“Why celebrate homecoming?” you ask. My kids know they were adopted. Always have known. Although they rarely talk about it, they think about their adoption story. The time leading up to their homecoming day can be a bit rocky; they tend to ask more questions about their past and their birth families. Emotions and behaviours can regress because they are remembering and are processing their story. The kids—this was especially true when they were younger—often cannot identify what is bothering them. I have learned it is important to support my kids through this season. If they bring up questions, I listen to what is on their hearts. I let them lead. I share and answer at their emotional age level. The birthmom candle also lets my kids know that we all remember their birthmom. I am validating my kids and their story by being open and not forgetting. It says, “I love you and I am so thankful that you joined my family through adoption.”
I also respect and honour this special mom, their birthmom. My kids are watching me, oh so closely. They see that I recognize her important place in our family despite her absence and despite the fact that her past choices still have a profound impact on us all today. My kids notice my comfort with her importance, my willingness to include her, and that I am not threatened by her. They also know that I will back off when they do not want to visit that part of their story; so important as they come to grips with the hardness and the truths of their adoption story. These are some of the reasons why homecoming days are important for our family.
Do you celebrate homecoming day? What are your traditions around this day?