Since we are still in the family-building portion of life, adoption is first and foremost in the front of daily life. We are still fostering our daughter and are less than 30 days out from adoption, so we are still having monthly check-ins and prepping for a massive pink party to celebrate her forever being ours. We try very hard to be aware of how she’s feeling about the day that it may not be all rosy. We try to acknowledge her loss while trying not to dwell on it, but grow from it.
I anticipate, as we move away from this stage of life one day, that our children won’t be as willing or excited to celebrate all aspects of their adoptions. In anticipation, much of what we do is on the down-low: helping others, stressing that they are not alone, and acknowledging that we couldn’t possibly adopt every child that needs and deserves a home.
Our kids are so, so loved—by friends, by family. And they are all great at showing love with gifts. We end up with so much wonderful stuff that, for their birthdays this year, they decided to ask for boxes of Legos instead. Since neither of our boys is particularly fond of Legos, it was easy for them to donate all the Lego sets to Do It Well, Inc. This is a nonprofit organization set up by a friend of mine in honor of her son Jeremiah. Jeremiah passed in an accident at the age of 9, and his mother donates Lego sets and Bibles in his honor to children in the hospital and children in foster care.
Each spring, we honor their birth mothers by sending them handmade crafts, treats, and cards on Birth Mother’s Day. This is the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year. We started this tradition with our first son’s birth mom, but it became increasingly moving with the addition of our second son. His birth mom communicated how special that was and how much she was mourning no longer celebrating Mother’s Day. We want our children to understand that, no matter the circumstances, they are loved by and should love on their first mothers.
A small, but fun, celebration for us is to celebrate the days they came home to us. On this day, we keep the celebration small and in our home. We talk about feelings, read some of our favorite adoption books, and tell and retell the story of the day they finally came home. Some years we have many emotions; other years we simply have joy. Either way, we want them to feel free to express all of their emotions.
Throughout the year, we honor their first paths by donating gently used, and sometimes new, clothing to our local county for children in foster care. We are very blessed to have so many willing to love on and buy for our kids that we want to share that love. When each of our two kids from foster care came home to us, they had nothing. Most of what they did come with didn’t fit or was worn, didn’t match, etc.
During the Christmas holiday, we head to our local social services office and choose tags off the trees to bless families in our community that are struggling. I have each child choose a specific tag for a child of their choice. We then go to the store, and they choose a gift for that child. They really take their time and pride in that choice. It’s such a great way to give back.
No matter what way you choose to honor adoption and the path that means the most to you, it will surely be rewarding and appreciated. Celebrating adoption gives each member of the triad an opportunity to heal and grow.
Visit Adoption.com’s photolisting page for children who are ready and waiting to find their forever families. For adoptive parents, please visit our Parent Profiles page where you can create an incredible adoption profile and connect directly with potential birth parents.