Baby Shower for Mom Who's Adopting
The Parents Network >
Baby Shower for Mom Who's Adopting
I just found out yesturday that a friend of mine, after many
unsuccessful years of trying to get pregnant, is going to adopt a
baby from China. I am so excited for her and think she should
have a baby shower. The caveat is, that she is bringing home a
little girl, actually. Not a baby but a toddler. The child will
be at least one year of age. So my question is, basically, where
do I start? All the traditional stuff is sort of out the window,
I think, or is it? Has any one out there had or thrown a
succussful shower in this kind of situation? Any ideas or insight
would be greatly appreciated.
Friend of mom to be
Yes, absolutely - have a baby shower for her, even though the 'baby'
will already be one year old. We had a shower like this for a woman at
our church in the same situation. It was wonderful. There were still
plenty of things she needed even though the baby would already be one
year old. All the usual gear - stroller, car seat, crib, diaper bag,
etc. Also cute clothes, shoes, blankets, toys, books - you name it.
like for a shower for a woman who is pregnant, only the gifts will be
suitable for a one year old. We still played party games - if you want
to do that there are lots of things you can do other than 'guess baby's
weight' or 'guess mama's girth size'.
For favors and decorations you can use whatever would be suitable for
any other baby shower. Such a joyous occasion - she's lucky to have a
friend like you to help her celebrate it!
We adopted from Russia and our best friend threw a great shower party
(about 1 months before they boys were supposed to come home -
it was 6 months before ONE came home ..
different looooong story). She had cake & cookies, coffee and tea, the
room was decorated with the US, Russian and German (I am German) flags
and a soccer/baseball theme (for boys). I and my husband shared stories
about Russia, brought out the globe and showed our guests were the boys
are coming from. Just have a wonderful get together to celebrate this
wonderful upcoming event - you do not want to plan or organize too much
(such as those ''silly'' games) as the adoptive parent has typically
enough ''stimulation'' and emotion with the entire process. Ask folks
bring hand-me downs - we registered at Target but only a few folks
to buy new things. Gift certificates were great as we had no idea how
big/tall/heavy they boys will be.
As an adoptive mother of 2 I would like to suggest that you have the
celebration AFTER the child is here. Call it an adoption celebration
instead of a baby shower. Thank you for being so sensitive.
Congratulations to your friend, and thank you for arranging a shower
her and her daughter! Adopting families need the same kinds of
and celebratory experiences as families with birth children -- the age
of the child is really irrelevant.
Your friend will need clothes, toys, books, and all of the other
paraphernalia accompanying toddlerhood, but she will also need and want
a community of friends ready to celebrate her expanded family and ready
to lend a hand when she needs advice, comfort, and babysitting. Have
As the mother of a bio daughter and an adopted son, I think your offer
to host or assist with a shower for your friend is wonderful. Moms who
are adopting should have their joy celebrated just like moms who are
giving birth. It always bothered me that many people didn't seem as
interested in celebrating my adoption as they did my birth, when both
were just as wonderful and special to me (and it still bothers me today
that some close friends didn't even send me a card following my
I just attended a shower for an adoptive mom-to-be and here what was
done at the shower: a brief questionnaire about their adoption (e.g.
when did they start, how old is their child, what name have they picked
out, how would they describe the adoption process, where are they
how long will they be gone - all multiple choice), a word scramble with
baby words (words like high chair and pacifier) and finally a game
people had to come up with as many baby names as possible out of the
parents' first and middle names. In every other way it was just like a
''normal shower'' where people brought gifts and were excited for her
child-to-be. Please make sure all the guests know approx. how old the
child will be so they don't buy any newborn or young infant things.
This is a response to the poster who wants to throw a shower for a
friend who is adopting a baby girl from China. Good for you for wanting
to do something so generous for your friend! I adopted a one year old
baby girl born in China a few years ago. My friends threw me a shower
that was memorable, beautiful and practical. Here are a few of my
First of all, I would wait until your friend receives the referral of
Chinese adoption can take a LONG TIME these days and if she is just
starting out, it may take well over a year. When she receives the
referral of the baby, she will know just how old her child is (which
influence what she needs) and she will have a period of about six weeks
to two months until she travels to China to meet her. People often
recieve referrals of children older or younger then what they expect or
When the time gets closer, you can ask your friend what she needs,
she might want to register at a place like Rockridge Kids or Target or
Babies R' Us. Even if the baby is a year old, she's still going to need
a car seat, stroller, high chair, diaper bag, etc. Maybe this stuff is
then what someone giving birth would need, but this family is still
starting a new life with this child. I went to a wonderful shower for a
family adopting a five year old girl -- they needed things like
books and toys. I received many books at my shower which my daughter
I treasure. Another wonderful thing my friends did for me was to put
together a calendar. People signed up to bring us meals, walk my dog,
run errands and meet us at the park. It was a lifesaver during those
first exhausting jetlagged weeks back home and I highly recommend it.
