Deciding to adopt is one of the most important and wonderful things you will do in your life. But no matter how excited and happy (and, let’s face it, a somewhat scared) you are, adoption is a complicated thing, surrounded by complicated emotions. You will (hopefully) have a lot of support from your loved ones, but you will unfortunately have to deal with the occasional “when are you going to have real children?”. And that’s not counting your own fears and anxieties. One way to help you get rid of that anxiety is to give your new baby a proper welcome into your family. Here’s how.

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Have a baby shower

No, really. You don’t have to get pregnant to get a baby shower. Baby showers are how your loved ones offer you love and support. Is how they say “we are excited for your baby too”. Also, there are presents to be had and cake to be eaten. There really is no reason not to have a baby shower. Most importantly, baby showers are one of society’s traditional conventions when you are starting a family, so having one will definitely “legitimize” your family a little bit in the eyes of the doubters.

Have people welcome you (and your baby) home

When you come back from the hospital (or the airport, if you are adopting internationally), make sure there is someone to welcome you home. A huge thing just happened: you became a parent. This is a very big deal and it should be treated as such. Coming back to an empty home might make you feel a little, well, empty. As if nothing had changed. Have some friends or family welcome you and your new child, maybe throw some confetti and give you casseroles to freeze. With a new baby around, you will really be thankful of those casseroles.

Surround yourself with trusted and supportive people

It all comes down to having supportive people in your life that will make your journey through parenthood just that much rewarding and joyful. Surround yourself with the friends and family that will take pictures, send you cards, help you with food and maybe babysit once in a while. Parenthood is stressful, especially at the beginning. If you have some members of your family that would make comments such as “when are you having real kids?”, make sure you have a designated person to help you deal with them. No matter how strong you are, some days those comments might get to you. It’s good to know you have a dedicated person who would support you no matter what in those family reunions.