Becoming an adoptive parent is an amazing feeling. But, it can also be lonely and exhausting. It takes many months and even years of planning to build a family. And, even when someone’s parenthood dreams come true, they might feel like there are a few things that they’re missing out on as an adoptive parent.
While most adoptive families will rely on their family for support during this hectic time, a good set of friends is just as important. If someone you know has built their family through adoption, there are tons of ways that you can show you care. This is an opportunity for you to really get creative, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. No matter what you decide to do, we’re sure that your friend will love it.
If you’re having trouble thinking of some ideas, here are five things that new adoptive moms and dads could use from their supportive friends.
1. A Baby Shower
Just because your friends aren’t the ones giving birth doesn’t mean that they should miss out on the typical festivities. Many adoptive parents feel left out when they see other friends and family members celebrating pregnancy news. That can make them feel like they’re not as much of an “expectant parent” as everyone else.
Planning a baby shower for your close friend can make them feel like their parenting journey has really begun. So, don’t be afraid to take this opportunity into your own hands — even if the baby is already born. There are plenty of things that a new parent will need for their home, so don’t forget the baby shower gifts!
Of course, don’t forget to run the party by them first before you start planning. They might have a specific idea for the baby shower they’ve always wanted but have been too afraid to ask for.
Every adoptive family needs support from their loved ones. Adoption is a rewarding experience, but it can also be emotionally exhausting for hopeful parents. If you’re the friend of an adoptive parent, try to understand what they’re going through. They might not be the ones who are pregnant, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same level of care. Offer to be their shoulder to cry on or a listening ear when they need someone to talk to.
3. Your Time
A little help can go a long way. Although your friend will of course need some emotional support, there are other ways to show how much you care, too. There a ton of things that you can do to support your friend while they get ready for the new baby — and there are also some things that they’ll need once the baby gets here.
Try to think about what you would ask for if you were in their shoes. Offer to babysit, bring over a home-cooked meal, or run some of their important errands. Even if they don’t look like they need help, your assistance will always be appreciated.
4. Educated Friends and Family
The adoption process is brand new to many people. This means that you may not really know what an adoptive parent is going through. Unfortunately, that can be alienating for the adoptive parent in your life.
If you’re a close friend, there is a ton of information to help you brush up on your knowledge of adoption. You might not have time to learn everything, but showing how much effort you’ve put into it will mean the world to your friend.
5. An Adoption Party
No matter which type of adoption your friends are pursuing, celebrating the newest member of their family should definitely be on your to-do list! An adoption celebration party will thrill the adoptive parents and make the adopted child feel special and welcome. Even if it’s just a small party with a few friends and family, it can be a great way to do something special for the people you care about.
This list isn’t all-inclusive. If you’ve thought of other ways to show your friend how much they mean to you, go for it! Remember, it’s the thought that counts.