When I placed my daughter for adoption, the agency that I was using advised that adoptive families and birth families not 'friend' each other on social media. After placing, I adhered strictly to that guideline for several years. After my daughter's Mom served as my maid of honor in my wedding in 2013, we both felt as though we had become comfortable enough with each other to engage in social media.
I was excited by this turn of events. I was looking forward to seeing the everyday happenings on my birth daughter, and I was glad that my daughter's Mom felt comfortable enough with me to do this, even though our agency didn't generally recommend it. The friend request came in and I eagerly accepted, looking forward to seeing extra pictures of my sweet baby girl.
Then I saw them. Every. Single. One. I knew when she was going on vacation, I saw photos of her going to preschool, I saw pictures of her with her family. I immediately felt a pit on my stomach. I was barraged by their happiness and my loss.
I was committed to remaining 'friends' on social media, since I didn't want to jeopardize the openness that I had been so excited to have. However, after several days of being barraged by photos, I chose to 'unfollow' my daughter's Mom on Facebook for quite some time. We were able to remain friends, but I struggled with the lack of control that I had when my birth daughter would pop up on my newsfeed unexpectedly.
It took my several months to acclimate with the idea of being friends on social media once I had a taste of what it was like. After some time, when I felt more prepared, I 'followed' my birth daughter's Mom again. We have now been happily 'friended' for several years, with no issues. The first few months though, our social media interactions served as a bit of a trigger for my grief, which was unexpected.
I know not everyone has the opportunity to be "friends" on social media with their child's family
If you are friends with your birth child's family on social media, how has it worked for you?