adoptive mom who's been there
I haven't thrown such a shower, but I've been to one and it was one of
the most enjoyable showers I've attended. Your friend might not need
some of the traditional newborn things, but she'll still need a lot
(stroller, crib, clothes, toddler toys, carseat). What I found fun
about this shower (other than the joy at seeing our friend finally
to become a mother) was that I could give things that you never get to
give at baby showers, practical gifts that you know are useful to a mom
of a one year old, that aren't exactly good first birthday gifts,
either. I remember one of the things I gave her was a set of
for food (the kind you pack in a lunch or bring with toddler snacks to
the park). She took it with her to Kazikstan when she went to get her
daughter and says they saved her sanity on the way back on the
plane. Absolutely give her a shower!
Yes, absolutely you should offer to throw a shower for your friend who
is adopting! I'm sure she is thrilled that she is finally on the verge
of becoming a parent and wants to celebrate with friends and family.
Tell her you want to do this and ask her if she would prefer it to
happen before or after her daughter arrives (sometimes people want to
sure the adoption has happened before they start celebrating). She may
not need newborn supplies, but she will still need clothes, toys,
feeding equipment, a stroller, and much more. Sometimes with
international adoptions, the country of origin is used as a theme
Chinese food, get decorations and/or favors from Chinatown). You might
run this idea past your friend and see if she likes it. Have a great
adoptive mom who loved her shower
I think you should do it just like a baby shower but with ''big girl''
things. It will be easier if you can get your friend to register
someplace like target.
I imagine she might need or enjoy: a bed, dresser, bookshelf, toy box,
clothes, toys, books, memberships to the zoo, childrens museums, books
about toddlers, etc.
Congratulations to your friend, that is great!
Oh, maybe the party could even take place on the arrival of the little
girl. I would think that all those presents would make a pretty good
impression on her. We have some friends who adopted from China and
pictures make it seem like their orphanage was pretty stark but those
girls and pretty resilient and not afraid of crowds!
Upon returning stateside with our 13 mo. old adoptee from China, two
women hosted a ''welcome to the neighborhood party''
for our daughter in a park. Organized similar to a birthday party,
where parents and children were invited, the children gave gifts to our
daughter. Balloons were given to all the children present. We ate
and ice cream. We all were very touched. The good heartedness was an
excellent way for our daughter to become acclimated to our culture and
community. It also afforded a way for her new community of well
to satisfy their curiosity about an adoptee in their midst...children
and parents alike.
We threw a baby shower last year for friends who adopted from Korea.
Their baby was younger (about 4 months) but the situation was basically
the same. My advice is give her a great shower, with everything age
First find out what she already has, or has been given or promised by
friends and relatives. Suggest that she register somewhere like Babies
R Us--that will make it easier for her to get exactly what she wants,
and for friends to not buy things she doesn't need.
We sent out invitations to the list of people they gave us, and noted
the invitation where they were registered, and a reminder at the bottom
''Note--the baby will be at least 4 months old when he
no newborn sizes!''
Good luck--your friend deserves and needs a shower as much as any other
new mom; she'll just need slightly different items.
Your friend is fortunate to have someone like you planning a shower for her and her
baby. I have two children adopted from China. When we adopted our first, we were
given three baby showers, one before we left (work community) and two after we came
home (one by local friends and one by well-wishers from the community where my parents
live that gave everyone a chance to meet our baby and see our travel pictures). The
showers were all wonderful and made us feel our daughter was surrounding by a loving,
Adoptive parents need the same things needed by any parent but these items are
especially useful before traveling: an FAA approved convertible car seat (both rear
and front facing--forget one just for infants) safely strapped into the car the baby
will be driven home in unless the parents are planning on taking it to China to keep
their baby safe on the flight home; diaper bag--one that includes a changing pad is
great because public restrooms in China rarely include a diaper changing area; small
bottle of hand sanitizer; baby wipes; a baby carrier (like a wrap, a baby Bjorn or
even a backpack carrier); a small stainless steel thermos (for preparing bottles while
traveling in China); Cheerios and Goldfish crackers; an easy to carry/pack camcorder
or digital camera; a multi-slotted document file for adoption/immigration paperwork;
bottles (regular fast flow nipples) and sippy cups; plastic bibs; baby feeding spoons.
Because our referral statistics (the pre-travel medical information that includes
weight and height) were not completely accurate (our first child was bigger than we
expected, our second much smaller), some of the clothes we received didn't fit. So I
know its easier to use things that are too big rather than too small.
this page was last updated: Aug 30, 2006
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network