A Birth Mother's Take on National Adoption Month — Part 3
National Adoption Month is a time for everyone who has been touched by adoption to celebrate children in foster care being gifted with forever homes. Across the country, finalization hearings taking place in November are extra special. To help celebrate, organizations like NationalAdoptionDay.org offer the opportunity through their website for anyone to organize a National Adoption Day event. In this way, anyone can get involved in National Adoption Day 2018!
Anyone Can Celebrate National Adoption Month
Birth mothers, like me, may find different ways of celebrating the national holiday — and that is always our right. But, birth mothers across the nation are also encouraged to celebrate in more creative ways like gifting their children something memorable, educating friends and family on the benefits of adoption, or doing something special to encourage their own healing process. No matter how a birth mother celebrates National Adoption Month 2018, it is most important to remember that healing should be a personal and healthy journey, and that love is not defined by flesh and blood.
While birth mothers are an integral part of the adoption triad, they’re not the only ones celebrating National Adoption Month.
How Adoptive Families Can Celebrate National Adoption Month
Adoptive families are the ones who this holiday is celebrating, so they have a big reason to join in the fun! Many adoptive parents are required to sacrifice financially and waive their privacy in order to even qualify as a waiting family with a profile for any adoption agency. Regardless of where adoptive parents choose to adopt from, it takes a large amount of faith and effort to become parents, and that is something that deserves to be celebrated!
Adoptive families can do many things to celebrate National Adoption Month. This could mean anything from creating a family adoption craft to hosting an adoption event in their community. Here are some great ideas for ways your adoptive family can enjoy National Adoption Month:
- Start an Adoption Month family tradition. Pick a special activity — like going out to dinner, having a picnic in the park, or taking a day trip to favorite spot — and make it an annual celebration.
- Retell to your child her adoption story. Look at family photos, watch home movies, or even try making your own story book as a keepsake for your child.
- Fundraise for an adoptive family or adoption organization. Adoptive families are often responsible for many different adoption expenses, and their nonprofit adoption agencies want to keep adoption as affordable as possible. Donate today to your favorite child welfare organization or a family who is adopting!
How Adoptees Can Celebrate National Adoption Month
Adoptees, regardless of where they from or how they became an adoptee, are greatly encouraged to celebrate National Adoption Month in whatever ways they are comfortable with. Just being an adoptee is something to celebrate! Here are some great ideas for adoptees to join in the festivities:
- Ask your local library to create a special adoption month display.
- Teach the children in your life what adoption is. Encourage them to ask you questions and have a conversation on how to talk to kids who are adopted.
- Get together on Nov. 19 (today!) with other adoptive families, friends, neighbors, etc. and have an Adoption Day party. Blow up balloons, have a pot luck dinner and celebrate your family and the thousands of other families across the US who have been touched by adoption.
Adoptees are ever so special in the adoption triad and are the reason that there is one in the first place!
Don’t Forget About the Courts!
Even courts are getting involved in celebrating National Adoption Month 2018! In Dayton, Ohio, the Montgomery County Probate Court held an event to celebrate finalizations for foster care. Organizer Lori Smith shared their excitement for the event beforehand:
“We will celebrate NAD by finalizing agency adoptions all day on the 16th of November! We will transform the Court into an Adoption Theme Story. This year we are celebrating ‘Ohana,’ which means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. Each child will receive a bag full of goodies that is put together by Judge's staff and by different companies that will be mentioned in our Court Chronicle. Every year, Judge's staff will dress up in character or with the theme to help celebrate the celebration of a child finding their forever family!”
There is so much to celebrate during National Adoption Month 2018 for everyone touched by adoption. No one should get left behind when it comes to joyously celebrating forever homes for children, including birth mothers. After all, Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind!
How I Celebrate National Adoption Month as a Birth Mother
My first priority as a birth mother is to love my child every day in the best ways I know how. For me, that means working every day on walking a path of healing and toward a better future for myself. On this journey, I have experienced immense joy and heartbreaking loss. Nothing could ever hurt as bad, and nothing could ever feel as good as choosing adoption. I do not regret my adoption decision because I know within the depths of my soul that I made the best choice I could in the time that I was facing the decision. I celebrate National Adoption Month every day by making a daily decision to create a better life through my actions, faith, and healing.
If you are a birth mother looking for a way to celebrate National Adoption Month, consider celebrating yourself. Celebrate your victory in a successful adoption. Celebrate your post-placement relationship. Celebrate your bravery, strength and courage. Be kind to yourself on this healing journey, for no one is perfect. Most of all, if you need a support or someone to talk to, please consider reaching out. You are not alone.
So, go and celebrate National Adoption Month 2018 as a proud birth mother who stands for a more accepting future for birth mothers across the nation!
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption seven years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.