Having a baby shower is something many expectant moms look forward to.

But when a parent is expecting via adoption, it can be difficult to plan a baby shower because often times there’s no timeline, no specific age or gender and no guarantee that the adoption plan will be fulfilled.

Still, celebrating your friend or family member’s choice to become a parent through adoption is important, and there are ways to be creative in the process.

Here are a few tips for hosting an adoption baby shower.

1.       Be intentional with language

Be intentional with your party planning. Don’t reference pregnancy or childbirth. Instead, focus on welcoming a new child into the family.

2.       Specify the age of the child

If your loved one is adopting a baby or an older child, make sure you specify it in the invitation so guests can seek out age-appropriate gifts. By the way, some graphic designers offer discounted invitations and announcements for adoptive families.

3.       Consider a “Welcome Home” shower

Because adoptions can fail or timelines can change, it may be a better idea to wait until a child is home with his/her family before showering the new family with love and gifts. Before doing so, however, ask the new parents when they’re most comfortable introducing their child to a group of people. Make sure they have the time they need to start forming a healthy relationship with their child.

4.       Brainstorm a personalized theme for the family

Honor the heritage of the new child’s homeland and incorporate food and décor from his/her home state or country. Did the new family travel by air? By car? Are they thrilled to be done with paperwork? Consider personalized items (like these cookies from Purdy Cookies) to celebrate the uniqueness of their adoption journey.

5.       Be creative

Ask guests to bring a frozen meal for the new family or children’s books with an adoption story-line instead of cards. Consider hosting a gift card shower instead of a traditional baby shower, particularly with new parents of older children or new foster parents. Gift cards for local restaurants or movie theaters make for fun memories.