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Your first summer as an adoptive parent is worth celebrating

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,...

5 tips to enjoy your first summer as an adoptive parent

Once you have a successful adoption, there are so many firsts you are excited to finally experience. While summer is typically a time for fun and relaxation, it has probably been a struggle to enjoy while going through the adoption process. Now that you have a baby, the summer vacation with your family that you have dreamed of for years is finally going to come true! You definitely want to make this summer memorable. Here are some great ways to spend your first summer as a family after adoption.

1. Enjoy a staycation

Especially if you have a sensitive toddler, traveling can be challenging with your new family. However, there are plenty of things you can do in your city to enjoy summer fun and to create awesome memories! Introducing your baby to all the cool summer activities in the area will start traditions that she will cherish as she gets older. Plus, you can take lots of pictures to look back on together!

More: 4 reasons why summer is the best time to begin your adoption journey

If you would rather spend more time at home, there are many things you can do with your new family at home that will create awesome memories. Buy a sandbox and fill it with different toys to play with. As your baby ages, she will enjoy filling up buckets with sand and burying the toys. You can also buy a kiddie pool for your backyard to cool off and splash around in the summer sun. If your baby is testing out walking, you can also buy a sprinkler for some fun playtime. Be sure to capture all these staycation memories on camera and create a photo album that you will treasure.

2. Take a short trip

You don't have to take a huge vacation to enjoy the summer! Even driving an hour away from home can present so many fun summer activities. Research some cool local spots or activities and plan a day trip. Perhaps there is a cool nature trail nearby to explore for the day. Or you can visit a water amusement park with a baby-friendly section. If there are beaches nearby, you can take your child there to explore the sand and play together in the shallow waves. These activities are immensely more fun when you get extended family involved for a day trip! A big family day trip is a great way for parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins to bond with the new family member.

More: 3 ways to avoid being offensive when talking about adoption

3. Visit out-of-town family

Summer is the perfect time to take a trip and visit out-of-town family! Whether they met your new family addition when you first brought her home or whether they have never met your baby, planning a trip to visit them is a great opportunity for family to get to know your child better. You will create priceless memories and establish beautiful relationships. Plus, it is a blast to go to a different city and explore it with your new family as you'll see familiar sites from a completely different perspective.

4. Create memories of everything

No matter what you choose to do this summer with your new family, whether it is a staycation or a trip across the country, you want to capture every special moment. This is your first summer as a family, and you want to be able to enjoy it and look back on it fondly. Take lots of pictures and create a scrapbook of all the things you did during the summer. You can also create keepsake crafts for the baby's room documenting her first summer. If you take video of the first experiences your baby has throughout the summer, you can create a DVD that will be great fun to pull out when your child brings home boyfriends or girlfriends in the future!

Another great way to capture this special time of year with your new family is to hire a professional photographer for a summer-themed photo shoot of your new family. These will make for precious photos that you can display beautifully in your home.

More: The secret no one tells you about unmarried adoptions

5. Wait until adoption is finalized before leaving the country

For those who love globetrotting or who have family outside of the country, it is important to remember that unless your adoption is finalized, you're not allowed to leave the country. If your timing is going to be cutting it close, make sure you factor in time to get the updated birth certificate and then a passport. If you do not have plenty of time for each of those steps, it's better to stay stateside for the first year. Plus, that's much easier and more cost-effective with a baby anyway.

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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