Thanksgiving week is upon us, and here in Central Arkansas, the weather is finally staying cold!
Most people at this time of the year reflect on what it means to be thankful. I love it when kids are thankful- my nephews are thankful for skunks and cows, my daughter is thankful for her aunts, and my son is thankful that he has a week off of school.
Lots of families have bigger things to be thankful for this season! November is National Preemie Awareness month, and National Adoption Awareness month. Birth by Design works with parents of preemies, providing support for birth and postpartum. We also provide postpartum support for adoptive families. We are here for you, and hope that you can find the support you need and deserve.
If you are the parent of a preemie or an adopted child- we love you, we empathise with you, and many of us have even been in your shoes! We hope that your successes are many and beyond your wildest dreams, and we hope that your struggles are few and easily overcome.
If you are the friend or family member of the parents of a preemie or adopted child, what can you do? I’ve got a little list for you...
1- Listen. Wholeheartedly and without judgement. Ask them how it’s going, ask their story, and listen with love and empathy.
2- Help. Help within the boundaries and rules the parents have put down. (I.e.- don’t pop in expecting to hold a cute baby for a couple of hours. Most preemie parents are cutting out visits until their little one’s immune system is healthy, and lots of adoptive parents are doing all of the cuddling themselves in order to bond. Instead, expect to do some cleaning, laundry or errand running.)
3- Stick around. Lots of families get help at the beginning, when things are new and different and maybe scary. But for families dealing with preemies or adoptions, their story stretches out much longer. They need support that is going to keep coming back and checking in months and even years down the road.
4- Educate yourself! See March of Dimes or Graham’s Foundation for information on preemies. See National Adoption Day or Adopt.org for information on adoption and adoption options..
Please don’t forget Birth by Design this holiday season! We are still seeking donations and families to serve for our Spirit of Giving campaign.
Love and pumpkin pie,
Desiree and the whole BbD Team