As with any relationship, even in an open adoption, the level of communication may vary. When the birth parent chooses to be irregular in their communication or simply becomes quiet, this may come as a shock to adoptive parents. At times it might look semi-open and then trust and respect can build to a point where full openness is enjoyed. And sometimes, for a variety of reasons, there may be times where the relationship can look closed.
Whatever the reason that might lead to this change, I pray your heart and desire as adoptive parents is to stay intentional. During this time of quiet there are many things you can do to love the birth mother and family well. First and foremost, you can pray. Pray they are healthy, safe, and working towards any goals they might have. Pray their heart is comforted if the silence is due to pain.
Second, I encourage you to be consistent. Speak to your placement agency and share your concerns. Continue to send regular updates and pictures for the placement agency to keep. If or when the day comes that this birth parent decides they are in a healthier place with the adoption and want to look at letters or photos, they will see your love through your consistency. They will know you care about them even through the hard.
Finally, have a conversation. If you have noticed a change, it is OK to say so! Communication is vital for an open adoption to thrive. It is OK to say, “I’ve noticed our communication has been inconsistent, is there a change we need to make?” It is not the adoptive parents’ job to fix problems; just knowing you care is huge. Bringing awareness to something can help both parties solve the issue, rather than allowing assumptions or fear to get in the way. It may be that the birth mother just needs some time, and that is normal and healthy! Please know this has nothing to do with you or the child they placed. Grief can take hold when we least expect it.
Intentionality, consistency, and communication are all ways you can love the birth parent of your child well.