My husband and I have been heavily involved in adoption for years. We have had numerous opportunities to celebrate National Adoption Month in our communities and among peers. I have enjoyed reflecting on some of our past experiences which include a wide variety of celebrations and events. We’ve hosted breakfasts where families come together in celebration of adoption. I have made many cherished friends sitting across the table talking with someone who has also walked the adoption road. I’ve attended state sponsored Adoption Day celebrations where I had the privilege of witnessing an adoption finalization! The celebration was complete with balloons, decor, prizes for the children, photos taken with local dignitaries, and a cake! One year we traveled across the state to join the governor in proclaiming November Adoption Month. I had the privilege then, as well as other years to share a few thoughts about adoption with local newspaper and television stations. We dressed our young daughter in a darling adoption t-shirt and she and the other children in attendance were the hit of the event. One year, along with friends, we put adoption displays in quite a few area libraries. The librarians gathered adoption books to use as part of our display. The display remained up for the entire month of November. Historically November has been a month of big adoption related events and a chance to celebrate adoption in a significant way.
This year, however, as November approached I realized that our adoption events calendar was not nearly as full as it has been in years past. For a moment I was disappointed and thought about whom I could contact and where I could look for information regarding adoption events. What could I participate in via social media? How would we celebrate National Adoption Month as a family?
But then I realized I really didn’t want to. While our November calendar is not full of adoption events, it is nonetheless full! School events, extracurricular activities, church functions, and family gatherings dot the calendar this month. We have a one year old who, bless her heart, still naps twice a day! Nap times are chore times for me. Both of our children go to bed early. Juggling naps, meals, and events is sometimes a challenge. I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of numerous public events celebrating adoption. I feel like I spend too much time chasing my one year old to keep up with celebrations via social media. We cherish time spent at home with our children on the days and evenings that aren’t so packed.
This year my National Adoption Month focus is inward. I have been bursting with excitement thinking of ways I can celebrate adoption in my own home, with the people that are “adoption” to me. In celebration of adoption this year I am going to make extra effort to be the best mom I can. I want to be the mom that their birth parents hoped I’d be. These children were chosen to be part of our family because their birth parents knew that they would be cared for, loved and taught in our home. While I feel like we do a pretty good job of this most of the time, I’ve decided to make an extra effort in November.
As you may know, with children it is the little things. I will spend more time than I usually do in my eight year olds classroom. She loves it when I am there. I will spend more time in the rocking chair with my one-year-old and a stack of books. There are few places she loves more than that right now! I will make a stronger effort to make dinner time each evening peaceful and enjoyable. We will spend family time looking at photos, reading, and remembering the events surrounding each of their births and adoptions. I want my children to know how much we love adoption, how we cherish their birth parents and how grateful we are that they are a part of our family.
In addition to celebrating our children, we will take the opportunity this month to celebrate their birth parents. A couple of them have birthdays in November! Where possible we will celebrate with them, and if it isn’t possible we’ll celebrate on their behalf. It is no secret that we love an excuse to go out for ice cream!
There will be other years, and plenty more civic and community events in celebration of November as National Adoption Month. I have no doubt that in the future we will participate. We will speak publicly again, promoting the option of adoption and celebrating the miracle of adoption with dignitaries, peers, and local media.
But for us this year, National Adoption Month will take place largely within the walls of our home. We will celebrate, honor, and love those that created our family. What is your favorite way to celebrate adoption at home?