Supporting first families during a pandemic
One of the biggest gifts of social media for me as an adoptive parent has been the chance to really stand in the shoes of parents who have made an adoption plan for their children. Or parents who have had involvement with the foster care system (*side note: I haven't found anyone online who writes about being a parent who lost custody of their child to the foster care system, like my kids' parents did, but I'd like to hear that perspective also).
Hearing from these parents, usually mothers, has helped me to understand and emphasize with what they go through being separated from their children. Their guidance, plus years of working hard at educating myself and unlearning what society had taught me, has helped me be a better mom to my kids. By being a better human to their parents.
We are currently in the middle of the Corona virus crisis. Currently, one of our kid's family does not have contact with us (their choice). I do have contact with our other child's family, mostly his first mother. We message on Facebook and occasionally text.
I usually message her on special days, like holidays and his birthday. I hadn't heard back since messaging her on his birthday this past March. I didn't plan on reaching out about this whole pandemic thing. I guess I figured she would reach out to me if she wanted to check on him.
And then a birth mama that I follow online reminded adoptive parents to reach out during scary times like these. She reminded us that we have the PRIVILEGE of being right here and KNOWING that our kids are okay, but that their first parents don't have that.
She reminded us that those parents might be scared to reach out. Or yeah, they might be in a bad place right now, with other things getting in the way of them being healthy enough to check on their child.
But there isn't anything getting in our way.
Adoptive and foster parents, make the call. Send the text. Send the whatsapp message. Send the photo.
Today I messaged my son's other mom. I asked her if her family was okay, and I told her that we were okay, that he was okay.
I didn't hear back from her, and that doesn't matter. It was still the human thing to do.