Sunday, December 2, 2012

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. I came across a website that had suggestions for things to do each day during the month to celebrate and honor adoption. I tried to do this last year, but I just didn't get the prep work done in time.  I was better prepared this year.  Before the month started, I checked our calendar and planned the activities.  I bookmarked websites that were needed, making sure to label them with the date so that I could just pull up the websites a few days before (in case more prep was needed).

I wrote one activity on each of 30 index cards and put them in these small envelopes. I have chosen to do this in conjunction with our Halloween candy by also placing one piece of candy in each envelope for each child. (Then I get rid of the rest and am able to limit the amount of candy the kids get.)

The first day is to start a collage about the month.  For me that was the beginning of this blog.  The last day is writing about the experience.  Here are the other activities (in no particular order):
  • Send a thank you note to someone who helped make your adoption a reality.
  • Collect donations for an adoption organization.  We got 2 recordable books for Gladney to give to birth moms.
  • Subscribe to an adoption magazine or blog.  There are several blogs I read that deal with adoption but I also subscribed to Adoptive Families magazine.
  • Read an adoption story.  We have several and read them throughout the month.
  • Cook a heritage meal.  We try to fix Chinese food often as well as enjoy it when we go out.  I found a new website to try.
  • Take a family photo.  This was really important for me because we only have 1 with all of us and it's not a very good shot.  I think this one turned out great.

  • Subscribe to an adoption e-newsletter.
  • Create a lifebook.  I'm still working on this but did some research trying to find the best way to do this since it was an older adoption.
  • Watch a video about adoption.  We watched Kung Fu Panda 2.
  • Have each person share what they are most thankful for on Thanksgiving.  Sophie is thankful for her momma and daddy and juice. Logan is thankful for his mom and dad and cousins.
  • Explore child's heritage.  I found a website that had lots of pictures and information.
  • Talk about birth families positively.  We've always done this, but during our walks to school we really explored this topic and Logan had lots of ideas about them.
  • Hug all your children.
  • Read stories from China.  We have some books but I also found some folktales.
  • Create a new adoption tradition.  In doing some research I found out that Logan's birthplace has a kite festival each year.  So we decided to get a new kite each year and then make sure to fly it on (or near) his birthday.
  • Share a recipe from your child's country.  I pinned a recipe for tea eggs and then posted it to facebook.  Logan loves these and ate them every morning while we were in China.
  • Retell the adoption story.  We looked through the photo albums and told the story.
  • Take a family walk.  We did this most school days, and I tried to be very intentional about our conversations.  During this month, Logan had a school assignment to bring in a baby picture.  We had several conversations about what he would say about his picture (which was him at age 2 and a half years, not really a baby) and possible comments his classmates might have and how to respond.
  • Create a prayer for children waiting to be adopted.  Here is the prayer Logan wrote. Dear God, please take care of kids who live in orphanages. Please help them to get moms and dads to take care of them. Don't let them get hurt. Amen
  • Visit an exhibit or event that celebrates your child's background.  We actually went to a couple.  The Asian museum had a family fun day and we took Aunt Kelly and the cousins.  Then we took Grandma to the Chinese Lantern Festival.

  • Create a family tree.  I found an article with different ways to do this to incorporate adoption.  we chose to use hearts on our tree depicting all the people who love them.

  • Light candles to remember children who are waiting for forever families.  We used the kids baptism candles (since I never remember to pull them out on those anniversaries).  The funny part was I couldn't find a lighter that worked, or matches.  I finally got one to give me just enough spark to get one lit.

  • Share a childhood memory during dinner.
  • Make an ornament that reflects your child's heritage.  We created fortune cookies.

  • Display a map of your child's country.  I actually found one last year, but we did get Logan a lighted globe for his room.
  • Read the history of National Adoption Day.
  • Write an adoption poem.  We didn't do this because I'm just not that creative.  Instead we read more stories and let Logan create stories about his China Mom and China Dad.