Some adopting families wonder “should we have a baby shower for the baby we’re adopting?” “Is it appropriate?” After all, everyone in your lives will want to celebrate your life-changing event! Here are some things to consider as you arrange your little miracle’s baby shower…
It’s important to ask yourselves whether you’re comfortable having a shower before you adopt, especially if it’s while you’re in a specific match. What if the birth mother changes her mind? Are you comfortable telling friends and family? Since it may be awkward and painful for you to be in that type of situation, it may be best to wait until your baby is home with you and the adoption is irrevocable. After that, your friends and family can celebrate with you and meet your new bundle of joy.
Also, consider if you have an adoption baby shower for a specific gender and then that adoption falls through and you end up matched again with a baby of the other gender.
Be sensitive to your child’s birth mother about sharing your shower updates and comments on social media (such as Facebook). She may be excited for you, but it could also remind her that your celebration is her loss. You’ll know more how to approach the topic with her once you get to know her better.
If you’re open to an older baby, toddler, or child, a shower for a newborn may be unnecessary. You may want to wait to have a shower until after you bring your child home, since you’ll know better the size of clothing, gear needed, gender, etc. If you adopt a sibling group, you might tell friends and family that they don’t need to bring a present for each child. You might suggest they bring a gift for the family: a kid’s movie, a board game, or gift certificate for example. Another possibility would be to encourage your guests to make a donation (in lieu of gifts) to their favorite charity such as Lifetime Adoption Foundation.
All in all, the decision about whether or not to have an adoption baby shower is a personal one…do what you feel is best.
So, how about going to friends’ and family members’ baby showers? It can be difficult for many waiting adoptive families to attend another’s shower. The baby shower may serve as a painful reminder that they haven’t yet brought their own baby home. If you feel like this sounds like you, it’s totally OK not to go. You can tend to your own emotional needs by simply sending them a gift and wishing them well.
Sometimes with questions such as “should we have a baby shower?”, it helps to hear from other adoptive couples who have been where you are now. You can visit AdoptionWebinar.com to tune in and watch webinars that feature adoption stories from successful Lifetime adoptive parents.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.