Welcoming a friends adopted toddler.

(13 Posts)

My lovely neighbour has been matched and will start introductions soon with 2 year old Soon-to-be-DD (Z).

When Z comes to live with my neighbour I would like to get her a little handmade card.

What's the best wording for the card. "Congratulations on your (new?) DD, Z", "Welcome Z" or none of the above, I'm a bit clueless and don't want to offend. Or are cards not the done thing? I kept all my "new baby" cards as a keepsake and thought it would be nice for her to have the same, because I see it as the same. New baby or toddler, we are welcoming a little life regardless of how long it took to find their family.

Also how should I explain to my DDs about Z? They are 5 and 3. I was thinking of saying that some children are born to one family but aren't supposed to be with them so take some time before going to their new mummy, the one they are suppose to be with. But again I'm clueless and don't want to create an issue in the future when DDs are playing with Z.

<worrys I've said something to offend in OP> I'm so excited for her but so new to this and don't want to upset.

littlemrssleepy Fri 03-May-13 21:10:02

I have no idea on the etiquette but you sound lovely! I think in her situation I'd really appreciate a card I'd probably burst into tears that someone thought of it though and wouldn't mind too much what it said. To be honest something along the lines you would find on a 'normal' card such as 'congrats on the arrival of your daughter' would still fit.

With regards your own kids, I'd probably just wait for them to ask questions. They may well just accept it - especially the 3 year old. Your idea might make them worried that you aren't supposed to be their mummy IYSWIM! Or ask your friend how she would prefer you to explain it.

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 04-May-13 15:54:05

You do sound lovely smile. When DD arrived (aged 10mo) I got cards from friends, colleagues and family, ranging from congratulations, new arrival, new baby and it's a girl. I loved every single one of them and was overwhelmed by everyone being so thoughtful. We had it's a girl balloons in the house too. So what I'm trying to say is that it's the thought that counts and no offence will be taken whatever the card says.

As for your DD's I would echo little in following your neighbour's lead. My Dnephews were 3 and 4 when DD came. My DSis broached the subject with the eldest only to be told that he knew exactly what adoption was - from school possibly.

We told them that DD's mummy and daddy weren't able to look after her, so she came to live with us. As adoptive parents we are very honest with DD and talk about adoption, foster carers etc. even though she is only 2, she will always know where she came from.

KristinaM Sat 04-May-13 21:20:48

I agree with everyone else about the card

WRT your own kids -they probably won't ask very much . Keep it as simple as possible . I wouldn't mention the word adoption unless they ask .

Eg Mary is going to get a littel girl. Her name is Jane and she is 2 . Isn't that's great news, Mary is very happy. Shall we buy a present for her? What do you think she would like?

They may ask where she lived before or why she didn't grow in Mary's tummy.just explain that Jane had another mummy but she couldn't look after her so now she is going to live with Mary And she will be her mummy forever .

Your 5yo may ask why she couldn't live with her other mummy , just say there are lots of reasons , we don't really know as its private so we don't ask about it .

Your 5yo should know the difference between something being private and secret.

It's lovely that you are getting a card and being so thoughtful. It will be so appreciated. It's nice to feel like a regular new mum an adopter. There are adoption cards available now and you can customise on Moonpig and Funky Pigeon. The children of friends all know that our daughter is adopted. We have been asked why on many occasions and I always explain that some children need new families to help them grow healthy and strong. Todd Parr wrote a book called We Belong Together and that's great for children to help them understand. The older children ask more complex questions but I explain to them that it it our daughters personal story that she needs to understand before anyone else knows and then she can tell them for when she is old enough.

Ikeameatballs Sun 05-May-13 23:23:06

I fond a card for our friends by adapting one on dogsdoodaahs. I didn't go for a new baby one just because I felt that lots of those cards were suited to very small babies and their ds was 14 months.

I have two other sets of friends who are also in the process of adopting, including a gay male couple. Dd (7) has asked a few questions but I just went down the line of some mummies and daddies can't look after their children for very long so they need new parents who can look after them forever. She also understood a bit about why the gay couple need to adopt to have a child. Ds (3) sort of listened but hasn't asked any more and we all meet up pretty frequently.

TheTragicClam Mon 06-May-13 15:17:56

We belong together! Great book, we read it to DD a lot when she first arrived.

In terms of cards, I think your neighbour will be really chuffed that you made the effort, not everyone (even close family) seems to bother when it's adoption so it really makes a difference to know someone sees the extension of your family as card-worthy. Something like "congratulations" or "welcome to the family Z" seems appropriate.

Kewcumber Mon 06-May-13 22:47:46

tbh at 5 DS barely understood adoption himself and he is adopted and we talk about it often I would imagine most 5 year olds or less couldn't be less interested. None of his class were particularly interested either in reception or even most if years 1 or 2.

I'd stick with KristinaM's suggestion of just a straightforward X next door is getting a little girl.

I was happy to get cards - was never particularly bothered about what they said the thought was enough. I've never met another adopter who much minded either.

flossymuldoon Tue 07-May-13 13:41:22

My DS has no concept of being adopted so we don't use those words. Partly i think down the fact that he wasn't 'adopted' until a year after placement. We talked about "when you came to live with us" instead and as he understands that, that's what we have carried on saying. I guess the word 'adopted' will be used more as he gets older.

Deffo get them a card as it will be really appreciated. One friend treated us getting DS as the same as us having a baby and even bought some baby things - a musical snow globe (which he still loves and uses every day at 3 1/2) and a money box. DH's MUM also sent her engraved silver baby brush and comb from when she was a baby.
I can't tell you how touched i was and made me feel just like any other 1st time Mum.

We got all kinds of cards, from It's a boy! to a generic Congrats. It was really touching for us. I wouldn't worry too much about the card content, it is the thought that counts. I would judge it by how you think your neighbour would feel, and if you're a bit unsure, err on the side of caution.

Snazzynewyear Sat 11-May-13 01:14:51

Card shops are awash with 'new baby' wording, I know, but I found one saying 'Your little girl is here!' when my friend adopted her daughter. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll find the right one. I got a photo frame I think plus toy for the little girl.

Magslee Sat 11-May-13 13:51:32

I'd agree cards are lovely and doesn't really matter what they say. My neighbour just told me to ring her bell anytime I needed help even in the middle of the night and that meant the world to me (I haven't had to yet but just knowing I could really helps).

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 11-May-13 14:07:15

You sound lovely op - my friends sent a text out when their dd came saying 'it's a girl' !! So as that set the tone we treated it like any other new baby - she was 3 and is doing brilliantly smile

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