November 6, 2011

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Create a New Adoption Tradition

Traditions are important to any family. If you don't already have an adoption tradition to celebrate this month, set out to do something as a family that will become a new National Adoption Month tradition.

Our Adoption Tradition

Every year, my mom calls me on my birthday. And every time she says, "Happy Birthday," I reply, "Happy Anniversary," because my birthday is the day that I met my parents.

For an adopted child, this isn't always the case. And while I am still in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia, I plan to celebrate our anniversary every year by declaring our very own Family Day.

I still haven't decided if our Family Day should be the day that my husband and I meet our new child or if it should be the day we come home with her and she meets our son. But I want to mark the occasion by remembering, every year, the day that we became a family.

I imagine our Family Day will be a fun-filled day (off from work, of course), with activities we can all enjoy. I want to show my son pictures from when he was a baby, and I want to show our daughter pictures and cultural mementos from when we met her in Ethiopia. (I realize this will require a conversation about how some babies come from bellies, while others come from hearts…a great opportunity to keep the adoption topic open in our family.)

Since every celebration in my family is centered on food, I want to plan a big, family meal that includes a traditional Ethiopian dish. Perhaps I'll even add dishes that celebrate our ancestor's heritage as well, to show that families originate from all over the world. Hmmm…from where did cake originate?

I can't help but think that our Family Day should also include presents – I want the kids to be excited about Family Day, after all! Maybe we'll take the kids shopping before Family Day, and they can choose a small gift for each other. But, because I’m cheesy, I will require that the cards include what they like most about each other.

And when they get older and go off to college or have families of their own, I will still send them cards to say, "Happy Family Day. Happy Anniversary."

Lindsay H

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