Sunday, July 24, 2016

One on One Time

I recently had a discussion on my personal Facebook page about birth parents being able to have one on one alone time with their children. I wasn't surprised that many adoptive parents were uncomfortable with this idea, but I was surprised to find that many of them also didn't think their child's parents would want that time, or that it would be too hard. 

Here's the thing, most birth parents who are in open domestic infant adoptions would love ANY time that they can have with their child. I personally would babysit my child and his sibling for free at any time, for any length of time, if I could spend time with him. I have talked with other birth parents about visits and what we would give up to have more of them. For example, I have a concert to go to on August 2nd that I've been looking forward to forever. This artist never comes close to where I live. If my son's parents decided that they wanted to give me an extra visit with him, I would quickly cancel my concert plans just for a lunch with them.  I would (and have) traveled across the country and the world to see him. There is no limit on the amount of love I have for him, and I know it is the same for many parents like me. 

Adoptive parents, I understand why the first reaction is always "What?? No. That's not something I would be comfortable with." It can be uncomfortable and it further challenges our societal view of parents and family. I ask you to really think about it though. Would you let your parents or siblings take your child out for one on one time? Would you let your child go get ice cream with her auntie B? If so, and you claim that your child's birth parents are like family to you, why not your child's mother? Why can't she be trusted with an ice cream and park date too? 

Here are some suggestions to get you started with providing much needed time for your child and their parents to bond more. Some of these require close distance, but if you message me with your unique situation I can help come up with some creative ideas! 

- If a visit is in a public place like a park and you're not yet comfortable with leaving, have your child's birth parent be the one to play. Excuse yourself to a bench to just relax or take some pictures of them that will be treasured later. 

- If the visit is at your house and you're not yet comfortable with leaving, ask if your child's parent will keep an eye on them while you do laundry/shower/do some gardening. 

- If the visit is at your house or theirs, ask if they'd like to hang out alone for a bit. Go grab a coffee and treat yourself while they are strengthening your bond. 

- Ask your child's birth parent to babysit for a night out! (Always at least offer to pay). You get some time with your partner and they get some great time to bond. 

- Ask your child's birth parent if they want to pick the child up for a "play date". Let them go out for ice cream or to a new movie. 

There are so many ideas! Do you have any creative ones to add? If so, comment below.