Yesterday, I hosted a baby shower for my friend S. She and her husband, P, will be traveling to China to bring home their new baby boy sometime soon. (Yup, you read that right – Boy. After being on the waiting list for something like five years, during which time they completed an open-domestic adoption, they received their referral for A BOY.)
When we picked the date for this shower weeks ago, trying to accommodate as many friends’ schedules as possible, we did not realize that this would be the Coleman Campout weekend (hopefully you can read more about that in a few days.) So, it turns out this weekend was actually pretty inconvenient for ME! And, in the end, only a few other families could show up. Still, I started to obsess over the party… but not in a timely way. I did not obsess weeks ago when I had time to do my homework and get all crafty in a pretty way. No, I started to obsess late last week, when I only had a day or two to do anything. What do you do when you are in a pinch? I turn to the internet. Here is what I learned after Googling “Shower for Baby Adopted from China”…
1) Parents who are adopting children like to celebrate their new children JUST like parents giving birth.
2) As far as gifts go, adoptive children need the SAME EXACT supplies as bio babies.
3) Sometimes parents who are adopting do not know the exact size their child will be when he/she comes home. Therefore, it is important to get gift-receipts for any gifts you will be giving.
4) It is best to wait until parents have a “referral” before setting a date for the shower, as sometimes the wait can be long (Can I get an Amen?)
And, really, can I get a WTF???
Are people actually this stupid? And, if a stupid person is in charge of throwing a shower, would they not ask their friend, the Prospective Adoptive Parent, a few questions??? Oh, maybe it is one of those surprise showers… well, that is what you get if you like to plan surprise showers, I guess.
Eventually I found an idea or two worth stealing, but mostly I just headed to our local Asian Grocery Store followed by craft stores, dollar stores and party stores. Beyond shopping, the key ingredient was help provided by my awesome friends.
So, here are my tips for throwing a Baby Shower For A Child Being Adopted From China or Any Other Country…
1) Have a theme, but be careful not to be a racist (just saying). It is great to honor the child’s country of origin, but make sure you don’t get down with some crazy stereotypes. Safe choices… flags, food, colors, language and culturally significant proverbs or symbols.
2) Make your shower a “potluck.” I believe in making EVERYTHING a potluck. When we sent out the evite we told people the theme was China, but they could bring whatever they wanted. We ended up with an awesome stir-fry, home-made taquitos, tabouli, antipasto, fruit and fortune cookies…. And it all worked together.
3) Honor the adoptive parents’ wishes. In this case, they did NOT want any gifts. They already have a son so they have clothes, toys and a plethora of baby gear. Still, we wanted to do something. We chose to make donations in the family’s name to a charity working in China. After checking with some friends (thanks Bicicleta Mama) we picked Half The Sky.
4) If the adoptive family already has a child who is
about to get screwed out of all attention happily awaiting his younger sibling’s arrival, do something special for him. In this case, we made him a giant card that we all signed and he sat in front of the cake while we sung “Happy Big Brother, to you…” The kids who attended the party all made him individual, special cards, as well.
5) Don’t forget to have awesome friends. In my case, they came early and vacuumed my floor, brought flower arrangements, decorated the house, provided food, stayed late and cleaned up.