What Does an Open Adoption Really Look Like?

When a woman decides to have a baby, it only seems natural for her close friends and family members to throw a baby shower. This get-together is a great way for loved ones to express their support and help the new mother provide for her bundle of joy. Adoptive moms can often feel left out of the merriment surrounding these showers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, friends and family members could even decide to throw an adoption shower that mimics the traditional games and laughter of a baby shower.

A friend or family member who chooses to throw an adoption shower for a soon-to-be mom might have to get a little creative. After all, the circumstances are a little different for an adoption even though the joy is still the same. The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can handle your very own adoption shower. Here are a few creative ideas for an adoption shower to get you thinking about all of the wonderful possibilities.

Puzzle-Themed Adoption Shower

Many adoptive families express the sentiment that their new child was the “missing piece” of their family. This same metaphor can carry into your party planning with a puzzle-themed adoption shower. One of the most significant things you can do for the new mother is to give guests blank puzzle pieces to write their best pieces of advice on. This can be both touching and meaningful if there are several adoptive families invited to the shower.

The rest of the party can be decorated with bright colors and fun shapes that are reminiscent of puzzles. Allow your games to get guests thinking with some challenging brain benders and mind games. Send guests home with a small puzzle as a party favor or hand them out as prizes to those who were clever enough to win your games.

Emphasize Extended Family

You have probably heard it before, but it’s true that love is the very thing that makes a family. Incorporate this theme into your adoption shower by demonstrating just how loving an “extended” family of friends can be. This activity is similar to what you might see at a wedding where guests can leave their thumbprint in the guestbook. Create a giant tree and allow those who attend the shower to leave their thumbprints as leaves. This creates a tangible reminder that the adoptive family’s circle of support is so much bigger than they might see.

While this can be a special and moving moment for the adoptive parents, it also ensures that their new little one will be welcomed into a warm and loving home. The picture can be a great piece for a finished nursery or a new bedroom to show just how many people have already loved this child before he or she ever arrived.

Give Out Gift Cards

One of the hardest parts about buying gifts for adoptive families is the lack of specific details. The parents may not know just when their bundle of joy will arrive. It’s possible that they won’t even know the gender. If they are open to adopting older children, the possible needs become that much greater to handle. Instead of burdening the adoptive parents with figuring out what to tell guests, encourage everyone to bring a gift card. It isn’t as thoughtful as a tangible gift, but it will be much more useful and less overwhelming for the adoptive parents.

Make It a Family Affair

Traditionally, baby showers were only for the women. Nowadays, men want to be included in the fun and games as well. You can make your adoption shower a family affair by planning a coed and kid-friendly shindig. Plan a backyard barbecue with fun games for the kids, a little entertainment, and some heartfelt touches to remind everyone why they are gathered. Add some manly fun and plenty of time for the women to socialize if you want to keep things slightly more traditional.

This is a great way to give the new family more advice on parenting, more support for the future, and just to refresh everyone’s spirits. Adoption can be a long and arduous process at times, particularly while you wait. With a backyard bash as exciting as this one, you’ll have a much simpler time lifting up everyone’s spirits and brightening their moods.

Wait Until It’s Final

Do you hesitate to have an adoption shower until the paperwork is officially finalized? Some people prefer to have the shower when they are matched with a child because it helps them to gather some of the supplies they didn’t have. Others might find it too painful if the adoption fell through at any part of the process. It can be a delicate balance to find the perfect time to schedule your adoption shower. Talk with the adoptive parents to see what they would want if you are in doubt, but it’s always okay to wait until it’s final.

Once the adoption is finalized, your shower may look a lot more like a birthday party. You will have the child’s full name, their age, and all of the other personal details you could possibly need. This allows guests to buy more meaningful gifts such as clothing, blankets, or toys for the child. For some people who hesitate at the idea of purchasing a gift card, a post-adoption shower might be more successful. Evaluate your guest list to determine which option might be best for the adoptive family in your life.

Much like a baby shower, there are no right or wrong ways to throw an adoption shower. The adoptive parents are certain to appreciate the effort, as well as the love and support they will feel. These creative ideas will give you a starting place for how to begin planning a fun adoption shower for an adoptive mom or the entire family. Don’t be afraid to get creative or to think outside the box to come up with a theme that is all your own!

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