The holidays are a time for celebrating and creating new traditions! No matter if your adoption is open, semi-open, or closed it is time to think about new traditions now that there is someone new in the family. One of the biggest holidays that comes around in the winter is Christmas.
A time for cheer, gift giving, family gatherings, and more food than you could possibly eat in one sitting. It is a time for fun and laughter. This season is a time for change too, which could depend on what the status is of your adoption. Here at Adoption Choices of Nevada, we’ve put together a post for holiday traditions and adoptive families!
For Adoptive Families
Open adoptions allow for the ability for the adoptee to stay connected with his or her birth parents. For a new holiday tradition it could be a way to meet up together. Not everyone can do that, and we understand distance doesn’t always allow for it.
For a visit, one thing to try is a halfway point at first. It allows for some privacy at first but still a great way to have both families together. This could be a restaurant that both families enjoy or even a shopping mall. The choices are pretty limitless when it comes to places to have a meeting. Then, when comfortable for both parties, go to one of the houses and pack it full of people and joy. This could be with a gift swap, a party, or even baking cookies.
Something else that can be used for holiday traditions and adoptive families is making ornaments. One thing that is super fun to make are salt ornaments. These are customizable to any shape you want. While your infant may not be able to paint them just yet, as they grow to be older the birth family can get a unique ornament that shows their growth. One way to show growth is to trace your baby’s hand in the dough and cut it out. Bake it and put the date on the back! This works amazingly well for semi-open adoptions. It retains privacy and gives a nice handmade gift from the heart.
If meeting up isn’t an option, there is always Facebook video! A great way to still get that connection even through distance. There are other methods that don’t require Facebook, like: Google Hangouts, Discord, Skype, or Facetime. All methods of video chat that work on a computer, tablet, or phone. While it isn’t in person, it is still great to start building that connection between families. You both share something amazing in common: your little one!
For Birth Families
It can be a hard time for birth family who aren’t able to be there with the family. There are many misconceptions around birth mothers and families who made the choice to let their baby get adopted. Not an easy choice either. Around the holidays, it could be hard to not have that child there with them celebrating; but there are ways to incorporate them, even if they aren’t there. One of the ways is to make a special ornament for them. Be it one you buy or make — whatever you feel is best. Either put it on the tree or make a special box for the child. Or another thing to do is light a candle for them. It is the little things that can make the holidays extra special.
Being a birth mother this time of year comes with many emotions. From the spark of joy to maybe some loneliness. All the negative emotions that can seem to pop up during the holidays can make it seem impossible to move past. However, little things like setting time aside to grieve or even just time set aside to remember the child could help. The first holiday without them could possibly the hardest to go through but know you are not alone.
The holidays are a time that can be so filled with joy but there is also some pain that could be there. Depending on if you are the birth parent or the ones adopting, it could change some traditions around or spark new ones.
No matter what tradition you end up doing — making ornaments, swapping gifts with the birth family, or lighting a candle — it is important to make it your tradition. Something that as a family you will do for years and have memories to look back on. Be that from getting flour on your nose from a helpful child or spilling something on the family pet and having to give it a bath. This is a time of year to bond with your child and possibly the birth family.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Tia Kitchens is a college graduate with a B.S in Psychology from Capella University who has always had a passion for three things: animals, writing, and mac ‘n cheese. Two of these three are things she has based her work around. Animals are a big impact on her life due to her love for helping others through difficult situations. Through her studies, she has found the human-animal bond is strong enough to help others. This, paired with her writing, helps her record her findings and teach others through her words.
She is excited to join Adoption Choices as an Editorial Intern because she’s wanted to adopt since she was little, and is excited to learn about the industry and the adoption journey.
Her goal is to make a change in the world with her words and end up on someone’s inspiration Pinterest board! Being a key quote on someone’s Pinterest board it shows her words have a huge impact on people. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture is just words it surely means more that way! To learn more about her, follow her on Twitter and Instagram!
Admin. “Christmas Traditions for Foster and Adoptive Families.” Transfiguring Adoption, 16 Dec. 2015, https://transfiguringadoption.com/christmas-traditions-for-foster-and-adoptive-families/.
“Holiday Traditions to Start as an Adoptive Family.” Considering Adoption, 25 Nov. 2019, https://consideringadoption.com/adoptive-family/holiday-traditions-to-start-with-adopted-family.
Solchany, JoAnne. “Holiday Rituals and Traditions in Adoptive Families.” Adoptive Families, 25 Aug. 2016, https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/parenting/holiday-rituals-traditions-adopted-children/.