If you are like many adoptive parents, when you were going through the adoption process, the holidays were often a painful time. Getting hurtful questions from distant family members or seeing children experiencing the joy of the season were all reminders of your struggle to build a family. Now that you have become a parent, the holidays can finally be the special time they are meant to be. To make the season even more special, here are some ways to celebrate the holidays as adoptive parents.
Begin New Holiday Traditions
One of the best parts of parenting is deciding which holiday traditions you want to initiate with your new family.
Will Santa visit your house? If Santa is visiting, decide which presents will be left by Santa under the tree.
What will be in the stockings? Will it be small toys, candy as they get older, socks or pajamas?
Will you open a present on Christmas Eve? If so, what kind of present will it be? Some families open pajamas on Christmas Eve and others let the child choose. In my family, we always got to choose one present that had been sent from an out-of-town relative on Christmas Eve. Other family presents and Santa’s presents all waited until Christmas morning.
What families will you visit on Christmas? You may have visited a lot of family members in the past, but with a baby it is hard to hit all the gatherings you used to attend. Decide which families you will visit during Christmas and when you will visit them so you can set your own traditions in your home.
When you are deciding on your traditions, it might be a good idea to involve your child’s birth mother as well. She probably has some of her own family traditions that would be meaningful to incorporate into the child’s life. This can also provide your child with a connection to their birth heritage as they get older.
Take Special Holiday Pictures
Many consider family holiday photos to be an essential part of the season. In addition to taking photos with your family, you can find a way to commemorate your adoption journey at the same time. For instance, include your adoption profile in the session or hold up photos of the first time you met your child. This is also a beautiful way to announce your new family on holiday cards.
Commemorate With Family
After taking special holiday photos that showcase your adoption journey, you will probably want to use the holiday season to capture beautiful photos of your family with your new bundle of joy. At all the holiday gatherings you attend, use the opportunity to take photos and videos of your child’s first holiday season with friends and family. Another great idea is to have family members record a loving message to your child to show them in the future.
Plan A Gift Or Celebration With Your Child’s Birth Mother
The holidays can be a tough time for your child’s birth mother, especially the first holiday season after adoption. Plan to give her a special gift to thank her for the incredible honor that she bestowed upon your family. Remembering how you felt during all the holidays while you were trying to conceive may help you to find that perfect gift for your child’s birth mother as some of what she is feeling may have similarities. If your baby’s birth mother is up for it and your relationship allows, you can also plan a special holiday dinner or celebration all together.
Bio: Nicole Witt is the owner of The Adoption Consultancy (www.TheAdoptionConsultancy.com), an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within three to 12 months.
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