We previously wrote about what the holidays mean for many recent adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents – questions! Part one of this blog talks about how to get started by making lists, and it’s a great place to start, but now we will help you think about how to make a plan for your holiday festivities.
If the idea of facing lots of relatives this holiday season stresses you out, then having a plan is important.
The Emergency Exit Plan
It is always best to try and engage family members and tell your story or news, but sometimes it can also become just too much. If you fear that may become the case, then plan an emergency exit strategy with your spouse. It can be a special signal, word, or phrase that let’s the other person know you need to have a break. Have a plan ready to go, even if it’s just that you need your spouse to interrupt a difficult conversation. Despite peoples’ best intentions, sometimes their questions can be too invasive. So go ahead and plan to help each other out with polite interruptions or reasons to step away for a bit.
Prepare Your Answers
Hopefully you won’t need an exit strategy at any holiday party and can simply rely on your planned answers. Starting with the list of questions you generated from part one of this blog, go ahead and talk out what your answer would be. It’s just like preparing for a test! Practice will help calm those pesky nerves and make you feel more confident about addressing any questions.
Questions from family members and good friends are mostly born out of a genuine curiosity and interest. And you never know – perhaps they are considering adoption themselves! So go ahead and indulge the questions, but know what you would like to say. If ever the questions cross a line, use your exit strategy or simply step away from the conversation.
Consider A Broad Announcement
If news of your adoption plans and dreams is not widely known in your family, consider making a toast or a big announcement at a family holiday party. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but making a blanket announcement can be a lot easier than telling people over and over. But be sure to talk about this with your spouse before any parties! You want to be sure and be on the same page.
Having a plan will help you relax and enjoy this holiday season, so start now so you don’t have to do any last-minute preparations.