The Importance Of Birthdays

I am sitting in my kitchen looking out at the brilliant Autumn sunshine and ordering my son’s birthday cake to celebrate his 15th birthday. Every year, it is not lost on me that I am parenting my little boy and see him every day. I am so lucky to be able to watch him grow up.

During the past twenty-three and a half years, I have met so many brave women and men who have put the needs of their children ahead of their own emotions and feelings to give them a better life. People make adoption plans for many different reasons. Many women are single parenting one or two children, working full time and cannot afford another child financially or emotionally. Some birth parents choose not to parent their unborn child because they are still in school or training for a career. Others feel that they or too young to be parents while some find themselves pregnant later in life after their children are out of the house. Some are battling drug and or alcohol addiction and do not feel that they can do the best for their child. Whatever the reason, adoption is a choice made out of love after options counseling with the Adoption Arc birth parent counselors and great thought and soul searching.

Many adopted children ask whether their birth parents think about them on their birthday. In open adoptions, this is a question which has an easy answer, as many are in touch on that day via letter or skype call. In this photo, we see Mio and his mom, Linda skyping with the birth mom and her family on his first birthday. This was certainly a special moment and one in which the birth family got to share in the joy of the special day. However, it was also bittersweet in that the birth mom is not raising her son day to day. Yet, she is very happy that her son is in a safe stable home which she chose for him and that he is loved and cared for in the best way possible. The best part is that Mio will not have questions. He will always know his adoption story and will know both of his families.

Openness in adoption is a great aspect in which many birth and adoptive parents participate. A truly open adoption is one where there is full disclose of names and addresses and liberal visitation. While this is very uncommon, Adoption ARC encourages birth families to choose the adoptive family via approved families and to meet and stay in contact with them via photos and letters through the agency. The choices that are given to birth parents are very empowering. A birth parent never gives up a baby for adoption but rather makes an adoption plan.

What about children who don’t have open adoptions? Just because they are not in touch, of course, does not mean that their birth parents are not thinking of them. Sometime just sitting down with your child and retelling their adoption story may be a good birthday tradition to start. Many children who joined the family via adoption , even at birth, may have a difficult time on their birthday as this is the day that they were separated from their birth family. The loss of familiar sounds, smells and noises is frightening for an infant and they do not yet have the language to express this. This is why it is also important to talk about this and incorporate the child’s birth parents into the celebration by talking about them or remembering something about them from a meeting. Give the child the ability to be connected to both sides of his family.

Birthdays are a time for balloons, cake and celebration and they are also a time of great reflection for all members of the adoption triad. Adoption ARC is special because we have lifelong services to birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees so you will always be part of our big family.

If you are pregnant and thinking about making an adoption plan, please call Adoption ARC at

1-800-884-4004 so we can help you every step of the way

Tara and Jonah

Mi and Linda skype with Mio's birth family