And this is not about me, at this point in the adoption process I have already been loved-on in many ways, but I do know that adoption can seem foreign to many people, and it need not be that way.
I know of cyber-friends who are adopting who have been left out of the love-loop, so this is for them, and for all those who come after us.
I really feel so much for a mom on my adoption support group forum who brought her older adopted child home. Apparently, there was no fan faire, no showers, no nothing.
Whoever you are reading this out there, maybe you will say "right on", or maybe you will come to some sort of a realization, I don't know, but I hope this helps in some way?
I have to hope that Jesus will speak through me on this subject matter.
God is Love, God is about adoption, God builds families!
Children whether they are birthed from your own body, or adopted from foster care, domestic, or far away lands... whether they are one-second-old when they are placed wigging in your arms, or fifteen years old and speaking another language, becoming part of your family, entering into existence as your family member is a HUGE and EXCITING milestone, NO MATTER HOW IT CAME TO BE.
Just like the mom with the growing belly, the adoption wait for the adopting mom should be supported and celebrated. The home coming should be, too.
Whether it is a simple congratulations and a hug (because it is not about material gifts), or maybe it is a meal during the long dossier writing period, or a note during the LOA wait...no matter what, it is about showing that you care and that this rite of passage is important.
Maybe you like to plan the big stuff, so bring on the balloons and shower umbrellas.
No matter what, it is important that this mom-to-be, and this beautiful, loved child be treated specially.
The mama-to-be should be treated with understanding, happiness, and love whether pregnant or adopting.
If adopting, early in the progress congratulations are in fact in order! For the love of Mike, YES!
Here is a hint: don't ask an adopting mom "so is this thing really happening?" (would you ask a pregnant lady that? hmmmmm....)
Instead, hug her and tell her how happy you are for her! :-D
Along the way.... support, cards, (of course gifts are always fun, but no one is greedy here)
All of this, it is important.
Feeling unsure since it is adoption and you are not families with that? Then just ask.
Mama-to-be does not bite (unless she has been up all night rereading the paperwork for the umpteenth time, she may nibble just a little bit...just kidding) :)
Ask if a meal would be helpful, or if they are registered somewhere (some do, some don't, but we all need and want "stuff"...hey, we all know "stuff" is fun, you know you like "stuff")
Ask if they would like a shower, or just send a note of encouragement, meet her for tea.
You get the idea.
Yes, if you are the type that normally would gift a pregnant mom some lotion, then why not the adopting mom. If you would gift the 7 month regnant mom a onesie and hair-bow, then why not the adopting mom?
If you would normally plan a shower, then why not for the 8 year old waiting to come home from Ethiopia? She will still need a nice bed set, and t-shirts, and books.
Sometimes a shower is better before travel, sometimes after the child is home. That is a personal choice. I know for us I felt before was better so we have the nursery all set. And I registered at Target and Babies R Us.
But 9 times out of 10 I bet that mom would love that rite of passage sometime, somehow.If not a "shower" then a get together at a cafe with her closest friends (they are calling those "sprinkles" now a-days).
How about sending a care package?
Meals are so helpful ! Both during paper chasing time and later (I can't tell you how many times Kev and I stared each other with bleary eyes over mounds of paper work and wondered what we would have for dinner at 9pm, with an empty fridge, because we were both working full time and burning the candle at both ends.)
I could go on, but I will not.
Here is a link to an adoption shower I thought was so adorable. I hope they don't mind me posting it (and I will respectfully remove it, if they prefer me not share it here) http://thecookingvent.blogspot.com/2010/09/baby-sammy.html
ok, just one last thought:
How much fun is it to share in a family's love and excitement?
>>REALLY FUN.<<So then, why not?