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A Family For Every Child
Phone: 541-343-2856
Toll-Free: 877-343-2856
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A Family For Every Child
1675 West 11th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97402

Fax: 541-343-2866

Tax I.D. 20-4151057

Christy Obie-Barrett,
Executive Director

A Family For Every Child is a non-profit organization that serves families, children, and agencies nationwide. Thank you for all your support.

Adoption and the Holidays


While the upcoming holidays can often be a joyful and exciting time for families, it may be challenging for adopted children to transition into feeling like they are a part of the family during such a hectic time of they year. Memories of the holiday season may be painful for your child, and it is importandt as adoptive parents that you try to understand your child's complex feelings. We have compiled some suggestions to help you get through the Holidays.



Source: roslehen.at


One way to make your child feel more welcomed during this time of year is to maintain their traditions.. In Leslie Culpeper's article "Holidays with Your Adopted Child", she suggests keeping communication lines open with your child's biological family if it is a functional relationship. A holiday traditon that you could create to help maintain your child's relationship with their biological family might be to start a gift-exchange or an annual holiday brunch. If your child was adopted from another culture, perhaps incorporate traditions from their birth culture so that they know that their culture is important to your family.

Creating new traditions with your child will help strengthen your family bond rather than making them feel like an outsider during this time of year. It is important to incorporate your child into pre-existing traditions that your family may have, but creating new traditions with your child will help them feel like less of an outsider. Suggestions for creating new traditions can be found at http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/50-holiday-traditions.



Source: leadingladiesoflegacy.org


Acknowledging your child's feelings during this time of year is crucial. The Vaughan Firm's blog suggests asking your child questions, such as "Are you thinking about your birth mom?" It is important to acknowledge that your child may be feeling sad even during the time of year that is supposed to be happy. This helps your child trust you with their thoughts and feelings.

Another way to help your child during this time of year is to maintain routines. This helps children feel that they are in control even during a season that can often be hectic. Consistency is comforting to children. image002


Source: adoption-beyond.org


Lastly, you may need to prepare your extended family for the changes that your family is going through. In some situations, it may be best to avoid large family gatherings based on your child's needs. Instead, maybe plan on seeing your family in smaller groups rather than all at once, especially if this is the first time that your child is meeting your family. It is important to help your adopted child to not feel overwhelmed or isolated from the rest of the family.

Make the most of the holiday season with your family, even if it is not perfect. Picture-perfect holidays are often unrealistic, and the best thing that you can do for your kids is to help them feel loved, not just during this time of they year, but all year long as well. Below are some additional resources for even more ideas, suggestions, and tips:

link 1 When a Child Can't Be Home For Christmas. The Holidays can be a strong reminder of the lack of a family for a child from foster care. In addition, being unfamiliar with their new family's traditions can add to the anxiety. This article helps parents and kids through the difficult transition.
link 2 Celebrating the Kwanzaa Holiday and Understanding its Impact on Race Relations An article that details the Kwanzaa Holiday, how it originated, who celebrates it and how it differs from Christmas, Hanukkah and Ramadan.
link 3 Hanukkah Traditions for Kids: Ideas for Celebrating Hanukkah with ChildrenCelebrating Hanukkah. What is it? How to share Jewish traditions and stories with your children.
link 4 12 Days of Christmas Preparations for Foster and Adoptive ParentsThis unique and fun article explains helpful Christmas preparation tips and suggestions for Foster and Adoptive Parents in the format of the 12 Days of Christmas song!
link 5 Best Hanukkah Books for KidsChildren's Books Expert, Elizabeth Kennedy reviews Hanukkah books for kids. These books emphasize the importance of the Jewish holiday, family holiday activities, humorous tales about Hanukkah and its history, as well as sharing Hanukkah with friends and neighbors.
link 6 Best Children's Books about KwanzaaHere, Children's Books Expert, Elizabeth Kennedy reviews children's Kwanzaa books.
link 7 Best Christmas Pop-up Books for Children and AdultsChildren's Books Expert, Elizabeth Kennedy reviews the best Christmas pop-up books for Children and Adults to enjoy alike.
link 8 Yearly Grieving Struggles: Helping a Child with Developmental GrievingTimes of Celebration, like Christmas can be difficult for many foster and adoptive families, especially newly adopted children. These can be times of grieving. This is traditionally a time for family and for a child who is not with her birth family, a time for remembering the ones they've had to say good-bye to. All families have their good moments, even if they are few in number. These moments mean the world to foster children in the system. These memories are sometimes the only thing they have left of birth family. It can, however, be a great bonding moment for foster and adoptive families - a time to sit down and share memories. This article provides some ideas to get through these times a little easier.