Friday, January 29, 2010

Visit Etiquette by Guest Blogger Leigh

If you are in an open adoption, you probably know that often it seems like we walk a fine line when it comes to visits. How often? Where? Will be by ourselves? Will there be a group op people around? Do we just spend the time with our kids and ignore everyone and everything around us? Do we go into a “zone” and forget that there is even anyone around? I know for me, I walk a fine line. I want to spend as much time with Jessica but I don’t want to ignore those people around me.

Here are a few simple tips that one can do to help the visits go easier.

  • Show up on time. If you are going to be late, call and let them know.

  • Don’t show up late and expect them to be overjoyed to see you if you haven't called.

  • Don’t cancel. Especially at the last minute unless of course, something has come up and you can’t help it such as family emergency, car broke down, etc..

  • Spend time with the adoptive parents. Yes, you are there to see your child but you need to have a relationship with the adoptive parents so include them in the play time and conversation.

  • Respect their parenting choices and decisions. We may not agree but they are raising the child so it is their decision and schedules.

  • Be flexible when setting up the visit. Jessica is a busy little bee so Louise’s’ time is limited so I am open to when she has time or an afternoon for us to get together.

  • Be prepared if their schedule changes. Yes it happens and it stinks but realize that you will get another visit.

  • Bring lots of film if you don’t have a digital camera. Include the adoptive parents in the pictures. Have someone take a picture of you and your child. Have another one taken of you and the adoptive mom. I have a few of those and they are extra special to me.

We just need to remember that if we get along with the adoptive parents then our children won’t feel pulled in any direction. If we show the adoptive parents respect, hopefully, we get respect in turn and the children realize that they have all these extra people to love them.

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