Finally, it’s your much-anticipated adoption day! After all the mounds of paperwork, background checks, personal references, praying and waiting, it’s finally here. It is time to CELEBRATE!!! So what can you do besides “Gotcha Day” that will last over the years? It needs to be fun for the kids, memorable for the adults, and meaningful to all of those involved. Of course you can throw the cliché “Gotcha Day” party, but if that’s just not your thing here are some other ways to celebrate adoption day!
1. Plant a family tree! This is a great idea to commemorate such a wonderful occasion. The tree can serve as a reminder day after day of your family and the commitment you’ve made to grow together. Kids can be involved, helping to dig the soil and water it daily. And adults appreciate the symbolic reminder year after year as the tree continues to flourish.
2. Buy a new set of Christmas Stockings, Easter Baskets, Halloween Bags or any other traditional Holiday item (depending on the nearest season) and personalize it! Kids love to see that they belong and having their name on an item that matches the rest of the family is a fun way to express this idea.
3. Make a set of dinner plates! Lots of places offer pottery painting these days. Find your local studio, grab the family, and spend an afternoon working on your masterpieces. Each family member can create a plate that’s unique to them, and together you will have created a beautiful new set of dinnerware to enjoy each night as a reminder of your adoption day.
4. Family Photo! This one is you could’ve come up with on your own, but it is so important to take photographs for big days like today. Perhaps you could invite caseworkers, the children’s attorneys, or their birth parents to join in–the more the merrier! It takes a village, so how nice it would be for the children to see a huge photo of all of the people that love and care for them.
5. Potluck Picnic! In the way you have blended your family, you can also blend a party plan. Rather than go it alone and do it yourself, why not ask each guest to bring one decoration and one food item to share? This eclectic and fun idea can really bring out some fun for everyone–show how you can make everything work together. (And save you some time and money too!)
6. Date Night! This might not be the only option you choose, but it should be one of them–especially if you’ve adopted a younger child or baby. It is important for you and your significant other to celebrate the both of you as well or if you are single, to take care of yourself! Take the time to breathe and refresh without the little ones in tow. There is nothing wrong with recognizing that this adoption was a whirlwind for you too!
7. Sidewalk “repair!” What is more precious than little hand prints in the concrete? Capture this time by adding the families handprints to either a piece of your front walkway or even make a garden stepping stone where you could leave these imprints. Twenty years from now, you’ll be so glad you did when you look back at this moment!
8. Take some time off! Spend a nice long weekend away together! Bring some fun games to play that focus on how well you know each other or just take the time to be silly together and unwind. Not able to get away? Take a day off work, make a big breakfast, and stay in your PJs all day! Make it a yearly “ditch day” and forego the hustle and bustle of everyday for the celebration of your adoption. Even if your “ditch day” falls on a day you don’t necessarily have any work, school, or plans, add it to your calendar and make sure the family knows that when the day comes up nothing will be scheduled on it!
Happy Adoption Day friends! No matter what you choose to do, enjoy every minute of it!