This may sound silly. I really, really wanted a baby shower. I wanted the surprise. The party. The celebration, all about me and my unborn baby. I never had a bridal shower. And I sort of made a deal with myself that since I didn’t have a bridal shower, I would really knock it out of the park with the baby shower. Fast forward, sprinkle in some infertility and a dash of adoption, and my dream baby shower didn’t seem to fit my situation.

People around me didn’t seem to get that after years of mourning pregnancies that didn’t happen and grieving babies that were never born or never mine, my bravado was pretty much shot. I didn’t feel like celebrating a potential future child that felt really far off. The second thing was that adoption isn’t a guarantee. Adoptions fail all the time. Figuring out the social etiquette for a baby shower gift followed by a failed adoption didn’t sound like how I wanted to spend my head space. I was kind of in a pickle.

Then, a friend of mine who had recently had twins posted on Facebook about having a “Sip and See.” She already had the traditional baby shower, but also wanted to provide an opportunity for her friends and family to meet her new babies.

That was the light bulb moment. A Sip and See! I was not familiar with it at all. I gathered a little info online. Basically, some families choose to throw an additional party after the baby has arrived. It’s an introduction. Typically, it’s hosted by the new parents, both genders are invited, and it may contain booze… This was perfect! The typical invitation spots even had pre-made templates for a Sip and See which provided validation that I wasn’t creating a make-believe party or trying to fit in with the bio mom club. The Sip and See could also work for an older child adoption or second child too.

I love a good theme. A Sip and See seemed ideal for a WINE tasting theme. I probably did not have a traditional Sip and See, but fortunately no one I invited had ever been to one or heard of this amazing phenomenon that is the Sip and See so I set the standard.

Here are some things I included in my first Sip and See. I hosted the party at a local winery called Sandhill Crane Winery. The event coordinators never heard of a Sip and See, but loved the idea. I’m not sure if it was because I was hosting it at their venue, or because they actually understood that my situation was a bit different and wanted me to feel special. Either way, if you live in Michigan, I would highly recommend them. We had a light lunch, wine tasting, cupcakes, and party favors. They handled just about everything. We had a newborn and weren’t getting a lot of sleep, so having a venue that did a lot of the work was key to our success.

Sip and Sees vary greatly. Typically, they’re at the new parents’ house. If we had more children in our families, we probably wouldn’t have chosen a vineyard.

I’d love to hear about other adoptive families’ experiences or plans with baby showers and Sip and Sees. How do you choose to celebrate your growing family?