Baby showers, birth announcements, coming home parties. Celebrating your growing family with a baby shower is like a right of passage for every parent. This goes for parents going through adoption as well. And today, it is very common for adoptive families to host a baby shower before adopting. But planning this event is a bit different when you’re adopting. With the unpredictable nature of adoption, deciding when and how to host these celebratory events can be tricky.
Planning a Baby Shower: When and How
A baby shower’s purpose is to celebrate the upcoming new addition and to help prepare the parents for their new role. They are a great way to gather needed supplies, such as: diapers, bottles, strollers and clothes. Not to mention, baby showers offer a great excuse to play games, laugh, and eat with family before the arrival of your baby. Planning an adoption baby shower takes a little more care. Before deciding whether or not to throw a shower, make sure to check in with the adoptive parents-to-be and see how they feel about the idea.
Consider the Timeframe of the Adoption
Have the adoptive parents been matched? Has the baby already been born? Are they waiting to have the baby placed? Considering what stage in the adoption process is in before throwing a shower is an essential factor in making that decision. Depending on where the parents are in the adoption process will change a lot about the baby shower.
With this in mind, you can plan a baby shower that is appropriate to the situation. For instance, if the parents have yet to be matched, you can focus the shower on giving them encouragement, celebrating their future, and preparing them with the very basic gifts (i.e. stroller, crib, etc.). If they have been matched, then you can incorporate the baby’s gender and consider more specific gifts, like clothes. Or, if the baby has already been placed with them, consider making it a more intimate affair and using it as the perfect introduction of the new bundle to the family.
Make Sure the Gifts are Appropriate
By the same token, the gifts that you will bring will be dependent on the age, gender, and stage in adoption the parents are in. If the parents have yet to be matched, the gifts should be limited to only generic basics (i.e. stroller, crib, books, etc.). Another good idea is to get a gift card to a store like Target or Walmart where the parents can shop for whatever they want and need to prepare.
If the parents are already matched, but the baby hasn’t been born yet, you can focus on gifts that are tailored to newborn care. For instance, newborn onesies, car seats, bottles, blankets, etc. Make sure to stay away from any gift that is too personalized in case the adoption fails to go through. If you want to give a more unique and personal gift, “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments are always a hit!
On a similar note, if the baby has been born already, the gifts given can contain the baby’s birth date or name, such as a frame or book with the baby’s name. As a safe bet, ask the adoptive parents prior to hosting the event in order to find out what they want and need. Some parents choose to have a gift registry, but many do not.
Be Creative With the Shower Games
You are most likely not going to measure any bellies at this baby shower. If the baby has already been born, you won’t be able to guess the birth date. Instead, think of games that are relevant to all types of parenthood. You can have a diaper changing contest or guessing baby items in a bag. Games like, “Baby shower Bingo” or “Guess Who” with baby pictures of all the guests are also fun, interactive and adoption appropriate.
As an alternative to games, you can have every guest right their own bit of advice on a card as a gift for the parents-to-be. On a similar sentimental note, you can have each guest write a sweet message on every page of a book of your choice.
At the heart of the baby shower, you are celebrating the parents-to-be and their new journey into parenthood via adoption. This celebration is meant to show them your love and support in their next big adventure. The games you played that day won’t be the thing they remember the most, it will be the fact that their family and friends took the time and care to shower them with love before (or after) they became parents.
At the end of the day, it takes a village to raise a child and adoptive parents need all the help they can get during this time. Adopting a child is not an easy task. It’s emotional. Long. Exhausting. It can also be disappointing. But it is so worth it. Throwing a baby shower for adoptive parents is more about helping them through this journey than party games or gifts. It’s about love and support.
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
Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.
When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.
“6 Tips for Planning an Adoption Shower.” Considering Adoption, consideringadoption.com/general/6-tips-for-planning-an-adoption-shower.
Milbrand, Lisa. “Adoption Baby Shower.” Parents, 2014, www.parents.com/parenting/adoption/adoption-baby-shower/.