Here on the other side of your adoption journey you are no longer filled with anxiety and endless wait. Your time is filled with caring for your heart’s desire, the child that you so patiently, or not so patiently waited to come into your home. Now, the waiting has begun for your birth family. Their days may be filled with doubt, and uncertainty as well as the patient or not so patient wait for updates, pictures, photos information about the child they placed in your loving, caring and capable hands.
When we receive photos for forwarding through the agency, or even holding in our vault, we often get to see the pictures, a glimpse into the lives of these children that have been placed through FIA. Sometimes we see pictures of children in their loving homes surrounded by family and friends, pets and toys. These pictures are full of pride and joy. These are the pictures that give us a sense of the giant arms, the family, the new world that is holding these special children. These are the pictures that Birthmother’s dream of while making their adoption plan. The incredible gift that they have given you comes from their heart, the heart where they envisioned you with their child in the family that they know they could not provide.
Sometimes we get what we call “Orphan Pictures”. These pictures though beautiful do not create the image of the special life that their Birthmothers have chosen to award their children with. They are pictures of children alone, and sometimes walking away. As you can imagine, these types of images may cause a Birthmother to question her choice.
It is understandable why these pictures are the ones that are sometimes sent. Adoptive parents can have fear, fear of the birth family “finding them” even in an “open adoption.” This fear is natural, but like many fears upon facing them you find that they are not entirely rational. Birth parents choose families largely based on the Profiles that are created. Non identifying pictures, including family, friends, homes, yards, pets, and toys. When you send pictures of children alone you send a strong message of distrust and fear. Your Birth family has granted you your wishes, please grant their wishes by turning their image of a loving family for their child into reality through pictures. The relationship you build with your birth family services your child. It helps to create the history of your child. The pictures and letters help to tell the story of where your child has come from.
FIA recommends Snapfish or other similar books be used for photo updates-printing books for the birth family and books that may be kept in your child’s library, as picture proof of their history and a story they can hold.
If you have any questions or concerns about post adoption relationships please contact the FIA Post Adoption Team at 1-802-235-2373 or Dawn@friendsinadoption.org , Diane@friendsinadoption.org or Meredith@Friendsinadoption.org