If you're matched with a birth mother, you're probably feeling a range of emotions, from excitement to concern. You might be wondering “is it appropriate to have a baby shower when we’re adopting?”
While it's true that everyone in your life will want to celebrate your baby's arrival, sometimes a traditional baby shower isn't appropriate for adoptive families. Lifetime shares why we recommend an adoption sip and see instead, and how you can best celebrate in this way!
What is a Sip and See?
A southern tradition that's making its way north, a sip and see is an informal celebration held in the new parent's home. An adoption sip and see gives your family and friends the chance to meet (or "see") your newly-adopted baby or child. Light appetizers are served, and it's fun to offer a few drinks for the "sip" part. The get-together is usually held two to eight weeks after the baby comes home.
Why Should We Have an Adoption Sip and See?
Consider whether you’re comfortable having a shower before you adopt, especially if it’s while you’re in a match. What happens if the birth mother changes her mind? How will you tell your friends and family members who attended your shower? You probably don't want to be bombarded with your shower guests asking you constantly, "when are you getting a baby?!"
Since it may be painful for you to be in a situation like that, Lifetime recommends waiting to celebrate until your baby is home with you and the adoption is irrevocable. While your love for the birth mother's baby might be growing, that baby is not officially "your baby" until revocation is over. It's important to respect and honor the birth mother and her child by being ethical in all your choices.
After the adoption is irrevocable, your friends and family can celebrate with you and meet your new bundle of joy. And a perfect way to celebrate is by hosting a sip and see!
Tips for Your Adoption Sip and See
Lifetime encourages you to be sensitive to your child’s birth mother about posting photos from your adoption sip and see on Facebook or Instagram. Even though she's excited for you, these photos may remind her that your celebration is her loss. As you get to know your child's birth mother better, you’ll know how to approach the topic with her.
If your guests ask you for gift ideas, be honest. Don't feel embarrassed to ask for more diapers or even a gift card for your favorite restaurant, since you may not have the time to cook. "My sister offered to set up a meal train for us after we brought our newborn son home after ICPC cleared," shares one adoptive mother. "Since sleep was hard to come by and we were getting used to parenting a newborn, it was so nice not to have to worry about cooking!"
You might consider setting up a baby registry and including a link on your invites. By waiting to celebrate until after you bring your child home, you’ll have a better idea of what size clothing you need, as well as travel gear, feeding supplies, and all the extras. This is especially important if you are open to adopting an older child! If you already have all of the baby gear you need, you might encourage your guests to make a donation (instead of gifts) to their favorite charity such as the Lifetime Adoption Foundation.
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As you adjust to your lives as new parents, you probably don't want to worry about keeping the house tidy for unexpected visitors dropping by to meet your baby at random times. By hosting an adoption sip and see, everyone can see your pride and joy when you're ready for visitors. As you can see, a modern sip and see is a perfect choice for adoptive parents!