This guest post is by Paige Knipfer, an adoptive mother.
After we brought our baby daughter home, I’ll be honest: We didn’t know what we were doing.
Like a lot of new adoptive parents, we assumed we couldn’t have a baby shower. And we were reluctant to ask for one because we felt we didn’t deserve it.
But that didn’t seem right to me. So eventually we had one.
What I learned from that experience is that you need to ignore what the books and people have to say and just do what you think is right.
Just like any new parent, adoptive parents deserve to celebrate the newest member of the family and a baby shower is an awesome way to do it.
Here are three tips to help make your adoption baby shower a success.
Talk to the adoptive couple about what they want
As they go through the adoption process, some couples aren’t ready to have an baby shower.
They worry that they’ll “jinx” their birthmother match by having one before their baby comes home for good. And some may not even want one after their placement.
Respect their wishes. But let them know that having a baby shower is an option and that they’re entitled to it just like any other new parent.
In my case, I needed to be talked into ours, and I’m glad I did.
Getting it ready helped me to emotionally prepare for our daughter’s arrival.
I didn’t feel like I deserved a celebration. But focusing and working on the shower helped me get through the waiting process and made me feel less stressed.
Get creative and give gift guidance
We had three celebrations altogether: two traditional showers with family and co-workers, and a baby celebration with friends.
The celebration was like a last party before becoming parents with food, drinks, and a bonfire.
Each friend brought their favorite childhood book with a message for our daughter before her arrival.
Although a gift registry is always nice, some adoptive couples may not want to create one, and that’s okay.
If you want to get creative you can have a diaper or book party or a special themed event that revolves around something you know the adoptive parents will need.
If the couple is comfortable with it, you can also set up a fundraising site and have family and friends pitch in to help defray the adoption costs.
Keep in mind that an adoption baby shower is not that different than any kind of baby shower.
The concept is the same: celebrating a new addition to your family. So pick a theme and have fun with it!
For instance, I’m obsessed with nautical themes so that is what one of my showers was themed.
Another theme was “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” There are also lots of fun adoption baby shower ideas online on sites like Pinterest that you can check out.
Be sure to talk to the adoptive parent(s) and get their input/ideas beforehand. For the games and prizes, find ones that focus on the new addition, not the pregnancy.
For instance, we played the “Price is Right” where you had to guess the cost of simple baby items.
I would suggest having 2-3 games and getting fun prizes for the winners like candy and candles etc.
The options are endless. Our baby celebration had no games and I only opened gifts upon request. But every adoptive parent will want something different so don’t forget to run your ideas by them first.
Invites and Thank Yous
For the shower invitations, you can do them formally or just send them through Facebook. For my work shower, they were emailed and the invites matched the theme.
Also, don’t forget to help the adoptive couple out by writing down the gifts/gift giver’s name when they open the gifts so they can write thank you notes later.
At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to throw an adoption baby shower. Just be sure to encourage the adoptive couple in their journey, which can be overwhelming at times.
It’s easy for them to get wrapped up in the nuts and bolts of the adoption process and to forget to enjoy the exciting moments and milestones with friends and family. Throwing an adoption baby shower is a great way to start their adoption on a positive note!
Paige Knipfer is a trainer for a financial institution, an adoptive mom, wife, mentor to a high school student, volunteer, and avid traveler (Semester at Sea alumni). She loves to share her adoption experiences and assist anyone interested in learning more about the process @.
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