoption – from the birth parent perspective to the grief experienced by an adopted child to the immense love felt by new adoptive parents. After having The Cradle be a part of our lives for so long, we didn’t have to say goodbye to them after our son joined our family. After placement, The Cradle provides post adoption services through their Center for Lifelong Adoption Support. They offer adoptive parents and adoptees a wide range of supportive services from parenting workshops to helping adopted children learn more about their birth family.
We have been using The Cradle’s post-adoption services since shortly after the adoption of our son. We do not currently have an open relationship with our son’s birth parents. So, to keep them in a small part of our son’s life, twice a year, we write a letter to his birth parents letting them know what he’s been up to and include a few photos. We send the letters to The Cradle and they keep them on file for if and when his birth parents would like to reconnect. Over the next few years, discussions about adoption and our son’s birth parents will become more interactive, be filled with more detail, and induce a variety of feelings. To make sure that we start the conversation off in the right direction, we looked to The Cradle for some input. A few nights ago, we participated in an interactive chat room with The Cradle that answered questions about addressing topics related to adopted toddlers. I’m sure this will be the first of many sessions that we will participate in to ensure that we are providing our children with all the support they need.
Like children who live with their birth families, an adopted child’s birth story should be something that they can say they just always knew. So, talking with children about adoption from very early on is important. To hear advice on how to talk to toddlers about adoption in a way that they can understand, click here.