Adding a new member to the family is always a reason to celebrate, no matter how you’re going about it. Gaining a new family member though adoption is just as significant as having a child biologically. However, there are obviously going to be some differences in how you prepare for the arrival of that child. One of these differences comes in the form of a baby shower.
When should we have an adoption shower?
When a couple has a child biologically, they may have a better idea of what to expect than parents pursuing an adoption. With this in mind, it may be better to have an adoption shower after a child has been placed with a family. Why? Well, there are actually a few reasons.
- In many adoption scenarios, the parents don’t know when they’ll receive an adoption opportunity. It could take days, and it could take months. If a couple is already anxiously awaiting an adoption, it could be painful to have an adoption shower and then have to wait six more months for a match.
- For a traditional baby shower, you can usually bank on the parents needing similar items — diapers, carriers, cribs, etc. In an adoption scenario, though, it’s possible that the child will be older and will require different items.
- While American Adoptions does everything it can to prevent an adoption disruption, it’s possible that an adoption won’t go through after a couple has been matched with a pregnant woman. If you’ve already had an adoption shower with a specific child in mind, and then that woman decides to parent, this might only serve to make your disappointment even worse.
What games should we play at an adoption shower?
Some of the games played at a traditional baby shower probably won’t make sense at an adoption shower. For example, if the baby is already with the family, then any guessing games about birthdays or weights will be off the table. And the new mom will probably not appreciate any games that involve guessing the size of her stomach. This might be a good opportunity to play up the adoption theme, though.
Adoptive Families suggests playing a game of adoption-themed trivia, with tasks like naming famous people who are adoptive parents or more personalized adoption questions specific to the couple. Keep in mind, though, that if the baby has already arrived, people may be more interested in taking turns holding them than playing games!
What should a gift registry for an adoption shower look like?
Quite simply, it should look however you want it to! If you’re an adoptive parent reading this, you should know it’s okay to register both for things you need and things you want, just like any new parent. Sometimes parents prefer to wait a few weeks after their child is placed with them to have a shower, just for the chance to acclimate the baby to his or her new home. If that’s the case, you may already be set for a while on things your baby actually needs.
If this is the case, and you don’t feel like there’s anything you need for your baby at this point, this might be a good chance to embrace the adoption theme. You can register for children’s books about adoption, or informational books about parenting adopted children. If you know of other couples who are beginning the adoption process, this could also be an amazing chance to help them fundraise. Instead of asking for gifts for your family, you could suggest a donation to another family’s adoption fund. This could also be a good chance to help raise money for an organization that benefits children.
The bottom line when planning an adoption shower is that it should be whatever the parents are comfortable with. If you’re hoping to throw a shower for family members or friends, simply ask them what they’d prefer. There are a lot of emotions that go along with adoption, and it’s going to be difficult to predict their preferences in this situation. When it doubt, just ask!