In recent years, open adoption has not only become a more normal choice, but it has also been shown to be a healthier option for all parties involved. Some open adoptions involve sharing pictures and letters between families or maybe sometimes a phone call, but there are occasions when birth parents and adoptive families would like to be able to share visits with each other.
While becoming more common for open adoptions to involve visits, the details surrounding what a visit will look like can still be shrouded with questions. Where will we go? Who all should be included in the visit? Are there certain public places to avoid? Should I let the birth parents decide the destination? All of these questions and more can cause some hesitations, but when a visit is approached with sensitivity to both families and is well-thought out, a more enjoyable time can be had by all.
Find out in what city you will be meeting the birth parents and start from there. If you must, Google attractions or restaurants in that area or send out an all-call on social media for ideas that are family-friendly in the city you will be visiting. Do your research first. To be more helpful in planning an open adoption visit, check out these 10 ideas to see if any fit what’s best for your situation.
Animals are always interesting conversation starters and provide ongoing entertainment for all ages. Many times, you can find a zoo or aquarium, whether large or small, that will provide a full day of fun.
2. Child-Friendly Restaurant
Sharing a meal with someone meets a physical need as well as becomes an intimate time to talk and share stories. Finding a restaurant where everyone feels comfortable is good, but finding one where the children are entertained is a plus. Some have play areas while others provide coloring books and crayons. This will better ensure an enjoyable experience.
3. Trampoline Park
An activity that has become very popular and is popping up in cities large and small is trampoline businesses. You may be able to find a trampoline park near where you are meeting. If your child would be excited to participate, there are often many varieties of trampolines with different levels of difficulty so children of all ages can participate.
4. Art Studio
Another popular hobby that people are partaking in is art classes. Research if the city has any art studios that offer “Canvas and Cupcakes” or “Pancakes and Pottery” type classes. You could spend time together and create something trendy at the same time. An art studio can usually accommodate private groups if you are looking for a more personal way to connect.
Many cities have museums. Art, music, science, or sports museums can offer interesting opportunities and easy conversation while touring.
6. City Park
A city park provides free entertainment and is usually loved by most children. Parks are also not hard to find. You can arrange to bring a picnic lunch and sit and eat at the park before exploring its possibilities.
Search for a roller skating or ice skating arena near where you will be meeting. If children are old enough, this may be an option that is cost-effective and many times comical.
Bowling is a sport that is laidback and can be enjoyable even to those who lack the ability to stay out of the gutter. The atmosphere can render a lighthearted get-together as well as provide opportunities to chat with everyone who attends. Bowling alleys are also easy to find and a relatively cheap option for entertainment.
Depending on what time of year your visit occurs, try searching for an orchard or family farm business that offers a play area, petting zoo, fruit picking, and fresh preserves. A family-owned orchard or business is usually a more pleasant experience because customer service is exceptional and quality supreme.
10. Movie Theater
The movie theater is always an option, but probably would be my last choice of a meeting place. Movies are fun and provide entertainment, but don’t give the people you are with any chances to interact or communicate with one another. If your goal is to get to know the other family members, then you will have to attach dinner with the movie so that you can chat with each other at one point during the visit.
What’s best to remember is that if you choose a place where everyone is comfortable, then your visit will be more enjoyable. You can always ask the birth parents if they have any suggestions and what they are interested in before planning the day. Whatever you choose, be fully invested in the time you will spend.
Jill is a 32-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 5-year-old and 1-year-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.