World Adoption Day takes place on November 20. This usually marks a day of celebration. It’s a day when kids no longer have caseworkers following their every move. A day when they have a forever home and forever family when so much for so long may have been unknown. The certainty is cause for celebration for kids and their adoptive families.
It is also a day that is marked by one family unit ending so a new can begin. And endings can bring sadness and pain. Both the happiness of the beginnings and the sadness and anger of the endings can exist in the same day. Adoptive parents can be a source of support for their kids as they navigate through these complex emotions. How can you help prepare for this big adoption day?
Listen. When the world is moving quickly, there are many details to figure out, and you are swept up in the day-to-day tasks, listening can seem like a chore. It’s important to take a breath and give kids the space to talk. Ask them how they’re feeling, what they’re expecting the day to be like, or if they would like to do anything in particular that day. Try building time in your day by having a conversation over breakfast.
Meet your child where they’re at. Maybe they want a big bash with everyone present. Maybe they want to invite their friends. Or maybe they want to keep it quiet and intimate. As much as this day is about beginnings for your family together, it is arguably a bigger day for these kids. Put your needs aside and focus on what they need and want this day.
Empower them. Adoption day can be a great time to talk as a family about the meaning of adoption and to normalize the experience. By talking about it as a family, you create a safe space for your kids to open up rather than not discussing it and making it a taboo topic. It can be a time to answer questions about birth family on an age appropriate level. Make a life book with your kids with pictures and information about their history. This can be a wonderful bonding experience for everyone.
We want to help walk through these experiences with you. This can be an exhilarating, confusing, joyful, and intimidating time. Let us help.
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