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Advice on gifts and celebration for friend who is adopting

(20 Posts)
TheOriginalNutty Thu 10-Nov-16 20:00:38

It looks like my best friend and her hubby will be adopting a little girl in the new year grin

I'd like some advice as to what to get as a gift for the little girl and my friend and any do's and don't's.


crispandcheesesanwichplease Thu 10-Nov-16 20:40:41

How old is the little girl nutty?

When I adopted my DC (aged 18 months)she came to me with all the belongings she's had at the foster carers so she already had lots of toys and clothes. I'm not sure all foster carers do this though.

Strangely a colleague of mine bought me a selection of nice bubble bath type things. However after being plunged into parenthood I realised how much that soak in the bath after my Dc had gone to bed and a bit of pampering for myself was appreciated!

RatherBeIndoors Thu 10-Nov-16 20:42:31

The best experience I had were the friends who understood I needed them to be a support to me and (at first) not necessarily interact much with my new child. In the early months it's so vital for the new parents to start to forge connections with their child and help the child learn who they are - but this is exhausting, not least because it means keeping visitors and family at a slight distance. So, absolutely anything you do that is 100% about supporting your friend - phone calls, dropping round dinner, picking up occasional shopping, tiptoe-ing round after bedtime to just chat - is likely to be deeply appreciated.

I probably wouldn't buy anything big for the little girl yet - she might have loads that comes with her, or she might not. Some people brought copies of their favourite childhood book for our LO, which was lovely. For your friend, there's a nice notebook-style book called "My kid in lists" which is blank pages with titles and space for loads of writing memories, like favourite foods or first things done together - it can be a lovely substitute for the baby books you get for newborns, as it works for any age.

crispandcheesesanwichplease Thu 10-Nov-16 20:52:32

Agree totally with rather about the support.

Also nutty, don't be surprised/confused/judgemental if she finds it hard to cope. Even though they are hopefully getting a much wanted child after the dance with the devil that is an adoption assessment life may be very, very tough for them getting used to being parents and attaching with another little person. Be there for your friend, ask her what would be useful, and don't sit in her house expecting to be waited on! Make her a cup of tea, bring her round a meal, even if it's only nice snacks, so she can put her feet up and have a break herself.

PoppyStellar Thu 10-Nov-16 21:01:45

One of the nicest things one of my friends did for me when DD (who was 2 and a bit) first arrived was send me a lovely bouquet of flowers with the accompanying note 'because all new mums deserve flowers' It was such a thoughtful gesture and really lifted my spirits in the first few days / weeks which can be massively emotionally draining.

TheOriginalNutty Thu 10-Nov-16 21:25:15

Thank you all so much for the replies smile, the little girl will be 3.8 yrs.

I will definitely follow their lead as to how much to be around as I know they will need time to themselves, and my friend also has quite a large extended family, plus it will be her parents first grandchild.

Are there any poems that anyone know of that would be suitable for a card ?? I have had a quick look but wasn't really sure what I was looking for.

I will have to practice not being so emotional I think lol. So far every time she has txt me an update I've cried.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Fri 11-Nov-16 14:23:16

Definitely a card. Look in the births section and you can find some suitably worded, or there are special adoption ones.

- given to parent, not direct to child
- not wrapped up
- children from care tend to be behind developmentally so if anything go below the age not above it.

My suggestions
- can't go wrong with books
- craft materials such as paint, playdough ( not kits aimed at 5yos), A3 low grade coloured paper, stickers (best present we had was paintpots!)
- bubble mixture

PoppyStellar Fri 11-Nov-16 14:43:58

I think Adoption UK sell adoption cards, but you can also get adoption cards from lots of card shops. I was amazed at the array of different adoption specific congratulations cards my friends managed to find. It really meant a lot to me personally to receive these, (I've also kept them because I'm a sentimental old goat at heart) so they might be something your friend would appreciate.

LocoMoco Fri 11-Nov-16 15:13:20

Not flesh of my flesh

Nor bone of my bone,

But still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute,

You didn't grow under my heart

But in it.

