18 Ways to Celebrate and Support a Growing Family in Your Life, Part 1
Author, speaker, and teacher, Rosie Molinary, empowers women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world. The author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina, she teaches body image at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and facilitates transformative workshops and retreats for women.
November is Adoption Awareness Month. Rosie Molinary, a Karina Brand Ambassador, is the mother to a five year old boy who joined her family when he was five months old in 2009. In celebration of National Adoption Awareness Month, we’ve asked her to share some insights from her perspective as a mother through adoption.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last five years of talking about parenting and adoption is that so many people worry about doing and saying the right thing when it comes to families who come together in non-traditional ways that they feel sort of paralyzed. I’ve been on speed-dial for a lot of friends and loved ones who want do the right thing and while there are no absolutes, I’ve come up with some advice along the way of how to help welcome a new loved one into the fold when a friend or family member is expecting (with an eye towards adoption).
Before the new arrival arrives
1. Drop by a few meals that can be frozen before the arrival date or adoption date. It’s in their best interest as a nuclear family to have their first weeks at home evolve in a way that they define and that may not include visitors on day one at home. By dropping off a meal (or three) before anything changes, they are given a little breathing room to seek only what they need in those first precious days back home as a family.
2. Offer to go grocery shopping for them on the day that they will arrive back home. Ask for a list and a key and have those groceries in the fridge or in the cabinets well before they are scheduled to be home.
3. Offer to coordinate meal delivery, and don’t be shy. When a friend offered this to us, I was terribly shy about giving her names. She wasn’t the least bit shy and pulled together weeks of meals for us. Another friend coordinated people dropping by frozen meals for us before we left (see #1) so we had six total weeks of meals provided to us. It was the most perfect of gifts– one of the loveliest ways to be loved.
4. Offer to come over for a day of putting things together. There is so much gear and stuff that goes with bringing home a new family member of any age. Bunk bed building help, car seat installing help, wall painting help is all so very welcome.
5. Do something sweet and welcoming. It might be making sure that you mail a card that says Congratulations or Welcome to the new family member. It may be painting a sign or hanging a welcome flag at the house for their arrival home. We received so many cards in the first weeks we were home, and it was just so touching.
6. Send good thoughts, say prayers, hold them close, offer good wishes– however it is you express joy, appreciation, hope to the world, do that for this family.
Come back tomorrow for part 2 of 18 Ways to Celebrate and Support a Growing Family in Your Life.