1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

12 Days of Christmas Preparations for Foster and Adoptive Parents


6 of 12

12 Days of Christmas Preparations: Day 6 - Six Memories A-haunting
A small boy appears sad during a sleigh ride. Holidays often trigger grieving in foster children.

Holidays can often trigger emotions and grieving in foster or adopted children.

Photo © Carrie Craft, licensed to About.com, Inc.

On the sixth day of Christmas Preparations, my true love gave to me:
Six memories a-haunting,
Five golden rules,
Four fighting kids,
Three snow days,
Two calling workers
and a well planned respite weekend.

Holidays can be difficult for many children. Traditionally this is a time for family and for a child that is no longer with their birth family - especially foster children who remember their birth families - this can be very difficult. Some adopted children may also be impacted by the holidays.

6 Typical Haunting Holiday Memories or Thoughts

  1. Past Christmas memories - Times when birth mom and dad came through with a holiday wish or spent time together as a family.

  2. Past Christmases that were never celebrated due to poverty or drug and alcohol issues.

  3. Special holiday traditions or meals. - Can you imagine not having your grandma's special pumpkin pie? Consider implementing these traditions or meals into your Christmas celebrations.

  4. Wondering how their birth families are doing this Christmas.

  5. Wondering if they are remembered - The child may be worried that they have been forgotten by their birth family. Will Santa know where they live?

  6. If I enjoy Christmas with my new family, will my birth family be disappointed or hurt?

Be prepared to help the child grieve these losses and know that they are perfectly normal. Give the child space and time. If they need to talk, listen. If they need an activity to keep them busy, provide it. This is part of the process. Learn more about how to handle these typical holiday memories.

  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Adoption / Foster Care
  4. Parenting
  5. Surviving the Holidays
  6. 12 Days of Christmas Preparations for Foster and Adoptive Parents - Six Memories A-haunting

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.