Life’s special events should be remembered, celebrated and memorialized—but what about adoption? How should adoptions be celebrated? Social gatherings serve an important function for families and children by keeping us connected and reminding us of our special family bonds. Weddings, births, graduations, and funerals follow cultural protocols and religious traditions that help us to manage times of big changes.
Adoption reunions can be highly memorable events that bridge generations and remind us of our ancestral roots. The purpose of adoption celebrations is to host a social gathering to honor and praise family members. Adoption is a unique way of making a family and a pivotal social event that significantly alters life’s trajectory for many people. Celebrating an adoption story, or a successful reunion with birth parents, provide excellent opportunities for getting together as a family to extol the virtues and contributions of grand parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings and show support for parents, family members and friends.
Choosing the rituals and protocols to follow at these events is a complex task that varies widely, depending on personal preferences, and social customs of those attending—especially when international connections are planned. Many worthy objectives can be accomplished at these ceremonies. They are a time for story telling, giving speeches that provide historical perspectives, making celebratory toasts, and describing personal stories about war, poverty, struggles and immigration. They provide opportunities to praise achievements, acknowledge contributions, remember significant others, relive poignant moments, make proclamations, and eulogize worthy family members and traditions.
The family is the most basic unit in our society. We look to our families for care, support, and protection. They teach us the values of loyalty, independence, responsibility, and mutual love. They help preserve fond memories, favorite recipes, stories, and relationships that will last for generations. Given a chance, adoption reunions can showcase hidden talents, provide family members with important values, create strong and lasting bonds, and extol a deep sense of belonging that they can pass on to their children. Our association with others is a necessary part of our completeness. When circumstances are overwhelming, reunions are a time to anchor to the special people with whom we are connected for life. They are a time to renew old bonds, rekindle pride in our history, family traditions and self. It is our family who helps us endure adversity, give us comfort, share our victories, and pick us up when we fail. And for the alienated, they are a time to help establish ties broken by time, distance and life’s busy agenda.
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