The day your adoption was final will be one forever ingrained in your mind. It will be a special day just like your child’s birthday or another holiday. It’s important that you celebrate this milestone each year to let your child know just how special they are and how much they mean to your family. However, you must also be sensitive to their feelings on this day. The way you celebrate Adoption Day will change as your little one grows. Here are a few ideas to help inspire you to create a memorable celebration.
Recall the Beginning
Even children as young as three or four years of age can enjoy listening to stories about how they came to your family. Spend some time on Adoption Day showing pictures of early days or telling the story of how your child became part of your family. If your child had any items from his/her birth family, now would be a good time to bring them out.
As your children get older, they may use this time to ask questions about their birth parents. In fact, you can make Adoption Day an opening for conversation by discussing their story. It may help them feel more comfortable asking you what their birth mother looked like or if their birth father was tall or short.
Celebrate Their History
This idea goes along with the first one, but in more detail if you had an international adoption or if you adopted a child from another culture. Instead of focusing on how they came to your family, focus on who they are. Take this day as an opportunity to learn about their culture. Find out what Korean foods are popular in celebrations if your child came from Korea and make them. Read about popular Chinese celebrities or leaders for your child from China.
If you adopted a biracial child or child of another race, take some time to talk to them about the history of that race. This gives them the chance to understand more of who they are as individuals and not just as your child.
Give a Meaningful Gift
Many adoptive parents celebrate Adoption Day with gifts to their child. While there is nothing wrong with giving gifts, choose one that has a special meaning. Perhaps it’s a photo album of them with their birth family if they were older when they were adopted. It may be a book about their culture or even a ring with special significance.
It’s important to recognize and celebrate the day your child came into your family. However, you must also be cognizant of the fact that it may come with mixed emotions for your child. Your child suffered a loss to be able to become part of the family, and the day may cause both sadness and joy. If you treat the day with respect and encourage open communication, this time can bring healing and a closeness that will extend into the rest of the year.