Sunday, November 12, 2017

Celebrating Adoption ~Ideas for Couples and Families

November is just a few days away and we are seeing the sights of the upcoming holidays as we visit retail shops or go online to read blogs, visit Pinterest or shop amazon.   But November brings another reason to celebrate.  November is National Adoption Awareness month.   A whole month dedicated to the amazing work of adoption.   It seems so fitting to have adoption month come in the same month as Thanksgiving.   Adoption brings much to be thankful for!
So what can we do as couples and families to celebrate this precious wonder in our life?  
The list is long and the options are endless!
 Here are a few ideas.

Celebrating Adoption with Birth Families
  • Invite your child’s (or children’s) Birth Families over for a special “Giving Thanks for Adoption” dinner.   You could serve a traditional Thanksgiving type dinner or serve a favorite family meal
    Or use recipes given to you from your children’s Birth Families.
  • Serve and share your children’s favorite recipes with your dinner guests.    This would be something your kids could help with and would be a special gift to their Birth Parents.  If you wanted to go a step further you could create a “family favorites “ cookbook and give each Birth Parent a copy.   The kids could help create the book and decorate it themselves.
  • Invite Birth Family members over for an Adoption Family Fun night where you play games, watch movies and share your kids favorite treats.   Ask Birth Family members to bring their favorite family games and treats.   This is a great way to learn about one another’s family gathering traditions.
  • If your children’s Birth Parents live far away you could create a special care package with meaningful items to let them know they are loved and you are thinking of them during this special month.  You could use the cookbook idea or single recipes to send to them along with a homemade apron or treats.  Go with your personality and share what fits for them.

Celebrating Adoption in your home

·         Place adoption books, magazines and/or movies that mention adoption (for all ages) in a basket and place it in a common area of your home.   Read an adoption book a day to your child or children.   Watch the movies together as a family.
Here are a few of our families favorite Movies and Books:
Adoption Book and movie Basket.  Great way to highlight adoption at home.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
The Blind Side
Despicable Me
Man of Steel
Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
Once Upon a Time – And Adoption Story by Ashley Bigler
The Very Best Thing for TJ by Halene Dahlstrom
My Parents Picked Me! By Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker
I Love you More than Tongues Can Tell by Znne T. Zwicker Megan by Jack Weyland
For the Love of a Child by Monica Blume and Gideon Burton

·         Decorate your home with adoption sayings, cute banners or special pictures of your children, your family and your children’s Birth Families.
·         Pull out picture books or scrapbooks and take time to look through them with your child or children. 
Here is the invite we are using for our adoption celebration.  


You can grab this printable here.
·         Hold a “We’re NUTS about Adoption” gathering.   Have a “Peanuts” style Thanksgiving dinner.   This could be just a family gathering or you could invite birth families, extended families and neighbors.   It could be as big or small as you wish.   Diana over at blog shares some really cute ways to create a Peanuts style thanksgiving dinner.  From invitations to a popcorn turkey…she has gathered great ideas from many other blogs and put them in one place.    The ideas would work perfect for this type of event.  We are going to try this idea out this year.  We think it is going to be a hit! 

Don’t have children in your home just yet?
You can tailor any of the ideas listed to meet your circumstances or create something entirely different.   Here are a couple ideas:
·         Hold a “Grateful for Hope” dinner.  Invite people who are supportive of your efforts.   You could make it formal or hold a party style dinner.   Have fun and make it whatever you want.   This would be a great time to remind our family and friends you are trying to adopt and let them know how they can help you in your efforts.  

·         Create an adoption book club for a whole year or even just a book or two for November.   You can invite couples who have already adopted or make it a club for couples working towards an adoption.

November is a great time to advocate for adoption
Anytime you can help someone in your community understand what adoption really is about you are helping protect the future of adoption.   Here are a few ideas you can do in November or plan to do throughout the coming year.
  • Make a video portraying adoption as a positive option.  Create something touching and educational then share it on YouTube and other social media sites.
  • Create an adoption awareness week in your area.   This could include workshops where people can learn about the adoption process, a birth parent panel  and/or something fun at your local library where kids who were adopted can come and create a craft or have adoption related stories read to them.  
  • Hold a craft night for women who love adoption. Birth Mothers, adoptive mothers, adoptees etc  can come together to create and chat.
  • Write articles for a local newspaper or blog.   Share your story.  Personal stories touch hearts.
  • Help with school outreach.
  • Hold a 5K fun run.   This creates awareness and it something fun anyone can be involved with.
  • Hold an adoption open house where people can come and ask questions.  Invite local agencies and organizations to come and be part of educating your community.
  • Attend adoption activities sponsored by adoption organizations United For Adoption holds their Annual Adoption Conference in November.

The list could go on and on.   Do something that fits you and your situation
Some of my family’s favorite moments together have been while promoting and celebrating adoption.   Adoption is something each of us have in common and serving together for this great cause has brought us great joy!  

Adoption is truly something to celebrate!

Brenda Horrocks is a mother of four children through adoption. She promotes adoption, foster care and Utah's Safe Haven Law through blogging, public speaking and writing. She enjoys time with family, reading books, running, gardening and movies. You can visit her blog here.

*Originally written for Forever Bound Adoption Website.

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