We are now almost one month into parenting our new 6yr old son T. He is a handful, but nowhere near the bipolar, oppositional defiant kid he came billed as!!! He is on much less medication and can actually make it through the day with less than 2 two hour naps. No wonder he hasn't made much academic progress. He is definitely testing the "I'm in charge" boundary at times. He also is quick to threaten to leave if we are too mean. He is funny and loves to eat. He is very affectionate, but is still able to verbalize missing his foster family and old school. Hard for me to fathom what an upheaval the transition can be for kids.
WE had a wonderful ceremony put on by CYFD at our home last night. It involved our family(parents, two existing children and new child), his foster parents, his previously adopted bio sibs and their families and lots of our supportive friends. The CYFD caseworker read a beautiful document about the three candles of his life. First the gift of life from his birth parents, second the candle for all those who helped him along the journey (foster families, caseworkers, GAL, school, etc. The third candle we all (our family) lit together to signify his entrance into our forever family. It was very moving and I suggest something like this to anyone adopting. He felt very loved and supported and celebrated-which hasn't happened much in his life. We are so blessed to have him and our wonderful suport system. Well, I have rambled enough.
PS> Sorry if this is duplicate-I posted on blended families too
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I love the candle idea, thanks for sharing.
Mom to Princess Savanna thru adoption 07/27/00
Waiting for #2 since 08/06/03
One failed match
Currently Match - it's a boy due 01/06/05
Sure-I will copy the paper she gave to us and post it tomorrow. thanks for the interest.
it sounds like a great ceremony for him, esp. since he's six and able to take away the importance and emotion of the moment. I like that so many people were able to get together to support him. glad he's doing so well in your care:-). Every kid needs to be celebrated in such a way-no presents, just family, friends and love.
Here is the statement during the candlelight ceremony
"T, The three candles you see here represent the milestones of your life.
The first candle is the candle of life. This candle represents your birth parents who brought you into this world and gave you life. It represents the many gifts you received from them: your beautiful smile, the color of your hair and eyes, and your talents.
The second candle is the candle of caring and hard work. This candle represents all of the people who have cared for you and watched over you, helping you learn, grow and feel loved. This candle represents all the people who have helped and supported you; making sure you were safe, healthy and happy-- your foster family, your therapists, your guardian ad litem, your teachers and your social workers.
The last candle is the candle of love and hope. It represents your new adoptive family-the forever family you will make with Susan and Karen. As your parents, Susan and Karen will be there for you today, tomorrow,...and always. T, you now have a forever family. This evening we celebrate the beginning of something very special. As you and your new family light this last candle, remember it is the first thing you will do together as a family.
The road ahead of you will be filled with great adventures, and firsts. From now on you will always have each other. Life, caring, hard work, love and hope have brought us all here today as we celebrate Susan, Karen, Angelo, Tessa, and T becoming a new family.
There will be ups and downs, joyful times, and difficult times, tears and laughter. Mistakes will be made, accomplishments will be celebrated, and everyone will love, live and grow. These are the things that make a family a family.
The five of you will always be connected in your hearts and souls. Today you are a forever family. Congratulations. "
By the last paragraph, T had his birth sister looking at the fish in our fishtank. It was touching and emotional and such a typical six year old moment!!!!
Hope you find this reading inspiring. We sure did. Thanks again for all of your positive thoughts.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I am the foster parent facilitator for PRIDE classes (foster/adopt training) and this is great for anyone adopting older children.
Here's a beautiful Catholic Adoption ceremony that can be adapted to your needs:
Celebrant: We are here today to witness the transition of [first and middle name of Child, given by his/her birth family] from his family of birth to his parenting family.
Celebrant: Let us begin by recalling the presence of God.
God of light and life. God whose love empowers our lives. We praise and thank you for the light, the life, and the love present in this gathered community. We ask that you guide us today in the formation of this adoptive family.
We thank you for the loving care of [Birthmother] in bringing [Child] into the world.
We thank you for the life of this child.
We thank you for [names of Adoptive Parents] who are promising to continue nurturing this child throughout his lifetime.
Celebrant: The symbols we are using for this ceremony remind us that we are all one universal Christian family.
In the center is our Christ Candle [this one candle is lit prior to the ceremony], representing the source of all life.
The Crucifix and a bouquet of flowers to the left, remind us of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice for us and the promise of new life through our faith in Him.
The two candles at the foot of the cross represent the Birth family, who bring their reliance on the promises of Christ with them today, and the child they place with faith in the loving care of our heavenly Father.
