When we were waiting for L&D’s adoption to be final and for them to come home from Guatemala our nieces threw us an awesome baby shower. After all, we were first time parents and expecting ‘kinda-twins’. Two infants within 3 mo of each other. We were so lucky and appreciative of all the love and support we received from friends and family.
The truth is only about 2% of the US population adopts, even less become foster parents, and less than that end up adopting their foster children. That means more than 98% of the population may be at a loss as to how to show support to new adoptive parents.
I recently took a class on foster-to-adoption. In the class they spoke about when we ‘claim’ our children. For adoptive parents it’s usually not when the papers are signed and they are ‘legally’ ours. It’s in that moment we decide to love them unconditionally, care for them, and bring them into the fold of our family forever. From that day forward they are ours!
I was recently at a baby shower for a great friend. I adore her and her husband, and they are expecting their first child. There were balloons, and toasts, and stuffed animals…and anticipation. The love and support that showered this couple was beautiful and deserved. There I sat with babygirl…all snug in her sling. She had just called me Momma for the first time that morning. But for us…there are no stuffed animals, or toasts to mark a special day of support, but I felt no-less a new Mother.
When our 3 new children came to us…we didn’t even think it was going to be permanent. When we made that choice for them to join our family, and our hearts ‘claimed’ them, there weren’t cards of congratulations overflowing from our mailbox, or baby booties wrapped in ribbons. After all, one of our new children is already 5.
So…not sure what to say to the new adoptive parents…what to do…what did you say to the last person in your life that just gave birth to a new baby…or the couple that just got married and started their journey…Congratulations!
*This is meant to educate on an unfamiliar topic. If you area friend/family member of ours plan on coming to an adoption ceremony next spring to help us ‘formally’ celebrate the LOVE of our new family! Until then…it’s OK to say congratulations…We just became parents to 3 new children!