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Ceremonies to welcome an adopted child
Adopting a child is a wonderful and often long-awaited experience. Here are some ideas for welcoming the newest member of the family...
If the child is a baby you may well consider a traditional Baby Naming ceremony. Like many new parents you will probably want to spend some time settling and bonding with your baby before inviting your family and friends to celebrate with you. Don’t be rushed. Any time up to the first anniversary of the adoption is fine.
For an older child, say over two years of age, you may want to take a different approach. First you will need time to bond as a new family so don’t plan a big party as soon as you bring your child home. Instead, wait a while before the celebration. This could take the form of a party themed to the adoptive child’s country if they were born overseas. Or perhaps, a theme based on the child’s favourite story characters or the design of the child’s bedroom.
You could incorporate into the party a short and meaningful ceremony that allows you and other significant adults to say words of welcome and promises to guide and support the child towards adulthood.
If the adopted child is a teenager please be particularly sensitive to their feelings. Many teenagers are uncomfortable when the are the centre of attention and their earlier years may have been very difficult. So make the welcome ceremony sincere and appropriate for your teen and involve them in the planning. A special family dinner, with a small number of significant people, may be enough to enable each to give a personal welcome and offer of love and support and perhaps an appropriate gift to ensure that the new family member knows that they are truly welcome.
Some families have an annual “family day” to celebrate each anniversary of the adoption. This is a great way to reinforce that your child was chosen by you to join the family of which they are now an important part. Why not develop and incorporate a family ritual that you include each year, no matter what age-appropriate celebration you plan.
Contact a CCN Celebrant for help in planning a celebration to welcome your newest family member.