Fall is in the air. Thanksgiving is around the corner. November is here, and that also means it is National Adoption Month. Each year, adoptive families, birth parents, and professionals alike celebrate this meaningful observance and acknowledge the positive choice of adoption. Adoption is an act of love. It allows families to grow, children to flourish, and birth parents to provide their baby – and themselves – with a brighter future.
Gathering may be a little harder this year, due to the global pandemic, but that does not mean families cannot observe National Adoption Month at home. There are still plenty of creative ways to mark the life-changing experience that touches so many lives. Read on, as we share 10 fun and creative ways to honor adoption this National Adoption Month.
The easiest way to help support adoption and spread the word about this incredible choice is through social media. Share your family’s adoption story – including whatever details you feel comfortable sharing – on your favorite social networking platforms. You may also share statistics about the thousands of children waiting to be adopted, particularly those in foster care. Be sure to use the hashtag #NationalAdoptionMonth to boost your post’s visibility within the adoption community.
Catch a Flick
There is nothing quite like watching a feel-good adoption story on the big screen. Since this is probably not possible given the pandemic, you can easily make it a great night at home. Fill up your favorite bowl of popcorn, grab a blanket, and cozy up on the couch for a family movie night! There are plenty of family-friendly films that feature adoption storylines. You can enjoy the entertainment and then take the opportunity – post-screening – to talk about adoption with your child.
With Christmas around the corner, families may enjoy the holiday classic, “Elf”. If you are looking for a laugh, you may appreciate “Instant Family”, and mature audiences will enjoy the Academy Award-nominated film, “Lion.”
Read a Book
Now that fall has arrived, it is a great time to warm up some hot cocoa or apple cider, and curl up with a good book. There are plenty of great children’s books about adoption to help open up conversations with your child at home. You can also make finding a new book a family activity. Sit down and browse your favorite book store’s website to find the perfect piece of literature that the whole family will enjoy. Can we give a few titles here?
Time to break out the craft scissors and glue stick . To have some fun time with your little one off-screen, you can create an arts and crafts project that celebrates his or her adoption. Some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Make an adoption-themed t-shirt
- Design a mug with your favorite adoption quote or family names and adoption dates
- Capture your child’s handprints (with paint) on a canvas to hang on the wall
You may decide to feature the artwork at home, or send a craft to your child’s birth mother, if you have an open adoption arrangement. This will be a fun way to engage your child in his or her adoption story.
If you have not done this already, engage your child in creating the Life Book.
There are many ways in which adoptive families may give back to the adoption community. You may donate to your favorite adoption agency or foster care program. If you cannot donate funds, consider donating your time with a local adoption support group. Or give the agency a ‘shout out” or review on social media.
With the holidays around the corner, you may also choose to help another family in need. Your family can get into the giving spirit by collecting needed items for your local foster care organization. You could also surprise a local foster family with a meal or gift cards.
Put it Into Words
Write a letter to your child’s birth parent, or – if your child is old enough – have your child write a letter themself. This is the perfect month to give thanks and show appreciation for the person who helped bring your child into your life. It is also the perfect way to honor your child’s birth parent, and bring a smile to their face.
Honor Cultural Heritage
Another way to celebrate and honor your child’s adoption is to celebrate their cultural heritage. Make a meal together that comes from your child’s ancestors’ home country or culture. Read a book about this heritage, watch a documentary about it, or join a group that celebrates this culture within your own community. Connecting your child with others who share this background is important and should be a priority in your adoptive parenting journey.
If you are feeling “Bored in the House,” as many are these days, you can take advantage of the extra family time to connect and share personal stories together. Share some of your favorite memories around the start of the adoption – such as the first photographs of your child as an infant or the first time you met your child’s birth mother, or the first reaction you had when you knew he was going to be your baby. These little recollections mean a lot to your child and will help strengthen your bond.
Start a New Tradition
National Adoption Month is the perfect time to start some new traditions in your household. Whether you decide to donate to a particular adoption group or make a night of sharing a special meal and sharing stories together, choose some special Adoption Month traditions that you can look forward to for many years to come.
Launch a New Group
Whether you have a transracial adoption, you are an LGBTQIA adoptive family, or you simply do not see many adoptive groups in your town, you can take this opportunity to make your own support group. You can take to social media to create a page for your group, and – during the pandemic – set up virtual chats to connect with other adoptive families within your community.
These are just a few ideas to help you celebrate National Adoption Month. Whether you reach out to your child’s birth parent on Zoom, share your story with social media, or just spend some extra time honoring your child’s cultural background, there are many different ways to make the most of National Adoption Month 2020. A global pandemic cannot stop the celebration of something so important and positive.
If you would like even more ideas for connecting with your child during National Adoption Month, reach out to Adoptions With Love. Reach out to us any time at 800-722-7731, text 617-777-0072, or contact us online.