Part of the series “30 Things I Know About Adoption.”
Christmas is 2 days away so this is my reminder to parents of adoptive kids.
Holidays are hard!
It seems weird, I know. It’s gifts and food and fun family time. What should be so hard about it?
- But it is. And we may never understand all the reasons.
- Are they remembering family they have left behind?
- Are they thinking of past Christmases that were either good or bad?
- Are they on sensory overload with the lights, food, activities?
- Does all this “family” time make them feel still like an outsider?
For us, I always wonder if it conjures up specific memories of when we got them in Ethiopia. We met and brought the kids back to our hotel on Dec. 22nd. Spent Christmas day in Ethiopia and flew home on the 27th.
Regardless, it is what it is. I try to be understanding of the melt downs or grumpiness. Realize that their expectations might be set very high based on what they think Christmas should look like.
You may find it necessary to pull back on all the festivities and keep your Christmas more simple – everything from the decorations to the gifts.
But my best advice? Keep YOUR expectations low. Don’t try to make it a picture perfect holiday, just make it the best that it can be.
P.S. This applies to birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day and generally every other big holiday as well. I think mother’s and father’s day are even harder.