Adoption is a significant event in a family’s life. Around one-third of all adoptions in the U.S. happen in single-family homes, but all are causes for celebration. As the ultimate summation of months (and even years) of unforgettable moments — the day your child is born, the day you get the call, the day you first meet each other, the day he or she comes home, and the day your adoption is finalized –, your child’s adoption anniversary deserves to be honored in an exciting and wonderful way. Here are some unique and thoughtful ideas that can help you do just that.
Go Somewhere Special
Family is about togetherness. If you’re going to be celebrating the day you added a new member to that family, nothing makes more sense than a family vacation or trip. Get your child involved in the decision-making process regarding where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing there; although you may like the idea of the Pocono Mountains and its 2,400 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests, your child may be interested in the hustle and bustle of New York City. Remember, you don’t always have to go far; the goal is to be together and have fun, and that can happen anywhere.
Host A Celebration
As parents, the day you signed the adoption papers or brought your new child home means everything to you; it makes sense that you’d want to throw a party in celebration of the momentous event. Invite other friends and family members over for the festivities. Encourage the exchanging of small, yet meaningful gifts for the newest member of the family (but be sure to let everyone know in advance — around 25% of Americans wait until the last minute to purchase gifts!), at least for the first anniversary. This is the perfect time to start traditions: retell the adoption story, take an annual family photo, light a candle honoring your child’s birth family, read a favorite adoption book, or find another way to celebrate such a special day.
While your child’s adoption day is certainly a happy event for you and your family (and therefore something you want to devote time and attention to), your child may have mixed feelings, especially as they grow older. Always involve your child in the day’s events and listen to their wishes — if they don’t want a big bash, make sure the day is quieter and more personal. If your child is feeling particularly blue, consider the adoption of a family pet; Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog breed due to their ability to get along with kids of all ages. They offer a way to attach a positive experience to the concept of adoption, teaching your child how wonderful it can be.
Adoption anniversaries offer an opportunity for the whole family to celebrate the day they got just a little bit bigger. Regardless of what you and your child decide to do, what matters is that you’re together.