Adoption is a legal process that occurs when people choose to assume parental responsibility for a child. Adoptive parents can choose to adopt an infant, child, or teenager. While it’s common for a couple to adopt, single-parent adoptions also occur. In some cases, stepparents choose to adopt their partner’s child legally. This type of adoption is referred to as second parent adoption for LGBTQ couples. Approximately 135,000 children in the United States are adopted each year.
Adoption is also the term used when people welcome a pet from a rescue or shelter into their home. Each year, approximately 3.2 million dogs and cats are adopted from shelters in the United States and pet lovers consider their pets family. Whether you’re adopting a child or a pet, adoption is a significant event that will change your family dynamic for good. It’s a special day, one that many choose to commemorate. Here are some ideas of how to make the day of adoption special.
1. Change your residence.
Your home will need to be adjusted to accommodate your new family member. The nature of the changes can vary widely, depending on who you adopted and their age. For example, you’ll need a nursery for a baby. Although some parents opt to have their infant sleep in the same room with them, it’s ideal to have a separate room in a quiet part of the home because infants need to sleep throughout the day. Avoid rooms that are near busy streets if possible. You may also want to avoid choosing a room near the play area if you have other children. Creating a nursery can be a beautiful way of welcoming your new child to your family.
If you adopt an older child, you may want to involve them in the process of decorating their bedroom. Let them choose paint colors and furniture that suits their tastes. You may want to give them some time to make design choices or hire an interior decorator to help them through the process. Letting your new child put their stamp on their new bedroom is a way of providing them with security and ensuring they feel they belong to the family.
You may need to move if your home isn’t big enough to accommodate your family after the adoption. If you’re adopting an older child, you may wish to involve them in the process of choosing a new home. You may also choose to purchase the new home but move in after the adoption. This way, your child will be part of your family’s history in the home from the first day you live there.
2. Commission a portrait of your new family member.
Paintings are a great way to feature children and pets. Hire an artist to paint a portrait of your family once you’ve become legal parents. A commissioned piece of art is an original and unique way of welcoming a new family member.
If you have your own artistic talent, you may want to head to Paintloose.com and purchase the supplies you’ll need to produce your family painting. Once you have an easel, canvases, paintbrushes, and acrylic paint, you’ll be ready to work on an original piece of art featuring your growing family. You can also choose from an assortment of reusable magnets you can write on, which is a beautiful way of leaving meaningful notes for your new family member.
You may also opt to work on an art project with your new family member. Creating art together can be a great bonding experience if you’ve chosen to adopt an older child. Let them create their work that you can display in your home.
3. Hire a photographer.
Hire a professional photographer to photograph your growing family. You may want to invest in special outfits for this occasion first, and choose a particular location. You can also treat the occasion like a wedding, particularly if you need to go to court to finalize your adoption. A professional photographer can capture images of the proceedings. You may even want to have a picture taken with the attorney or judge who handles your adoption. For same-sex couples, second-parent adoption is an involved and drawn-out process of getting legal parental rights for the non-biological parent, and it can be exciting to take a photo to commemorate the day those parental rights are finally bestowed upon both parents in an LGBTQ family.
Once the legalities are complete, you can meet your photographer in their studio or another location and pose for photographs. You may also opt to have a photographer take pictures in court and then photograph your family a few days later, so your child has time to adjust before attending a photoshoot. When you do pose for pictures, make sure you have individual photos taken of everyone and group photos. Having a variety of group and individual photos will ensure you have several pictures of your new family member to display in your home as soon as possible.
4. Start scrapbooking.
Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of your new family member. Capture all the little moments and milestones, and then print photos you can add to a family scrapbook. If you adopt an infant, you will be able to use the scrapbook to share their journey with them from the moment they joined your family.
Older children who are adopted can be invited to scrapbook with you. You can work on scrapbooking together, or you can each create scrapbooks that you can add to regularly. Children love craft activities, and it’s a great way of enjoying a bonding experience while preserving memories and your scrapbook can also include artwork they create. You can also use pictures and scrapbooking skills to create calendars and collages you can display in your home. You may also want to give your new child a camera they can use to capture photos of things and people that are important to them. Your child can include those images in their scrapbook.
5. Go on vacation.
Plan an unforgettable family vacation to welcome your new addition. A family vacation can be a great way of creating lasting memories. If you’ve adopted an older child, starting with a family vacation ensures they don’t feel displaced, especially if you have other children. Since you won’t be returning to a family home that’s familiar to the other children, all of your children will be able to discover a new environment together.
You may opt for a dream family trip to Disney World or choose to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, such as the Grand Canyon. You can also opt to head to the beach or visit another country. Your destination may depend on the age and interests of your new child.
6. Spend more time at home.
A child will need support when adjusting to a new home. Spending time at home with them will make the transition easier. Some parents search for jobs that will allow them to work from home or give them a flexible schedule to tend to the needs of new family members. Direct sales jobs are popular for this reason. You can work around school events, be available to support your child during times of emotional distress, and still earn an income for the family. Some common sales opportunities include kitchenware, clothing, jewelry, and even direct sales pet products. If you’ve decided to welcome a pet into your home you can get discounts by working with companies like Paw Tree.
Blended families are more common these days and is something to be celebrated. The important part is making sure your new family members feel at home and creating great memories together.