The candle at the right of the Christ candle represents the Adoptive family. Behind it are images of the Holy Family, baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph, reminding us that God chose the most precious gift of family for his only son.
Celebrant: I invite [Birthmother] as a representative of [Child’s] birthparents to come forward a receive the Birthparent candle.
I invite [Representative chosen by birthmother], who was with [Birthmother] during delivery (e.g.), to come forward and receive the Adoptive Child candle.
I invite [ Adoptive Parents] who will be [Child’s] parenting family to come forward and receive the Adoptive Parent candle.
Celebrant: Birthparents, adoptive parents, and child have come to together today after long and arduous journeys from different beginnings. Their beginnings unite now, in the present to form a new beginning for [Child]
[Birthmother] as a representative of [Child’s] birthparents, please light your candle from the Christ candle and return it to the foot of the cross. In doing so, you are commemorating the life you nourished from the time it was just a flicker and throughout the nine months of your pregnancy.
[Representative chosen by birthmother], please light [Child’s] candle to commemorate [his/her] bursting forth into the world for all to see. Please set it next to the images of the Holy family.
[Adoptive Parents], please light your candle and return it next to the images of the Holy Family. In doing so you are commemorating your new role as nurturers of [Child’s] life.
Celebrant: [Birthmother], please place [Child] in the arms of the couple who will be [his/her] parents.
(Birthmother places child into the arms of the Adoptive mother)
[Adoptive father], what name do you give this child?
[Adoptive father]: I name this child [Child’s new first middle and last name]
Celebrant: (places hand on child’s head)
[Adoptive Parents], as we have been received as children of God, so now receive this child as your own [son/daughter].
All: Amen.
Celebrant: Dear Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing on these families who are now joined together through this child, [Child’s new name].
Their futures may take them on different paths, but their lights in each other’s hearts will never fade.
As spoken through the scriptures in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 1, Verses 3-6:
Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens. God chose us in him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted children – such was his will and pleasure – that all might praise the glorious favor he has bestowed on us his beloved.
Celebrant: The word of the Lord
All: Thanks be to God
Celebrant: Let us pray.
All: Oh, kind and merciful Father, we ask your blessing, upon [Child’s new name]’s birthparents who gave [him/her] life. May they always feel the presence of your healing embrace. May the strength and courage of [Birthmother]’s adoption decision support her now and in the future. May she be joyful in the knowledge that she has helped to create this family. As the source of [Child’s new name]’s heritage, may [Birthmother] always be responsive to [his/her] adoptive family.
Celebrant: Let us pray.
All: Oh God, source of all life, we ask Your blessing upon [Adoptive Parents]. May [he/she] grow in wisdom and grace and enjoy continued health of soul and body. May [he/she] love others and be loved by them. We ask that [he/she] may come to know and understand the loving sacrifices of both [his/her] families. By Your grace, help [him/her] to value [his/her] birth heritage and grow through the guidance and love of [Adoptive Parents]. Look lovingly on [Child’s new name] as [he/she] integrates the gifts of [his/her] birth and parenting families. Help [him/her] to discover and cherish [his/her] own uniqueness as [he/she] sets [his/her] path on life’s journey.
Celebrant: Let us pray.
All: Oh, loving God, please bless [Adoptive Parents] as you blessed Mary and Joseph in the temple. Help this mother and father nurture this life which is entrusted to their care. Give them the wisdom to know the meaning of parenthood; the desire to include this child in their love for one another; and the fortitude to direct [him/her] with understanding. Help them to keep happiness in the home where this child will grow. Assist them as they explain to this child that [he/she] is theirs by adoption, even as we have all been adopted by You. Assist them to develop a sensitive and caring relationship with [Child’s new name]’s birthparents. Look mercifully on this couple. May the stability of their marriage and their mutual love afford their child the security [he/she] needs. May their home ever be a source of satisfaction to them. May the union of these parents and this child endure both here and in eternity.
Celebrant: Now, let us pray together as one family in the words our Savior gave us:
All: (The Lord’s Prayer) Our Father, who art in Heaven…
Celebrant: (Places hands on the adoptive family and child)
May the blessing of Almighty God, as Mother and Father of us all, descend upon you and your child and remain with you forever. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
All: Amen.
Celebrant: It is now my pleasure to introduce to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. [Adoptive father’s first and last name], and their [son/daughter] [Child’s new name].
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hey, Ana Oostwouder. that's a great ceremony because it's very important in our society so I am also a professional family lawyer in the very largest law firm which name is Samuel E.Thomas Law in Georgia. I am a very passionate lawyer because this is my passion so if anyone has a problem is life just feel free to contact me. Thank you Ana Oostwouder.
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