June 23, 2010
All parents should be showered for the arrival of their new child. Adoption showers are my favorite to give. I love the “textures” and “layers” that can be added to this special party.
- Get an idea of the travel date or the date that the baby is being escorted/arriving home and plan the shower for two to three weeks before that date.
- Make it a couples’ shower. It’s extra fun. Men feel more involved in the process of adopting than in a pregnancy.
- Get the guest list from the proud parents to be. Make sure it has complete addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.
- Mail the invitations out three to four weeks ahead of the shower date.
- Include a RSVP date and stick to it.
- Note where the parents are registered and give guests ideas where they can purchase culturally related items for the baby and family.
- Check locally for food items.
- Go online to find country information, products and resources.
- Inquire about guests’ dietary restrictions, including allergies.
- What is the baby’s birth country? It should be honored and reflected in the choice of invitations, decorations, paper goods, linens, flowers, etc. The examples given are for a Chinese adoption, but you can modify the shower for a Congolese, Guatemalan, Domestic, Haitian, etc. adoption. A word of advice: let your imagination run free.
- Use red and gold as your primary colors, these are auspicious colors in Chinese culture.
- If an evening shower, hang huge lit paper lanterns in the trees to greet everyone and to add ambiance. Hang other lanterns throughout the house and outside. The use of lanterns dates back centuries in China.
- Play Chinese music.
- Use paper dragons for centerpieces. Dragons are revered in Chinese folklore and culture.
- Offer chopsticks as optional eating utensils; most guests will try to use them. Chopsticks were invented in China.
- Display a map of China on foam board illustrating what Province the baby was born in.
- Put a book together that the guests can sign. Inside it you can add Chinese proverbs.
- Have a blown up image(s) of the baby’s referral picture for everyone to see.
- Consider making and serving an authentic meal, again to reflect the child’s birth country. (Make note of guests’ dietary restrictions/allergies.)
- Research the foods and their significance. Have place cards for each meal item with and explanation of what it is and a little bit about it.
- Include a special dessert, perhaps a cake with a red thread that runs through it, from China to the State/country the family will be living in. It might be some extra work, but it will be well worth the joy on your parent-to-be faces.
- Encourage guests to dress in attire that reflects the child’s birth country.
- What ideas do you have?