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Nursery Shower
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Ducky Shower
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Winnie the Pooh
Noah's Ark
Baby's First
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Baby Sprinkle 2nd, 3rd baby
Peas in a Pod Twins
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Baby as Special Guest
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Couples Men are invited
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Candy Land
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Little Lamb
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Ideas from our Visitors
     
 

International Adoption Shower by Kate
Big Brother or Sister by Lynda Studey
Tips For Mom to Be by Colleen
Mom and Dad Baby Shower by Kim
Diaper Party for Mom and Dad by Jeni
Child's Library by Rachelle Lynch

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Baby Shower Gifts

 

Adoption Baby Shower

By Sirena Van Schaik

When a new child is joining the family through adoption, some people wonder if they can celebrate it with a baby shower.  That is partly because the thought of a baby shower often brings to mind images of a bursting pregnant woman who is getting ready for her big day, the delivery of baby.  We rarely think of a trim (or not so trim) mom getting ready to finish dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s to make sure that her new baby will safely arrive to his or her new home.  For this reason, adoptive parents are sometimes forgotten in the grand scheme of baby showers.

The very first thing that you should realize is that the fears and anxieties that new adoptive parents face are the same as new parents.  You worry about your abilities as a parent, if you will accomplish everything that child needs, if you will provide a better life for him or her, and so on.  The list is endless, and adoptive parents need to feel the love and support of their family and friends just like a new mom does.

The main difference between an adoption shower and a traditional baby shower is that many are held for the family after the child has arrived to his or her new home.  One reason is because this avoids any heartache if the worst case scenario does occur and the adoption does not happen. Another reason is because there will be so many people wanting to meet the newest member of the family, and a baby shower is a perfect opportunity to get together. However, it is also perfectly acceptable to have the shower before the child arrives into his or her new home. Parents will be experiencing a wide range of emotions during this time, and so preferences on timing may vary from couple to couple. Some may welcome a baby shower before the child arrives so that they can surround themselves with supportive friends and family. Others may prefer a date after the child has had a chance to settle into his or her new home. Whether to have the shower before or after is a matter of personal choice for the new parents so it would be best to simply ask them which they prefer.

Not all children who are adopted are babies so does this mean that we do not have a baby shower if the child is 4 or 5 or even older?  How old is too old for a baby shower?  The answer is no age.  Adapting to a new home can sometimes be harder for an older child than it can be for an infant (remember that this is a general rule and every situation is different).  Many older children are unsure of their place in their new family, especially the extended family, and an adoption shower can help confirm for them that they are wanted by all.

The older the child gets, the more your adoption shower will change.  The games will become ones that children can play with the adults, your food will be kid friendlier and your decorations will be ones that appeal to both adults and children alike.

When you are sending out the invitations for an adoption shower, you should word it so that guests are aware that it was an adoption.  I would say, “There are many children in the world, some that arrive here from our bellies and others that are special gifts from another.  The Smiths’ are happy to introduce a child that has not grown inside them but will grow inside their hearts for the rest of their lives.”  You could also do an invitation with the words, “God has gifted the Smiths’ with the child that they wanted so very much, born in another’s house but brought to the home where (s)he was destined to be.”  You don’t have to shout from the rooftops that the child is adopted but you can word it so it is beautiful and caring.

Generally, an adoption shower is also a Couples Shower since adoption is more of a shared journey than pregnancy is. (I apologize to anyone who takes offense to this but as much as I love my husband I know that through most of my pregnancy, he was in the spectator’s chair, cheering me on, throwing the tennis ball back into my court whenever it went out but for the most part he sat back and said, “whew, you were definitely on an emotional rollercoaster.”  I also know that many other fathers are in the same spectator’s chair.)   With adoption, both parents are going through the same experience, they both go to the countless meetings, agonize over whether this is the right choice for them and both go through the stress symptoms of adoption.   Since they share so much in adopting, it is only appropriate for both mom and dad to be at the shower with their newest child.

Now that we have gone over a few of the details surrounding an adoption shower, let’s look at the etiquette.  One of the biggest problems that can arise is whether or not everyone agrees on the adoption.  If there are members of the extended family that do not agree with the adoption, make the decision on whether or not you will be inviting them.  I suggest stressing that this is a decision that was right for the mom and dad, and since you are celebrating the new family member, you ask that any conflicting thoughts on this matter be left out at the shower, especially if the child is older and is aware of what is being said about the adoption.

Another etiquette thing to mention is to state whether the parents have signed a sealed adoption or have an open adoption.  Today, many families are opting to allow the birth parents to have access to the child.  If this is the case and the adoptive parents want the birth parents present, you will need to get the information together to invite them.  If the adoption is closed, then you should mention that the parents would prefer not having any particulars discussed around the child. 

Finally, be sensitive to the stress that the child is under.  The parents may also feel a bit overwhelmed with questions, going through their own stress.  If the adoptive child looks upset or stressed, save the parent from the crush of questions and let them know kindly that they seem a bit stressed.  It will mean the world to both the child and the new parents that they have others looking out for their best interest.

When it comes to planning an adoption shower, you can make it a traditionally themed shower or Baby as Special Guest or a combination of both.  You design it around the needs of the new family and what will make it comfortable for them.  If they have adopted from another country, add in a few familiar items that the child will recognize from their homeland.  This will bring them comfort and give your guests lots to talk about.

Remember, have fun and congratulate the new parents because they have finally had the chance to complete the family they had always wanted.

For more information, please visit the baby shower Q&A.

 

Have you ever been to or hosted an adoption baby shower? Tell us about it!

 


 

 

 
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Baby Shower Resources:

Shower Invitations and Personalized Napkins for your baby shower.

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