Most every new parent, especially moms, look forward to their baby shower. But what about adoptive parents who are adopting a child older than an infant? That's when the host or hostess would throw an adoption welcome party.
Whether you should host an adoption baby shower or an adoption welcome party depends on the age of the child. Plan the Perfect Baby Shower Web site offers the following guideline: "If the child is under the age of 2, an adoption baby shower is appropriate. If the child is over the age of 2, consider hosting a welcome party."
The basic party would be similar, but consider the following points when hosting an adoption welcome party.
- Avoid surprise welcome parties. Avoid surprise adoption shower parties. While it seems like a great idea and most of us love surprises in general - this thinking may not carry over to adoption and bringing new children into the family through adoption. Many children and their new families need time to adjust to new surroundings and meeting a bunch of strangers all at once may be too much for the child.
- Many baby showers are thrown before the baby is born, with a welcome party, the whole point is to welcome the child or children to the family and community, so host the party after the child enters the home and settles in.
- Involve the new parents in the planning of the welcome party. I think it's even more important with the adoption of older children to involve the adoptive parents, especially in regards to the guest list. It may sound ugly but there may be family members and friends who are not supportive of the adoption, no one would want negative drama brought into the party - especially around innocent children.
- Even though family and friends will be eager to meet the new addition, a few weeks home is a good idea and allows the new parents to fully attach to their child. Don't be offended if the new parents don't allow the child to be held or left for babysitting immediately upon joining the family.
- For couples, consider hosting a couple adoption baby shower since adoption is more of a couple journey.
Theme Ideas for a Welcome Party
- International - child's country of origin or culture.
- Around the Child's Bedroom Theme - What a great way to help welcome the child into the home and help him feel a part of the family.
- Focus on parenting - the joy and love of a new family member and the child that is becoming a part of a new community.
- Sibling Welcome Party - a party hosted by siblings for the new child. What a cute idea when children can invite over their friends to introduce new siblings.
The adoption announcement may be the perfect way to announce that there will be a welcome party for the children. Consider these adoption announcement choices: