Traditions are opportunities for family members to bond with one another and create memories. For adoptive families, traditions are also a way to commemorate the adopted child’s roots. An adopted child can develop a strong sense of identity if you incorporate activities that celebrate the child’s birth culture. Here are a few traditions that adoptive families can engage in:
1. Have a baby shower.
Baby showers provide a platform for friends and family members to support the adoptive parents and celebrate the occasion. It is common for adoptive parents to throw the baby shower after the baby has been born and the adoption has been finalized. Depending on whether the adoption is open, adoptive parents may incorporate aspects of the birth family in this celebration. It’s also a good idea to give the baby tokens and keepsakes from your adoption journey, as well as items that help the baby understand his or her heritage. This will remind the child that he or she was searched for and loved even before you met.
2. Celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
For adoptive parents, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can bring up a lot of emotions since those parents have been looking forward to these holidays for a while. Each family does something a little different, but whether you’re going out to dinner or enjoying casual activities at home, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are great times to establish traditions that celebrate the adoption. If you chose an open adoption, you may also want to celebrate the birth parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. If you have a post-placement agreement with the birth parents, you might send a letter and photograph to them, letting them know what has been happening in the child’s life.
3. Make an adoption book.
To incorporate the adoption story into everyday life, create a storybook that explains the adoption process to your child. You may even want to let your child help create the book. In the adoption book, include where the child’s story began by showing pictures of the child’s city of birth and, if possible, birth family. You should also include pictures of your life before the adoption, and then tell the story of how you found your child. It’s a good idea to include information from your adoptive parent profile, or a picture from when you first met the birth mother. Then you’ll want to describe the day you met your child: the series of events, the hospital and any other memories you have of the day. End by talking about bringing the baby home and beginning your life as a family.
4. Create a memory box.
Integrating the child’s birth culture with the adoptive family is extremely important, and starting a collection of pictures and items can be a great way to do so. Fill the box with items related to the adoption as well as items related to the child’s birthplace or birth family. To keep the tradition going, regularly add family pictures and items that are related to any important family memories. Let your child help out by creating crafts and paintings to put in the box.
5. Celebrate your adoption anniversary.
One common tradition among adoptive families is to celebrate the anniversary of your adoption, which is often referred to as “Gotcha Day,” “Family Day” or “Adoption Day.” There are a number of ways you can celebrate this day. You can engage in family activities, throw a party or donate to an adoption organization in the your child’s name. The important part is that you celebrate the adoption process and the day that your child came into your lives.
Every family has its own traditions. There is no right or wrong way to bond with your adopted child. If you’re looking for some traditions to engage in, these ones will likely help you to give your child a strong sense of identity and create a deep family bond.