November is National Adoption Month, and one of its highlights is National Adoption Day. It’s a national effort to raise awareness for more than 100,000 kids in the foster care system, and thus far it’s helped almost 58,500 children find their forever families! In 2015, which was the 16th National Adoption Day, approximately 4,000 kids went to their permanent homes.

But National Adoption Day isn’t just a day to celebrate those associated with the foster care system. It’s a great chance for you and your child to work on your relationship with his or her birth parents. The selfless decision they made in placing their child in your care is certainly something to be celebrated!

The ways in which you celebrate National Adoption Day with birth parents depend, of course, on the type of relationship you have. But no matter the degree of contact, we’ve got some suggestions to help you honor the holiday.

  1. Meet up with the birth parents. If you have a relationship that includes in-person visits, it’s a great chance for everyone to catch up. If the weather’s nice enough, a picnic in the park followed by playing in piles of leaves is always a pleasant afternoon. If it’s chilly, you can always grab dinner or some hot chocolate. Giving them the chance to see the family you’ve built and the happy environment they placed their child in may be the best gift you can give to them.
  2. Schedule a phone call or Skype chat. If your child’s birth parents live far away, or if in-person visits aren’t part of your adoption plan, try scheduling a Skype session or a phone call. Letting the birth parents hear your child’s voice (whether he or she is speaking or just cooing) is an excellent way to let them know they’re on your mind.
  3. Send a care package. If your relationship with your child’s birth parents consists of updates in the forms of pictures and letters, now is a great chance to send a special one! Maybe include an extra picture or two, and update them on how your child is doing. Homemade cards are always an adorable idea if your child is old enough to draw!
  4. Start a journal. Having no contact with the birth parents doesn’t mean you can’t think of them on this special day. Try starting a journal and write a letter to them. You can tell them what is going on in your child’s life, how you’re feeling and how appreciative you are of the immense gift they gave you. You don’t have to send it. Hang on to the journal and make it a National Adoption Day tradition! It could be a nice gift for your child one day, or just a therapeutic exercise for yourself.

No matter what method you choose to honor National Adoption Day, make sure you do celebrate it! Adoption and the process that brought your family together is special, and it’s a great chance to show your child how proud you are of that. Enjoy!