Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Tutorial: On Baby Showers

Just one more thing that seems ... unfair (?), different (?), annoying (?) about adoption;

Baby Showers.

Every woman dreams of her baby shower, much like they dream of their lingerie shower or bridal shower. It's a right of passage, so to speak. It's symbolic of a new start and just adds to the excitement of a new baby.

I've always tried to be sensitive to adoptive moms in this area and well, if you don't ask you won't know! As I've done so many times before, (;-)) I thought I'd shed some light on showers for adoptive moms so if you know one, you know how to support them;

. Some of us are comfortable planning and purchasing the absolute necessities in our wait to bring baby home... we buy diapers in every size, both boy and girl outfits, bottles, wipes, burp cloths, blankets, and so on. Some choose to prepare a nursery but some are also uncomfortable with what an empty nursery symbolizes (I SO remember that feeling!)

I was a planner in our wait for Hannah.... partly because our agency had certain requirements in order to be officially waiting with them (new car seat, some kind of crib/bassinet, one boy and one girl outfit, etc.) and partly because .... well, what the heck are you supposed to do?!?!

Most friends of waiting moms don't know how to broach the subject of baby showers so I wanted to touch on a few things I've learned, from experience;

* 'Sip N' See's' are a great thought... but if you've read this post, you'll understand why this kind of shower after baby comes home might make an adoptive mom uncomfortable. Some moms might love a chance to show off her baby but traditionally, a baby shower is about the Mama... a 'Sip N' See' might bring with it expectations that a new mom just can't meet. Ask your new mama-friend what kind of shower she has dreamed of.

* There is NOTHING wrong with hosting a shower for Mom after baby comes home and NOT expecting baby to be present. With no expectations, Mom can choose to leave baby home with Daddy or have baby make a surprise appearance for everyone to see. This way she is also allowed to enjoy her shower and the attention that is being shown to her ;-)

* If you're unaware of any plans for a shower but would like to show your support and excitement to this new family, ask what they need the most. If the couple has prepared somewhat, they still might be in need of some of the more expensive baby items (second car seat, crib, double stroller, changing table, etc) and could use gift cards to a specific store to help them in purchasing those things. We also all know what it feels like to see that completely adorable, can't live without Coach diaper bag and have NO justification for purchasing it... you might just be the perfect person to help her with a gift card so she can purchase that one special splurge item!

* If you can't make it to the shower, stop by with a meal. Don't offer to have them over but ask what night would be most helpful and bring them dinner.... and always make sure it's freezable as we all know that nights don't always go as planned. Sometimes it's easier to ask what their favorite take-out is and get them a gift card or call in their order.... delicious food, a huge helping hand, and someone else delivers; win-win for you! PLUS, this more intimate setting makes that new Mama more inclined to let you snuggle that sweet baby!

* If you do know a waiting adoptive mom and would like to celebrate her and her baby with a shower, ask her what she prefers; a shower before baby comes where gifts and theme are gender neutral or involve just baby necessities? Or a shower after baby is born at a time when life has calmed and she has a better grasp of what their specific needs are? Let her be part of the planning so when that fun day comes she is able to bask in the excitement and not stress over things that might make her uncomfortable.

* Last but not least, no one can stop you from accessing some of the most popular baby stores online and searching their registry. Adoptive parents often-times register in order to get the same perks that other new parents get (10% off anything on the registry after one year, high-value coupons, freebies, etc). Searching their names on some of those websites might give you a good idea of what they like, what they might still need, and how you can help them prepare or settle in with their new family member. You don't need permission to check out those registries once in a while ;-)

Adoptive Moms dream, too. With all of the unfair differentiations between pregnancy and adopting, it's quite possible that an adoptive mom might slip between the cracks. Be the friend of her's who steps out and offers to lavish her with the love and support from friends that she so desperately needs... I promise she will NEVER forget your heart and sensitivity for her!



  1. Baby showers have been on my mind this week, thanks for this post! Even during the adoption wait I always wish I could just be expecting like everyone else. Wouldn't it be great to be able to share all that joy and hopefulness for 9 months. Take care of adoptive mama's they need the extra love.

  2. Informative content and I am totally agreed with your blog. Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family's first child, and only women were invited.

  3. One other thing to note would be to send out some baby shower favors so that your guests will have some sort of remembrance for this once in a lifetime event.


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