November is national adoption month. Though we have never been one to celebrate this or even remember it with our kids, we have some very dear friends who do. They have a time once a year, where their children get to pick a favorite restaurant, they go and have some wonderful family time together and talk about what they all feel about being adopted. It becomes a time where everyone can open up and ask questions, or just have time together to celebrate their family.
As our boys get older, they are starting to ask questions; my oldest talks about being “from Russia” and often wonders when we can go visit. They ask things like, “why didn’t I grow in your tummy mommy,” and they want to look at the “life” book I have started for each of them. When these times come, I realize how important it is to at least take one day of the year and devote it to recognizing my kid’s adoptions. If you have adopted kids, you know that this is an important part of your child’s life….or at least, it will be at some point, but life can get away from all of us and we forget. I mean these are our kids, this is our family, and we don’t often think about the fact that our boys are adopted, because, well, they are just simply our kids.
But for them, it is important for them to know that we recognize being adopted makes their family “different” from others and following my friend’s lead, we decided to start a tradition with their family to celebrate being adopted all together!
What a great idea.
I mean, who doesn’t like to celebrate anything with good friends?
So they made the trek to our place in Michigan and wow, what a weekend it was. On Saturday morning, the dads took the older boys out to the woods for some target practice and hiking around while Austin and Iris helped us cook the cultural feast!
They absolutely loved forming the Dragon Head Meatballs in honor of China!
Later, after the boys came home, we served up the food we had been slaving over all day. Other than the meatballs, we had Russian black bread and beef stroganoff in honor of our son, Alec adopted from Russia. We had Haitian Rice and Beans for Tiga, who joined his family from Haiti, Georgia Peach Pie for Dakota and Chicago hot dogs for Austin (the two domestically adopted boys – you can’t forget the United States and our food culture!)
The kids each introduced their dish into the video camera for posterity and maybe, just maybe, we served up a bit of vodka for the adults…. In honor of Russia of course.
I will never forget this weekend and the bonding that was had. I don’t really know if the kids all “got it” that we were there to celebrate their adoptions, but they did get that families like to celebrate and celebrating together is always a good thing. We hope to make this a tradition and as our kids change and grow, they will hopefully take the lead on how to celebrate the day, the weekend, or the entire month, in a way that makes it meaningful for them.