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A Death in the Birth Family Invokes Emotions–What Do You Do?

My son got a call last night from his birth mother.

Her husband died.

The boy I raised into a man isn’t doing well. He’s flying to be with his birth mother. I transferred $100.00 to the 26-year-old. What else could I do?

He doesn’t have the finances he needs for a last-minute flight. He doesn’t have time off work. Since the death wasn’t technically a family member, the boy’s boss was reluctant to let him go.

So many times in this adoption journey, I have said we are grateful to have the birth parents.

“You can never have enough people loving your child.”

I’ve said over and over. And that is true. The more people that love your child, the better.

Birth family and birth family spouses have added depth, understanding,  and love to my children’s lives.

All day, I’ve felt gloomy.

I feel bad for my son because he did love this man. The man was good for him and to him. A part of my son’s life is gone.

I feel my son has so many concerns today. Did he provide his birth family with enough love? Did he show enough appreciation for us? How will he comfort his birth mother?

We know that his identity is different when he is with them. They have a different culture, a different outlook on life, and different traditions. The pull to belong to both families is strong.

Adoption is beautiful. An open adoption is beautiful. It is also very hard. And the difficulties don’t end with adulthood.

So, here are two pieces of advice from a mother whose oldest adopted child is in her thirties.


I’m not posting my name nor the name of my son, or any of my children. They need their privacy. Give them that. All the pictures on this blog are just random people I copied.


love them. But your love isn’t enough. Give them permission to love. And give them money if they need to travel to show that love.