Major life events are often encapsulated by throwing parties. In fact, in the United States, celebrating friends and family through cake, gifts and games have become a well-known custom. Weddings, graduations, birthdays — the list goes on. While each important life moment comes in all shapes and sizes, depending on the individual, they make for excellent excuses to have fun with loved ones.
Baby Showers are among this list of celebrations. There’s just something about welcoming a tiny human into the world that sends everyone into a fit of joy and excitement. A close friend or family member takes charge and plans out a day where others can bless the mother-to-be with gifts while getting the chance to see her baby bump. But what about with adoption baby showers? Are those still possible for mothers who have chosen adoption to have?
When to Schedule
Choosing the perfect time to have your adoption baby shower can be a bit tricky. For one, the proposed due date may change. The baby may decide to come early, or to arrive later than anticipated. For another, you may be up to your knees in gathering all the right documentation and finishing up your home study process. Your friends and family will no doubt be itching to bless you with gifts and much needed baby supplies the second after you announce you’re adopting, but it all depends on your comfort level.
Some prospective adoptive mothers prefer to wait until the home study has been finalized. Others choose to wait until after the baby comes home. There is no right or wrong option. Every adoptive parent is different. Do what feels best for you. Coordinate with your adoption baby shower hosts, and let them know how you are feeling. Let them ease the stress and keep others at bay until you’re ready to schedule.
Announcements and Invitations
Creating announcements and invitations for adoption baby showers aren’t that different from non-adoptive baby showers. You’ll want to include the same details: your son or daughter’s name, the date of their birth, and their adoption date. If your baby is a little older, you can also add their age if you wish. Think about what wording you want to use. Instead of using “the birth of,” there are other options like, “announcing the arrival of” or “joining our family.” Invites should be mailed about three to four weeks in advance, to give everyone enough time to RSVP.
Be sure to mention, too, that your child is joining your family through adoption. This will direct the focus and help eliminate any awkward or intrusive questions. If there are any guests that have an issue with adoption, or who would use hurtful or inappropriate language at your adoption baby shower, they will have enough warning and be able to decline respectfully. However, similar to a guest list at a wedding, focus on inviting loved ones who are special to you, and who wholeheartedly support you. After all, you want to keep things as positive and memorable as possible. The adoption journey is stressful enough without a negative guest adding to that.
Focus on Baby — Not Adoption
Along those same lines, though, your baby’s adoption shower should be centered around them. Not their adoption. It’s an important part of their life, yes, but the party is about celebrating their arrival into your life. So, make sure that there are plenty of aspects that illustrate him or her, and where they came from. For instance, if your son or daughter has already arrived, share pictures of your trip across state lines. Tell everyone the story of the hospital experience, and how it felt to meet him or her the first time. Give everyone a chance to meet your new bundle of joy.
Before the adoption baby shower starts, though, consider your thoughts on having multiple people holding your child. Are you comfortable with having your baby passed around? Depending on your parenting style and how you want to bond with your child, this might not be the best idea. So, have a plan in place before all your friends and family rush to take a turn holding your baby.
Baby Registry / Gift Guidance
While you may be adopting an infant, keep in mind that babies grow pretty quickly. So, even though shopping for newborn clothing is exciting for everyone, don’t be afraid to request clothing that won’t fit your son or daughter right away. Sizes that are a few months in the future for them to grow into. Also, don’t be shy in regards to creating a baby registry. It’ll point your friends and family towards the specific items you want, and contain any redundant questions. Ask your adoption agency for any suggestions they have as well. For instance, if you have to travel at all, your adoption caseworker may recommend asking for travel-sized toiletries, games or other road trip essentials.
Something else to consider would be raising funds for your adoption agency, so that they can continue their work finding families. It’s a sweet way to give back to them and to say thank you for everything they did. Reach out to your adoption agency, and see what would be accepted — monetary donations for other birth mothers, clothing, canned goods, etc.
Adoption Baby Shower Etiquette
In the larger scheme of things, adoption baby showers are very similar to non-adoptive baby showers. The biggest difference is the absent baby bump, and that the baby being celebrated may attend the shower with his or her mother. But the overall goal is the same. Blessing you, the mother, with items needed for her and the baby, and to celebrate the incredible milestone in your life.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
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American SPCC, 25 Nov. 2016, americanspcc.org/2016/11/25/adoption-announcements-adoption-shower-etiquette/.
“Confessions of an Adoptive Mom: Tips for Throwing an Adoption Baby Shower.” Loralee Lewis, 1 Jan. 1960, www.loraleelewis.com/blog/confessions-of-an-adoptive-mom-tips-for-throwing-an-adoption-baby-shower/.
Craft, Carrie. “Considerations When Hosting an Adoption Baby Shower.” LiveAbout, LiveAbout, 23 May 2019, www.liveabout.com/hosting-an-adoption-baby-shower-26604.