Celebrations, holidays and traditions have always been important to me. I love having friends and family around sharing in these moments together. I enjoy the business and surprisingly feel calm in all the chaos. These times for our children, however, aren’t always viewed as the happy times and they don’t always have the same fuzzy feelings as we do.
We just celebrated our youngest’s “Happy Adoption Day”! We celebrate the day that they were born and we celebrate the day that they official became ours. In community programs, when the kids have been asked about their birthdays, they often announce they have 2 and are quite proud of that. From my youngest, I often hear, “Do you know what Mama? I am the only one at, whatever activity he was in, that has 2 birthdays and the other kids think that’s pretty lucky!”
Our family started this tradition because we adopted one of our children at an older age. She had gone through many transitions and moves before coming home. The anniversary around the time of her adoption is not as exciting for her as it is for us. It can be a time of unsettled feelings, being nervous about another move or bringing that looming question overhead about whether or not this is permanent. Permanency? What is permanency? When in reality this little one has never had an opportunity to experience anything on a permanent level.
So to help shape this time from a stressful situation, which we really can’t erase those feelings or memories, we have paired it with a happier celebration. During our celebration we focus on how happy we are to have the opportunity to be their parents. We talk about how we felt and the excitement we went through when we were bringing them home.
Many of my friends children ask about their birth and the story of how they were born and we pretty much do the same thing. We talk about their life journey and share in their story. We also share ours. The journey that we went on to have them come home. The long wait…..The excitement when we met them, what our visits were like. We share the funny little things they did in the beginning and we go through pictures. The older siblings share their experiences and excitement of having their sibling join our crazy house. Side note: That excitement has since dissipated, they are truly siblings!
Let’s not forget the party!
We keep our “Happy Adoption Day” party more intimate than their birthday. They get to choose where they would like to eat (and can bring one friend), have cake and a special present from Mom and Dad. This day is usually shared with a few family members.
Although we can’t erase what they have gone through or the sad memories that they have, we can share in their stories. We can create new moments, that will hopefully turn into new cherished memories.
We would like to wish our little guy a BIG “Happy 8th Adoption Day”.