By Carrie Craft
Only those who have placed a child for adoption can understand the grief and loss that goes along with that choice. Below are a few ideas to help birth mothers and birth fathers process the loss and remember their children in a positive way.
1. Journal about your experience as a birth mother or father. Write about the adoption of your child. Consider sharing your story with a close friend.
2. Write a poem about your adoption experience or your child.
3. Write a letter to your child to share when he/she is an adult or upon your adoption reunion.
4. Create your family tree to give to your child when he/she is an adult or upon your adoption reunion.
5. Find an adoptive family that you can mentor about open adoptions. Consider mentoring an expectant mother or father who is considering adoption.
6. Join an post adoption support group or a group for birth parents.
7. Light a candle on your child's birthday or the day of the adoption finalization. Make a wish for your child's continued health and safety.
8. Release balloons on your child's birthday or the day of the adoption finalization. Have a balloon for each year of your child's life.
9. Plant a tree or garden. While you work your garden and watch it grow and thrive think of your child.
10. Ask your church to offer a special prayer on Mother's Day or Father's Day remembering birth parents.
11. Help children in need of homes within the foster care system.
12. Speak out about open adoption. Write letters to the editor of your local paper explaining your views.
13. Donate books about adoption to your local library or school libraries.
14. Speak at schools, group homes, or organizations about adoption; the pros, cons and resources available to expectant parents.