Completing an international adoption requires enough paperwork to kill dozens of trees. And imagine dealing with the red tape of not only your own state and federal governments but also the government agencies of another country! All in an effort to obtain that final piece of paper that says this family you’ve been imagining can once and for all be together. Waiting and then waiting some more is often the most challenging aspect of an international adoption.
With Mother’s Day just a few days away, prospective adoptive moms may find this waiting game even more agonizing. Nearly every store has devoted a large space to trumpeting the joys of motherhood through cards and balloons. Online florists are blanketing our Facebook feeds with touching Youtube videos of children professing their love for their mothers. Even the most taciturn of sons will be planning a special day with their mother. All of this can be excruciatingly bittersweet for a waiting adoptive mom.
If you are close to an adoptive mom caught in this waiting game, consider honoring her this Mother’s Day with one of these five ideas to let her know she is in your thoughts.
- Celebrate her adoptive child’s culture. Take some time to learn about the birth country of her adoptive child. Perhaps, you can take her out for lunch to a restaurant serving food from that country or you may be able to find a small gift from that country at your local fair trade gift shop.
- Give a special item with the word mother on it. For first time mothers, in particular, anything with the word mother on it will be treasured – a picture frame, a handmade card with a note or a pendant.
- Advocate for adoption. There are many ways that you can advocate for adoption, including reaching out to encourage your representatives to support adoption-friendly legislation or making a donation to a non-profit that supports adoption such as Show Hope or NCFA.
- Prepare a travel kit. An international adoption likely requires travelling to the child’s birth country at least once. Give your waiting mom a special travel kit filled with the supplies she may need during her travels including protein bars, small toys or activity sets geared toward the child’s age, face wipes, travel-sized bottles of her favorite beauty products or perhaps a special journal to record this momentous journey. You could also add in homemade coupons to watch her dog or water her plants while she is gone.
- Arrange for waiting moms to be acknowledged during her Sunday church service. Mothers are usually honored during church service on Mother’s Day. This might be uncomfortable for a waiting adoptive mom. Arrange for your Minister to mention and honor waiting moms during his sermon.
Remembering and taking the time to honor an adoptive mom-to-be on Mother’s Day can relieve the sting of waiting for a brief moment. Perhaps you will even bring a smile to her face on a difficult day!