We are looking for ideas for our future adoption ceremony. We want to make the ceremony(in the courtroom) really special. We also want to include our 4 bio children in it.We also want to honor the CASA,social worker and former foster Mom. Any ideas???? Thanks
We just finalized in court on Monday - an infant agency adoption. I don't want to be a wet blanket but I'm not sure that the courtroom is the most appropriate place for this type of ceremony. Our judge happened to be very old school. We had to take the stand and testify and he frowns on women attys in trousers. I guess I'm saying you'll never know who you might get.
As an alternative, I might suggest hosting something at your home, the agency offices, a restaurant, etc. At our placement ceremony at our agency offices we used a blessing for adoptive parents and children from the Catholic Book of Blessings. It is not so Catholic specific and I think any Christian could use it. It has a place where the parents and children (if old enough) make pledges to each other. I bet it could be adapted for your bios and all the other instrumental folks. To get it I had to go to our church office and ask for a copy of the pages. Any church would be happy to do that I'm sure. Also, the beliefnet website has some good ideas and there is a book but I can't recall the title. I think you could find it in one of the ceremony descriptions on beliefnet. If I recall the site has descriptions for some Jewish and native elements as well. There might be some neat things for foster parents there as well. We also used 2 Steven Curtis Chapman songs and Testify to Love by Wynonna.
Good luck!
We had a wonderful judge who even got teary eyed and had adopted children himself ! However, they allowed us to take a few pictures and outside the courtroom, there was a little waiting area. There is where we did more pictures and later went to a restaurant. The court clerk would be the one who could give you more information as to what is and is not permitted. Often the judge has a tight schedule inside the court room- so your time is limited. I believe we were only in the courtroom for a matter of 10 minutes!!!! It went by so fast ! Good luck to you and enjoy your day ... its a very memorable one !
We just went to court Monday for our friends finalization and you don't get that much time. There was time to sign papers take some pictures and the judge gave their daughter a stuffed animal. He had a bunch more case though waiting not too patiently on the other side of the door.
Then a clerk took us into the jury room and had their daughter make a handprint on a tile then our friend wrote their daughter's first name on it. It will go on this big wall in the hall along with several other handprints of all sizes that says " Blessed by Adoption". We thought that was pretty cool! That also means Elijah's will be up there in the future too.:)
As for a celebration...I'd have it at your home, a park, or a resturant.
In our adoption for our 7 yr old the judge was awsome, after the formalities were over the judge let our ason sit up on the bench and pound the gavel to finalize it, took tons of pictures with the judge, lawyer, family. The kids all went back to school (believe it or not their choice) and handed out treats to all their classmates (our bio kids and ason) celebrating the finalization. That night we went out to eat and invited all the family members (we did not invite bfamily just grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins).
We also saved all the cards from everybody celebrating the day along with a bunch of the pictures taken throughout the day.
Thanks for the resources and ideas, I am curious what Steven Curtis Chapman songs did you use? Kathy
We used I Will Be Here which he wrote for his wife but it fits and I think it's called When Love Takes You In on his Declaration CD which he wrote for his daughter he adopted from China. There is a thread in the Christian area called Songs on Adoption with the words and other things. It was active around November but it shouldn't be hard to find. There are probably some other ideas there.
Like the others said, you don't get a whole lot of time in court. We took our caseworker and GAL out for lunch and then spent the day with our kids. They were totally overwhelmed by the whole day and we wanted them to have some quite time with us.
About a month later we had a catered affair at The Hilton with our friends and family and invited the former foster family, our caseworkers, the kids caseworkers and everyone else involved. :)
I looked for adoption ceremony ideas but none seemed right for me because my kids are older (14 &11). I started out thinking of a candle lighting ceremony but was worried the kids would light the courthouse on fire! Then I came across the newest thing in weddings which is a sand ceremony. You each add different colors of sand to a container and it symbolizes the blending together of many to make one beautiful decoration we will keep forever. We are ordering a heart shaped container (most wedding places online have the kits. Then I pieced together some things I found online and looked up what different colors meant and drafted my own ceremony which our pastor will be reading. For anyone interested, here it is:
"For everything there is a time and a season
In ancient times, whenever the nation of Israel experienced a miracle, they chose a
special stone and called it a œstone of remembrance. It was to be a tangible reminder
of GodԒs faithfulness in that particular time and place. In like manner, we can create a
tangible reminder of Gods faithfulness in making our family, not with a single stone of remembrance, but with these many grains of sand, combined to make one.
A Time to Honor God҅
We know that all things work for the good of those who love God, and the fact that he brought these children into Shastas life is evidence of that. Therefore, we pour a foundation of black sand, the symbol of power and authority, in honor of Almighty God, who will forever be the foundation of our family.
A Time to Honor Levi҅
We celebrate this incredible young man, a unique weaving together of nature and nurture
into the marvelous human being before us, with incredible potential and purpose. He ads to this family red sand, a symbol of his fire and passion for life, love and laughter.
A Time to Honor Lexi
We celebrate this incredible young lady, upon whom God himself has placed his fingerprints; gentle evidence of how he carefully crafted this beautiful child to be exactly what he wanted her to be. She ads to this family bright green sand, a symbol of life, and how she not only lives every minute of hers to the fullest, but how she brings joy to the life of all she meets.
May Levi and Lexi always remember the truths spoken by Rick Warren in
The Purpose-Driven Life:
Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a
plan in creating you. It doesnŒt matter whether your parents were good, bad, or
indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic
makeup to create the custom youӔ He had in mind. They had the DNA God
wanted to make you.
A Time to Honor Shasta
We celebrate this loving woman, who heard GodŒs call and followed him in faith and now finds herself blessed beyond measure with 2 loving children. She ads purple sand to the family, the color of royalty. A symbol of the wisdom and wealth of knowledge and love she will share with the children as they join into her family.
A Time to Honor Marc
We celebrate this man after GodŒs own heart, who has chosen to share in the raising of these children and love them as his own. He ads blue sand to the family, the color of trust and faith. A symbol of the depth and stability he provides in the family as its spiritual leader.
A Time to Honor Vonnie
We celebrate the matriarch of this family, who taught Shasta to be the wonderful mother she has become, and who has supported Shasta emotionally, financially and spiritually, in becoming a foster and now, adoptive mother. She ads pink sand to the family, the color of universal love. A symbol of the unconditional love she shows to every member of the family, whether natural born, fostered, or adopted.
And Finally, A Time of New BeginningsŅ
Just as an oyster is wired by its Creator to wrap its innermost being around unexpected
pain to produce a beautiful pearl, everyone involved in this adoption process have
wrapped their innermost beingstime, energy, blood, sweat, and tearsחaround these
two beloved children. We now combine our colors to symbolize how God has taken individual lives that have each been broken in their own way, and restored them to become one family; whole, healed and pleasing to Him."
Blessing: We seal this family together with a blessing (a prayer is said and the cork is placed)