Posted by Deb Shrier
November marks National Adoption Month, which was proclaimed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. Adoptive families continue to find ways to commemorate this month with various activities and celebrations. An interesting fact: The history of celebratory events around adoption began in 1976 right here in Massachusetts when Michael Dukakis, governor, noted "Adoption Week" in our state.
If your life has been touched by adoption, consider some of the following ways to celebrate adoption or your family's adoption journey. Here a few suggestions:
- Enjoy a special family dinner that includes the retelling of the creation of your family. With transcultural families, consider a traditional meal from your child's birth country;
- Talk about the possibility of a family trip to birth country – check out www.adoptivefamilytravel.com, which includes video clips from recent trips;
- Donate adoption themed books to your local library or school – check out www.tapestrybooks.com for titles based on age and special interest;
- Donate books or magazines that highlight inclusive classroom assignments for teachers. www.adoptivefamilies.com is a great resource!
- Contact your local house of worship and make your clergy aware of National Adoption Month. Suggest he/she consider including an adoption story in their sermon;
- As a family, consider adding new items/photos to your child's Life Book, blog your family story, or add photos to your scrapbook or digital library;
- Make a donation to an agency that works in child welfare for a child who may never be adopted due to medical, foster, or orphanage care;
- Light a candle or say a prayer for children in need of families and for expectant parents who may be considering an adoption plan for an unborn child;
- With your child, find a way to honor his/her birthparents. Some children enjoy making a craft, writing a letter, or making a photo montage online.
- If a parent, extended family member, or friend has been touched by adoption, be sure to let him/her know the joy they have brought to your life through their journey.
Deb Shrier, LICSW, is director of Post-Adoption Services at Jewish Family & Children's Service. Actively involved in the field of adoption both professionally and personally over the last 20 years, Deb's clinical interests include domestic/international adoption, transracial adoption, parenting issues, and search/reunion with birth parents and adopted persons. She has also provided clinical support to adoptive families on birth country tours that include the Philippines, Romania, Guatemala, and Russia. Deb enjoys writing and has contributed to various adoption related publications as well as the JF&CS blog.