Many parents of adopted children have experienced the lengthy adoption process as an emotional roller coaster ride. It makes it all the more understandable that they are eager to share their new bundle of joy with the love of family and friends in an official welcoming ceremony. Whatever elements you include, your adoption ceremony affirms your life as a united family. I can help you create a ceremony that will mark this milestone with love and joy.
Pointers for a Meaningful Adoption Ceremony
- Honor birthparents: you may wish to give thanks to the people who gave your child life. If yours was part of the growing trend towards open adoptions, you may be fortunate enough to share some thoughts from your child’s birth parent.
- Pay tribute to your child’s background. For international or multicultural adoptions, include symbols, music, rituals or foods that honor your child’s ethnic or cultural heritage.
- Light a “forever family” unity candle. Married parents might even want to use the unity candle from their wedding, if they have one. Have godparents or guide parents light the candle from smaller tapers representing parent and child.
- Tell your adoption story. Adoption is a remarkable and sometimes trying journey. Open your ceremony by personally sharing with your guests the tale of how you came to be a family.
- Mark your child’s journey. It is important to recognize your child’s history before he or she came into your lives. If you have any mementos from your child’s first days, place them on the ceremonial table and explain them to your guests.
- If you have adopted an older child, let your child speak, sing or dance. If your child decides to participate, the adoption ceremony will be richer for these words or actions from the heart.
Should you select me to be the celebrant at your ceremony, I will make a donation to a charity of your choice, following the event. I can’t think of a better way to honor your experience. For me, this is a small way of “giving back” for the privilege of working with you at this milestone in your life, as well as the many gifts I have received over the years.