In my book, The Adoption Decision (to be released Aug 1), I devote an extensive chunk of Chapter 1 to discussing creative ways to tell relatives and friends you’re planning to adopt.
There are several reasons people react with fear and trepidation to the adoption announcement, rather than the hoped-for enthusiasm:
- Some people have biases against adoption based on negative experiences they’ve had or heard about.
- Some people have ingrained racist or classist prejudices that close their minds to admitting a child of another ethnicity or culture to the family.
- Some people believe that genetic connections are the be-all and end-all, and refuse to accept the possibility of continuing the family line through a child biologically unrelated to them.
- Some people aren’t happy unless they’re busy finding fault with anything and everything.
- Many people don’t realize that you have already spent a great deal of time processing your own feelings and possible misgivings about these issues, and they worry on your behalf.
- Most people who react with dismay do so because they are uninformed about current adoption practices.
Thus, it becomes your job to inform them. There are some creative ways of doing this, and of making your adoption announcement in a fun way that will elicit positive reactions.
When Sally and Bryan Miller announced their decision to adopt a daughter from China, Sally used Chinese paper folding techniques to create handmade boxes. Inside each box, she included the following:
- Chinese fans
- Prayer bead bracelets from Chinatown
- Fortune cookies
- Tapestry Book Catalog (adoption books)
- Red roses
- Aromatic Chinese soaps
- Cards with the Mandarin translations of the names of the people receiving the gift
- Last but not least…the announcement of their daughter’s pending arrival
“Everyone in our extended family got really excited when we personally delivered the gifts,” says Sally, who is the author of Girl Talk…God Talk: What Your Friends Can Teach You About Prayer (she’s also a columnist for Adoption TODAY magazine).
If you’d like to be informed when The Adoption Decision becomes available for purchase, please e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Adoption Decision” in the e-mail header. I’m offering a significant discount off the retail price of $13.99 on autographed copies to everyone who contacts me and mentions this post.
Readers: What creative ways do you have for announcing your decision to adopt?
Other posts in this series: