In 1851, the first law in the United States regarding adoption was enacted right here in Massachusetts. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that President Clinton proclaimed November as National Adoption Month.
As November 2018 comes to a close this week, I reached out to several adoptive parents to see how they celebrated this new occasion in their lives.
National Adoption Month holds a permanent place in the life of new adoptive parent Drina, who brought home her son, MC, from the hospital in March. Having a reason to celebrate motivated her to do something meaningful. “I really reflected on it,” Drina explained. “My son’s birth mother made him a beautiful collage out of various materials that included his photo and name. It is a beautiful reminder of all the love in his life.” Drina decided this month was the perfect opportunity to frame the collage and hang it on his bedroom wall. “It is something I treasure dearly and want MC to see every day.”
Another family, Julie and her husband, Jaime, who adopted twins soon turning 2, were inspired to post a National Adoption Month message on Facebook. They shared, as they often do, the joys of being parents through adoption. As Julie will tell you, “We celebrate adoption all year round.” During November, Julie and a few of her colleagues gave a professional development presentation at work to raise awareness about adoption and adoptive families. Julie and Jaime also marked the month of celebration with their daughters. “We read books we made for them about their birth and how they came to our families, as well as an ABC scrapbook that incorporates adoption, their birth mother, photos of their finalization day and special quotes,” added Julie.
Our agency, in its 36th year of adoption work, honored the month by bringing in bagels and nosh. Nothing musters our staff quicker than the mention of food in the kitchen. Soon a gathering of coworkers formed, all eager to share and listen to our many personal connections to adoption. Our office manager, who adopted her daughter as an infant from Russia, reminisced about bringing her home. Recalling those early years, she spontaneously called her daughter, now a college sophomore, with all of us present to wish her a happy National Adoption Month. Another coworker shared the touching story of the day that her now 78-year-old adopted brother went to court as a youngster to finalize his name change. She fondly remembers how excited he was to have a new name and used it proudly. Yet another colleague described how her grandson’s school recognizes this month with a school-wide adoption party in honor of staff and students who are adopted.
It is true—adoption is celebrated by many of us every day. Just the same, it is nice to have a month set apart to reflect on how adoption has evolved and touches so many of our lives.
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