Many expectant parents and their friends and family celebrate the newest member of their family with a baby shower. Adoptive parents have just as much reason to celebrate, and while a traditional baby shower may not feel apropos, an adoption welcome party can be a great alternative.
Like a baby shower, an adoption welcome party is meant to welcome your new child to the family. Although throwing a shower before the child arrives may be appropriate if they are under the age of two, you might consider hosting an adoption welcome party where the child is included—especially if they're any older.
The party can offer your child the opportunity to meet all of their new family members and your friends as they begin to get adjusted to their new life. If you're not sure where to start, keep reading for a few ideas to help you throw the perfect adoption welcome party.
Avoid Surprise Parties
While a surprise party may seem like a good idea, in theory, it could be overwhelming for a child who is still getting used to new people and new surroundings. Many children and their new families need time to settle in and meeting so many new people all at once may be too much without advance notice.
Carefully Prepare the Guest List
If you're planning an adoption welcome party for a friend or family member who just adopted a child, be sure to include the new parents in the planning process, especially when it comes to the guest list. In some cases, not everyone in the new parents' life may be supportive of their decision to adopt and you'll want to make sure you won't be inviting anyone who could stir up negativity.
Time It Right
Many baby showers are thrown before the baby is born, but with a welcome party, the whole point is to welcome the child to their new family and community, so be sure to host the party after the child has had some time to settle in. Even though family and friends will be eager to meet the new addition, it may be a good idea to wait several weeks before introducing them to so many new people.
Include the Whole Family
Although baby showers are traditionally just for the mother-to-be and the women in her life, an adoption welcome party need not be so exclusive. Consider including the whole adoptive family from both adoptive parents and even adoptive siblings.
Pick a Theme
Consider choosing a fun theme for your adoption welcome party. You could make it an international affair and celebrate the culture of the child's home country if they are from somewhere far away. Or, you could base your theme off of the décor in your child's bedroom. For instance, if you've decorated their room with animals, host a wildlife themed event. Finally, if the adopted child is gaining siblings by joining the family, allow their new brothers or sisters to invite their friends and be a part of the planning process.
Send Out an Announcement
If you're planning on sending out an adoption announcement, this might also be the perfect way to invite friends and family to an adoption welcome party. Another benefit: You won't double up on announcements and invitations.