Baby Showers

Foster Adoption Shower

I'd like some input on a party I plan on throwing for some close friends. They have struggled with infertility for a few years, and it's unlikely they will be able to have biological children. As such, they have decided that for them, foster adoption will be the best way to create their family.

I've seen some pretty strong reactions when people suggest "showers" for foster parents, but I thought I'd get input here. Any advice from adoptive or foster parents would be especially helpful.

Our friends are expecting their first placement to be 1-2 children, between 0-8. It's a huge age gap, and obviously there is some uncertainty that goes with fostering, BUT, myself and other friends would still like to celebrate this next step in their journey to becoming parents.

To be absolutely clear, the children being placed with them are likely to have had parental rights already terminated. (Their agency strives to place children that are highly unlikely to be returned to their parents with foster families that are hoping to adopt as soon as possible. This is NOT a 3 week stay type situation.) We also don't want to throw a party once the child is placed because we want them to have that together time. More than that, I want this party to be a celebration of them as new parents and all they've been through this far, not geared specifically to one child (I plan on doing this once, not for every placement).

My idea is to throw an "Initiation to Parenthood" if you will, with some games, a co-ed BBQ, and yes, gifts if people wish. This is not a gift grab. I feel it is appropriate to celebrate our friends embarking on their path to parenthood, and I see no harm in letting close family and friends familiar with the situation "shower" them with books and games that are more family-oriented and cover a wider age range, especially because they could likely have siblings of multiple ages. It's not baby gear, but for their situation, I feel it's still items they could use (and reuse for subsequent children).

I plan on throwing a bigger adoption party when their paperwork is signed, but that could be a year or more away. At that point they'll likely have all they need, and it'll just be a regular party to officially welcome their kids to the family, so I'm using this opportunity to show our friends we're just as excited for this chapter in their lives as we would be for a biological child (and for those that have witnessed their struggle, we honestly are more so.)

That said, does anyone have ideas on games or elements to include? Have you been to a similar event? Any input would be helpful!

Re: Foster Adoption Shower

  • I think it's an incredibly thoughtful idea. But since it's not a typical baby shower and more of a celebration, why not just throw a traditional party? Skip the shower games and and activities altogether and maybe just use foster/adoption as a theme? To me it would be set up more like a graduation party than a baby shower, a time to celebrate and spend time with loved ones, gifts optional. So if I were you I'd approach it as I would any other party - food, drinks, music, mingling. Good luck with whatever you decide!
    tigerlily25[Deleted User]AggieMom0809
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  • I wouldn't call it a shower at all. A shower implies a gift giving opportunity which would be really hard when they don't know the age of the child(ren). I also think the whole idea of a party for a future adoption seems odd. Maybe just taking the couple out to dinner or getting them a welcome to parenthood gift (whatever that may be).
  • This is very thoughtful of you but I would be careful.  Fostering and adopting are very unpredictable.  It is not terribly uncommon to have everything in place, then suddenly everything changes which is obviously devastating to the hopeful parents.  I've seen it happen with family members.  Is it possible to wait until the children have been placed, wait a while and give them the time they need, then revisit the idea of a party?   
  • If you want to have a party, have a party.  But I agree, avoid calling it a shower and avoid making it shower like. 

    Also, I'd be cautious about how big you make this party.  For the fact you want to also have a party once an adoption becomes final - I kind of feel that both these parties shouldn't be huge, "let's invite ALL their friends and family" events.  I would make one of them much more intimate.

    Your heart is in the right place and they've struggled and I get it- I really do.  But to have both these parties - it's kind of like having a "Yay - you're trying to get PG!!!!" party and then also a "Oh- now you've had the baby" party.  Kind of weird. 

    I would be ALL for attending one of these parties.  But I feel like both is a bit overkill, TBH.

    I'm going to liken this to my own experience.  I dealt w/ 5 years of IF.  When I finally got PG, my friends threw me a VERY small "yay- you're PG!!" party.  It was about 6 or 7 of us and it was a mellow GTG of GOOD friends at a friends pool.  Just to celebrate that I FINALLY had success.  It was a very sweet gesture. 

    These same friends later threw me a normal shower.  *I* would have been VERY uncomfortable if the first party had been any big soiree where a ton of people were being invited to both events.  Which brings to question - do your friends want both of these parties? 

    Anyhow- just food for thought.  Again, heart is in the right place, but just be careful about overkill. 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I would be excited to attend a "so and so is starting the next chapter" or whatever you call it title.

    My 2 cents would be to make sure the couple is comfortable with such a celebration. If they are, maybe a Parker brothers theme? All games for families or kids of all ages? Shute's and ladders, monopoly etc. people could bring and play the games?

    And while I'd like to give a gift to such occasion, I would have no idea what's are fun, but not a necessity. When a foster child comes the likely need more important things like clothing, toiletries, sheets for a new bed, pillows etc that the couple/parents would need to kinda keep doing over and over with new kids( not sheets but to get started they'd need sheets). I know there is some money given to them but I'm sure it's not much.

    Good luck
    May '15 Bitter Snatch
  • WhitfryWhitfry member
    edited November 2014
    I think your idea is really sweet. I used to work in child protection and have seen a lot within the foster/adoption realm. My suggestion would be to swap your ideas. Take them out to a nice dinner to celebrate their taking on the challenge of fostering. If and when they do adopt, throw a big party to celebrate the new family.

    I've seen a lot of adoption parties and they are always wonderful and heartwarming. Being a foster parent is not always what people expect, and should it not work out it may be better not to make a huge to-do about it. There can be a lot of joy but also a lot of heartbreak. Show your support but save the big celebrations for when they seal the deal.
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