When adoption day finally arrives, the excitement an adoptive family typically feels is electric. Once the legal proceedings are complete, you can take photos to capture the mood and the moments. Next, it's time to celebrate the event with those close to you. You’ll likely want to make the day a memorable one complete with mementos that you can share with your new family addition in the years to come.
Invite family and friends to your home immediately after the adoption proceedings for a welcome party. Even if the child has been living in your home for months -- or years -- the finalization is an important milestone. Have a barbecue out back or a buffet lunch or dinner in the dining room. Make an honorary and commemorative gesture such as planting a tree, inserting a copy of the adoption decree in her life book, or adding a commemorative charm to her bracelet.
Have a baby shower in your adoptive child's honor. A shower is a wonderful way to gather all the items a new baby or older child needs -- and also allows everyone the opportunity to meet the new addition to your household. You can ask guests to bring specific items that commemorate the occasion such as a child's bible with your child's name inscribed in it as well as the date of his adoption finalization, or a children's book about adoption.
Plan a picnic at a local park or playground or take a weekend trip to the beach, especially if there are older children in your family and you're just celebrating with your immediate family. This will mark the occasion as special and will help all family members retain fond memories of the event -- especially if you videotape moments together or just take lots of family photos. Remember, adoption day is not just about the new child; it's is about the entire household coming together as a close-knit family unit. Choose a location where it will be easy to celebrate the adoption anniversary again in the future.
Choose a restaurant and invite everyone involved with the adoption to enjoy a meal to celebrate. If your new child is from a different country, you might wish to choose a venue that reflects her ethnicity. You also might have your immediate family dress to reflect your new addition's culture. Again, preserve the memories by taking advantage of all photo opportunities. You might even consider hiring a professional photographer to take some family photos.
Send out adoption announcements. Some families may prefer to keep their family activities private but still want everyone to know about their new addition. If you simply send out announcements, friends and relatives can call or write to congratulate your family -- or even send gifts if they are so inclined.
- Realize that being a guest of honor in a large celebration can be overwhelming to a child. If you're adopting a child who is shy, take that into consideration when planning the festivities.
- Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images