Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Valentine's Day Card Ordeal

Earlier this week I spent almost an entire hour in the kids’ section of the Valentine’s Day cards looking for a card that was appropriate to send to my birthson. I picked up after card growing more frustrated with each one. It seemed like every card said “son” or “grandson.” There were even cards saying “godson” and "nephew." If I wandered out of the kids’ section I found cards that didn’t use titles but they were more grown up and not very fun looking.
I know there are birthmoms whose children’s adoptive parents are perfectly fine with them sending a card that says “son” or “daughter.” I never thought to ask Charlie’s adoptive Mom about this in the earlier years of Charlie’s life and I worry that at an early age that type of card might have confused him and at nine years in it just seems odd to start sending those types of cards so I avoid ones that say “son.” Bottom of Form

Finally, I began to feel defeated and decided it was time to leave the store. I left totally frustrated. While I was pregnant and making an adoption plan, I never realized that something as simple as buying a greeting card would become such a complicated, emotional ordeal. 

My solution? Grab my crafting supplies and just make a personalized card!

Is shopping for a card an ordeal for you as well or are you able to find one that works quickly? 


  1. Boy do I understand that! It is the simple things that sometimes send me in a tailspin.

    Good choice on the homemade card. That is what I plan to do too.

    Why is everything complicated when you are a birthmom?

  2. I had a similar experience trying to buy a Christmas card for my daughter. I found one that I LOVED but it said "To my daughter" or something like that on the front. I couldn't in good conscience buy that one because I hadn't discussed it with her adoptive parents. I still haven't. Not sure I ever will. I suppose I could've put in "birth" by the daughter, and it probably would've been fine. So complex!!

  3. See this is where there is the "good" of a closed adoption. I never had to worry about buying a card or a gift for the first 24 years. Once the reunion happened then came the anxiety to do such a "simple" thing as to pick out a card or present. It was awful and she was not a baby who could not read it, she was now a grown adult with a mind of her own and I can remember almost being sick in the store with such great worry of it being the "perfect" card. After time I did find such a card and mailed it with my letter weeks later. It referenced nothing of her being my daughter and me being her mother. It had beautiful butterflies on it.

    Being a first mother is so complex. I can say from personal experience it was much easier when she was a baby than an adult.

  4. Well Charlie's not exactly a baby anymore... He's 9 and knows and understands (as much as a 9 year old can) his adoption story. A has put all of the cards I have given him since birth in a box that he has access to and he actually looks through it a lot. But yes, it was easier when he was a baby and I didn't know any of that yet.

  5. I had another thought to better explain what I meant. When you are in an open adoption your child knows you and who you are. There is a level of comfort there. When you are in a total closed adoption and then enter into a reunion, you are a complete stranger to that child and it is a ferrying experience for all parties as you cross the thresholds of doing things for the first time and it can create such anxiety for the first mother. It is a gift that your children know you and have keepsakes from you as they grow. Unfortunately in our generation we did not have such an option. Even with that said I am still not sold that open adoptions are better than closed ones. I think they themselves create many other complex issues. Adoption is just complicated no matter what.

  6. "Adoption is just complicated no matter what."

    Agreed! Open, closed, young, old, etc - it's a complicated situation with complicated feelings and there are very few right and wrongs or blacks and whites regarding the feelings and emotions one experiences.

  7. I'm an adoptive parent in an open adoptive who doesn't get hung up on terms. Our daughter is 13 and she finds buying holiday cards tough too from her end. All the Mom cards on Valentine's Day just seem to imply a different connection and she doesn't want to send a disingenuous card but she likes to send 'Mom' cards. It's hard to find something that works. Maybe next year we'll try making one.