Our family is starting to get ready for our finalizations (I seriously didn't know if it would ever happen, so YAY!!!). It's not actually scheduled yet but will be soon, we expect. DH and I would love to mark the day each year as "adoption day." Or some other name, that's still up for debate, but some way to significantly mark the actual day the two bigger kids officially joined our family. I'm trying to think of a special tradition that may or may not include a special gift. It seems easy for the girl: giving her some jewelry each year, or perhaps adding to a charm bracelet each year (she doesn't have one yet). However, for the boy I have no ideas, not even a little bit! What do others do?
Adoption Day Gift
From what I've read, some people do nothing, others celebrate it like a birthday except it's just family that's invited to "party", and others do something totally different. I think we might do something like sponsor a tree in a nearby park and then have a picnic under that tree each year on that date. Or make it a day to take family photos each year.
We adopted our daughter from soon after birth and to be honest, we don't really make a big deal about it. Her finalization date happens to be about 2 weeks before her birthday (and both fall near one of my inlaws bdays or the other) so because we've been celebrating one thing or another around that date, we do happen to note that the day was "the day (ad) became a (lastname)" but it's all pretty new (as in, she's only been finalized over a year).
We won't really do anything special going forward. I guess if we had adopted older children with a more serious memory of their birthparents, I would likely feel differently; and I'm not exactly sure what I would do. We celebrate Christmas, so the idea of buying (or creating) an ornament that somehow captures the sentiment of some kind of growth they did in that year would probably be my first thought. Or doing a scrapbook page together as a tradition. Something like that. Something that celebrates them for who they are becoming as opposed to celebrating the day they became YOUR children--because I would worry that the focus there is on leaving who they "were" behind.
But that's me and I didn't adopt older children--so my perspective could be WAY off. :/
Thank you so much for that point. We're doing a VERY open adoption (since the birthmom is my sister!) but there is still that element. I don't want it to be about being our child, I want it to be about that we are a family all together and the waiting days are over. At the same time, I want her to know how special I think she is and how thankful I am, as well as the fact that this is forever. She has a hard time believing those things and so I do want to do something that communicates that. I like the idea of doing a scrapbook page, though we already give them each a photo book for their birthdays (with photos from their past year).
I'll keep pondering and would love more input!
DD's finalization anniversary will fall right after her bday. We didn't really do anything this past year except a nice dinner with all my extended family because we happened to be in Vagas on vacation with them already when we found out.
For her Gotcha Day we invited one special family over to a nice dinner to celebrate. We didn't do presents, but that is not to say we won't ever. It was a very special day to DH/me that she joined our family.
What about doing something special as a family, rather than getting a gift? I dont know what your circumstances are, but a family weekend getaway (if time and money constraints allow for it) to a fun place, or even just a special daytrip somewhere, or an extra special dinner out to celebrate your new family? I'm hesitant to give my new dd a gift when we finalize, because #1) if its something like jewelry she will likely lose or break it #2) we just had christmas and then a series of bdays around here so it would be just one more gift on the recent pile and she's kind of materialistic. If you do get a gift, i like the idea of a charm bracelet you can add to, or a scrapbook page. I am considering making a picture album or something for my dd. Its kind of complicated in our family because there are three adopted children all with different significant dates. My first adopted son was an infant when adopted, we finalized just before Christmas so that would be no good for a celebration, and i recognize more the date he was placed (Valentine's Day), but only really in my mind, we dont do anything special. My fs' (fd brother) was placed on a different date than she was, but so far we havent celebrated that, as that isnt exactly a happy memory for anyone (traumatizing removal), i do update my FB every month on the day of the month my fd was placed (as in "DD has been here X months already! Time flies!" so we may celebrate THAT date as that is when she joined our family. Finalization is certainly a milestone, but for us it will be celebrating being free from our awful agency, sw visits, and any chance of them being taken away, not as the creation of our family which i believe happened before. And as the kids grow up, i would hate to have this big special event for my two adopted kids, but not the other one, so i dunno. Its complicated!