Celebrate Your Child's Adoption Day!
Ideas for a Happy Adoption Day Celebration
Your child's adoption day is a very special day of the year. It is a time to acknowledge what a gift your child is to your family and celebrate that you found each other! Some families celebrate this day on the date they brought the child home; others celebrate it on the day the adoption is final. Also, not all families have the same name for this special celebration. Adoption Day, Gotcha Day or Family Day are all being used. No matter when it is celebrated or what it is called, it is important to take time for your child's adoption day. Whether your child was adopted domestically or internationally, here are some ideas that may help to make the day feel extra special to your child.
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So many names!
What do you call your child's adoption day?
Idea #1 - Talk with your child about his or her adoption story
Most adoption experts recommend that you speak openly to your adopted child about their adoption and answer any questions they may have about how they became a part of your family or about their birth family. I have found that my kids love listening to stories about those first few days over and over again! How I had to change three very dirty diapers on an international flight without a changing table, when they first met our dog and how we came to be a forever family. Many adoptive parents create a life book for their child to describe the child's story starting at birth and explaining the child's adoption story in easy to understand words.
Idea #2 - Go out to eat
Okay, I admit! I love going out to eat! It is a great time to reconnect with your kids and talk while you wait for your dinner. If your child is adopted internationally, it may be nice to go out to a restaurant that serves the food of your child's birth country. My kids are adopted from Guatemala and even though we have found it difficult to find specifically Guatemalan restaurants, there are plenty of Mexican restaurants that serve pretty similar dishes. Where we live, there are even many Ethiopian restaurants, although I realize that may not be the case in all cities and towns, especially if you live in a rural area. If your child is adopted domestically, another idea is to just have your child pick their favorite place!
Idea #3 - Read books with an adoption theme
Books are great for kids both from an early literacy perspective as well as to learn about certain topics. The good news is more and more picture books are available with an adoption theme. These books help you to discuss adoption even with a very young child and help your child to feel more comfortable asking questions about their own story. Best of all, they are fun to read!
Idea #4 - Cook a great meal at home
If your child is adopted internationally, try cooking a meal from your child's birth country. Since my kids are adopted from Guatemala, I tried looking for a cook book with Guatemalan recipes. Lo and behold, I found one! Even though it doesn't have fancy photography, it does have a wide variety of recipes from different regions. I even found a copy of it at our local library! If your kids are adopted domestically, they will certainly appreciate it if you cook their favorite dinner. Better yet, let them help you in the kitchen and cook together!
Idea #5 - Give your child a special present
This doesn't have to be something expensive; in fact, often the most meaningful gifts don't have a price tag at all. Some families think ahead and stock up on souvenirs from their children's birth countries to give them on their adoption days. If you weren't quite this prepared, no worries! Here are some great alternatives!
There are a number of different products available with these designs. Please check www.adoptiondesigns.com for more options.
Also, if you are looking for a helpful resource of meaningful gifts with an adoption theme, please check out this site www.squidoo.com/adoption_gifts
Here are some other "Happy Adoption Day" card designs:
This poster can be easily customized with the baby's hand and footprints and other personal information. Beautiful keepsake for that first adoption day! Available in pink and blue.
Idea #6 - Plan a fun activity
Go to a place that your child loves to visit. Even if it doesn't necessarily directly relate to adoption, just have fun as a family! Go to the zoo, an amusement park or the children's museum. Last year, we went to an indoor play park with lots of climbing structures and tunnels to crawl through. The kids had so much fun on my youngest child's adoption day, that when it was time for my other child's adoption day, we went back to the same exact place again!
Idea #7 - Something sweet for your sweetie
Buy a cake or another special treat. Doesn't something sweet make your day? If you are short on time and don't have the chance to bake a cake yourself, buy a basic cake from your local bakery or grocery store in your child's favorite flavor as well as some cake decorating supplies. Add some colorful sprinkles, write "Happy Adoption Day!" with icing and voila, you have a beautiful Adoption Day cake!
Idea #8 - Play music, sing and dance
Get out the instruments and have fun! The book "Happy Adoption Day" by John McCutcheon includes the score to the lyrics of this song in the back of the book. If you don't know how to read music, make up your own tune or lyrics! Personalize your song with your child's name and include details of your child's adoption story. I can promise you that your child will not care if you are a great singer or not!
Idea #9 - Decorate the house
Balloons and streamers always create a festive atmosphere. Take some banner paper and finger paints to make your own personalized "Happy Adoption Day" banner. Add photographs from your first few days together to make it even more special. Or create a collage from each year you have spent together.
Idea #10 - Be giving
Make a donation to an organization that supports foster children in the U.S or your child's birth country. Some organizations have long-term sponsorship opportunities that allow you to help a family in need with expenses for clothing, food, medical/dental care and education. Often, these sponsorships don't just help an individual person, but can impact a family or even an entire community. If a long-term commitment is too difficult for your family to make, a one-time donation can go a long ways if many families consider this!
Have any other ideas to celebrate a child's adoption day? Please spread the word here!