Adoption: Creating Holiday Traditions and Rituals in Adoptive Families

Many children who have been placed for adoption from foster care have anxiety and uncertainty about holidays and the expectations these times carry.  It is helpful for adoptive families to quickly establish rituals and traditions that embrace their newly formed family members, so the child can feel a part of a heritage that is significant fro the family. Traditions such as these help create bonds in adoptive families. The most enduring traditions cost little money, but help everyone feel special. . Your family traditions will remain important as your child becomes an adult.

One way the adoption staff at Lutheran Services of Georgia helps families build these holiday traditions is through our annual Adoptive Family Christmas Party. This year Andrew Willis was our Santa Claus, juggling several pillows to stuff his Santa suit! We also have a volunteer who annually offers her services as a clown teaching the children to make animal shapes out of balloons and keeping them enthralled with her pink hair and colorful clown garments. Families are asked to bring a dish to share and the children often help in the preparation of a holiday favorite from their home.

What we have discovered over the years is that families early in placement come in numbers to the party but as time moves forward and they develop strong traditions of their own, the tether to the agency is gradually released.  We are thrilled to see this as we know this means the adoption is no longer the primary focus of the family life. We do see families who adopt newborn infants return year after year to share with great pride their bundle of joy’s growth and development.

On December 4, 2011, we had between 50-60 people attend our annual Adoptive Family Christmas Party. Several families returned as they are now ready for placement of additional children from foster care.

We feel very blessed to be a part of the children’s transition to permanency, love and a nurturing family to grow up in. This has become a seasonal tradition we are proud to offer our families.