I've always liked that poem. Good luck.

sarahnova69 Sat 12-Nov-16 13:41:32

Friends recently adopted a sibling pair. I got them a family meal box from Cook delivered and they raved about it - apparently made life much easier in the intense early days.

meandyouplustwo Sat 12-Nov-16 17:54:01

I got a lovely book , "my family my journey, available from amazon" , Its like a baby record book but you fill in month by month from when the child moves in . Its available from Amazon . I would also go with meals and anything that makes life easier . i remember being exhausted with excitement before they arrived smile

Hels20 Sun 13-Nov-16 18:47:32

Having just adopted for the second time, our child who had lived in foster care for 15 months with foster carer came with ZERO toys (except 4 cuddly toys that BM had given him and 4 wholly inappropriate
random matchbox toys). He came with lots of clothes - but apart from 4 outfits, nothing. And no books either.

I really loved my best friend sending me a basket of goodies - toys and some clothes. She had heard me voice my concerns that his FC was slightly strange and kept on saying in response to whether that toy was coming "that's mine". So maybe check in with your friend when she is doing introductions.

I think children rarely come with books - so maybe some lovely books like "Giraffes can't Dance" and "What the Ladybird Heard" with gift receipts and maybe some clothes for the spring/summer - Zara do gorgeous children's clothes, especially for girls and maybe a toy or two - my 4 year old God daughter is obsessed with Paw Patrol

Hels20 Sun 13-Nov-16 18:48:02

That should have said "nothing fit" except 4 outfits...

Hels20 Sun 13-Nov-16 18:49:02

Another thing that my friend did for me and which I cherish - is make an album and stick in the photos I had emailed over the first 3 months along with my emails...

Kewcumber Sun 13-Nov-16 19:39:30

Be careful about verses that are too mushy. Many of us felt bewildered and tired and emotional and depressed in the early days - verses telling me how much I loved this total stranger/what a perfect family we were/how everything was going to be brilliant from now on made me feel totally inadequate.

The fact anyone marked it by sending a card at all was more than enough for me - I was happy with "congratulations on the new arrival to the family".

Yes yes yes to meals, photoframes and bubble mixture.

Kewcumber Sun 13-Nov-16 19:41:30

Having just adopted for the second time,


How did I miss this?! I mean I knew it was on the cards but not that it had happened. Congrats, Hels.

sarahnova69 Sun 13-Nov-16 19:50:29

The fact anyone marked it by sending a card at all was more than enough for me - I was happy with "congratulations on the new arrival to the family".

Thanks for this perspective - I couldn't find any adoption cards so settled on a generic 'congratulations' card and wrote 'congratulations on being a new family' - but haven't been sure I hit the right area!

(My friends' children are older so I wanted to write a message that would be appropriate for them to read too.)

Stevemcqueenlikesbeans Sun 13-Nov-16 19:50:38

You sound like a lovely friend, believe me your friend will appreciate the thought you are putting into this.

Favourite gifts we received when our daughter came home to us were things she could treasure and keep when she's older:

A name for her door, a wall plaque with her name (in your friends daughters case, yes it's really her own room and yes she is staying, it's permanent - something that isn't often possible in foster care)
A wooden memory box with her name on it.

Books were lovely, and as someone else mentioned, a bunch of flowers arrived for me, it meant the world to be treated as any other new mum. It's an emotional time for us too smile

I really noticed the difference between my birth child (loads of flowers, cards and gifts) and my adopted daughter (age 9 months when she came to us), we received very few cards and gifts and I hurt for her because of that.

I know that your friends daughter will be older and therefore more aware, and it isn't wise for them to be bombarded by wrapped gifts and their transition to their forever family home needs to be low key and stress free, however you can still make gifts (given to your friend rather than directly to her child) meaningful so that she can treasure them later when she understands.

We received a few "aren't you great? We're so proud of you for doing such an amazing thing" type cards and they were NOT appropriate. The best cards were the ones that said "welcoming your daughter to your family" ones.

My birth daughter age 6 loves to go through her box of baby cards, it breaks my heart that my adopted daughter has so few. Her foster carer said that when she brought her home to foster family as a new born baby it was very sad to have no cards, balloons flowers for her and no celebration of her birth. So cards and keepsakes are very important.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Mon 14-Nov-16 07:47:10

I wouldn't have been too keen on receiving clothes.
My DDs came with a lot of clothes, some of which I liked, some not.
I was so pleased when they outgrew them and I could start buying things to my taste.
It's a minefield for friends and family really!

Kewcumber Mon 14-Nov-16 08:54:27

Best present I got was Mothercare vouchers - I loved going to choose stuff for DS.

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