Written by Rebekah McGee, a New York Adoption Consultant with Adoptions from the Heart. She and her husband adopted an infant son from Ethiopia in 2012 after a 2.5 year adoption process. Their family then had two biological daughters in 2013 and 2017.
All of America is being faced with a change in routine as we address the Coronavirus. If you are suddenly faced with extra time at home as an adoptive family, here are some ideas.
- Create a Family Book or read yours together! Our family used “My Family, My Journey” (link https://www.amazon.com/My-Family-Journey-Adoptive-Families/dp/0811857379/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=my+family+my+journey&qid=1584480674&sr=8-1) . Like all good intentions, sometimes a baby book just never gets finished. This is the time to get yours organized! Maybe it would be a good time to physically print pictures to have on hand and create a family scrapbook!
2. Watch some Adoption – Friendly Movies – Grab some popcorn and make a special night! Watch Annie, Elf, Babe, Tarzan, Kung Fu Panda 2, Meet the Robinsons, or the Odd Life of Timothy Green. https://afth.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/family-films-about-adoption-that-teach-you-a-little-bit-more/
3. Have a Culture Day! Celebrate your child’s birth culture. Try to learn fun facts and each person give a presentation; listen to a cultural song playlist, or start to learn a new language together!
4. Find an Adoption Pen Pal and write letters to each other! Your child may have friends from school or you might have connections from your adoption agency. Take the time to draw a picture, write a story and mail or email them to others! Perhaps ask the recipient to film their reaction!
5. Send a letter to your social worker! They love updates about how you are doing, even if it has been years since you have been in touch!
6. Plant a garden or pot some plants and talk about how your family is like a garden! Perhaps you weren’t born in the same plant bush, but what a beautiful garden you are all together!
7. Clean out your Closets! No parent enjoys the closet cleanout process of what doesn’t fit anymore, but this is a great chance to clean up a little. Think you might grow your family again? Then put those items in storage! If you’re looking to pass on your clothes, many foster care agencies would benefit from your unwanted clothes!
8. Clean up your files! How many copies of your homestudy paperwork are you still holding on to? Is your important paperwork in a random pile, then let’s put it in a safer place! Now is the best time to get organized! https://afth.wordpress.com/2019/09/04/how-to-keep-your-home-study-paperwork-organized/
9. If you’re a waiting family, now is the time to go over your hospital bag list! https://afth.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/packing-your-hospital-bag-as-a-prospective-adoptive-family/
10. Take some new family photos! You don’t need a professional photographer, you can put a self-timer on your phone. When was the last time mom/dad were in the picture? Make it a goal to take one SILLY, one SWEET, one SERIOUS and one with funny outfits? Get creative, take the time to document your family as you grow older.
Creating a new routine can certainly be a challenge, we hope these ideas will help you make the most of your extra time together during the COVID-19 crisis. We hope that everyone reading this stays healthy during this difficult time.