Special Homecomings: Welcoming Your Newly Adopted Baby
For many families, choosing to adopt a baby is not just a way of fulfilling your own needs, but also a way of being altruistic. When you bring a baby into your loving home, you are giving that little human being a chance for a whole new life; a chance to live and grow and become anything he or she wants to become. You are openly offering yourselves, your love and guidance, as well as family traditions, culture and so much more to you new little baby. Here are some ideas on how to welcome your newly adopted bundle of joy into your home and family.
1. Have a baby shower or “welcome party” after the baby arrives.
Traditionally, baby showers are thrown for an expectant mother or parents before the baby arrives. That way, you will have everything you need for your newborn and (theoretically) will be able to get some much-needed rest in the days following labor and delivery. When you adopt a baby, since you won’t have to recover from your hospital stay, why not have a baby shower in which your guests can shower you and your baby with love and gifts? This can be a great way to introduce the newest edition to your family to aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
2. Plan a “family only” day.
Before the steady stream of visitors arrives to welcome your new baby, plan special time for just the immediate family. This is an especially good idea if you already have older children. Undoubtedly, you have been preparing them for the arrival of their new little brother or sister, but once he or she arrives, plan to spend time together so everyone can get adjusted. Don’t forget to include pets in this “adjustment” period as well. Your favorite furry friends need time to get to know the newest family member, too.
3. Ask friends and family members to write a sentiment or create a drawing for your baby.
Because the day of your baby shower or “welcome party” may be a bit hectic and filled with family and friends getting to know your newest addition, ask them to take a moment to create a memorable keepsake for your son or daughter. This is something they can do before the party and bring with them, or you can set up a table at the shower where guests can write or draw their sentiments. Think of the guest book at a wedding, or a giant poster or ceramic plate that everyone signs. Then you will have a permanent record of all the welcoming wishes and loving thoughts, captured on that very day and preserved for years to come.
Perhaps you have a bassinet or doll that has been in your family for decades. Maybe it is a special Christening outfit, or a baby rattle that all the other children in your family have worn or played with. Ceremonially pass this heirloom down to your adopted baby. This expression of love and tradition is an outward sign of your family’s acceptance of the new baby into the family. If you do not already have a special item that has been passed among the babies in the family, create a tradition of your own by purchasing special item that your little one can then pass along to his or her own children in the future.
5. Make an event out of decorating a new room.
Whether this is your first baby or your third, make a big deal out of decorating his room. Maybe you are moving an older child into a new bedroom so there is space for the baby. If so, make an event out of decorating both rooms! Let your older child pick out colors and items for her own room as well as the baby’s room. Making siblings feel like they are important to the process will help them begin to bond with their new brother or sister while simultaneously recognizing how important each of them is to you, their parents.
It is wonderful to learn that more than a million children are adopted in the United States each year. When you are part of that group of very special parents, make sure you acknowledge the adoption as a major event in your family’s life, and your child will reap the benefits of growing up in a loving, caring environment right from the beginning.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell is proud of the adoptees in her own family lineage and encourages adopting couples to create new family traditions in honor of their new babies with a book, booties, baby rattle , a family photo, and other keepsakes that mark this important milestone.
Photo credit #1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/littlemoresunshine/10394126233/
Photo credit #2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vasquez/132373034/
Photo credit #3:http://www.flickr.com/photos/chelsea_nj/3438326277/