Harriet with Theo and husband, Mark. Photo provided by Harriet Fancott.
Q: Did you play a role in planning the welcome party or did you leave all the planning to a few pals? A: We found out we were becoming parents about six weeks before our son Theo’s birth. Several good friends asked me what I would like in terms of a shower, which was so sweet. I said a Jack and Jill Welcome Party to be held several months after the birth. I wanted our child to be welcomed into our family as well as a community of loving friends and children. Other than approving a date and asking me about a gift, my friends planned everything.
Q: You held off on having the party until after the 30-day revocation period. How did it feel when the 30 days passed and you knew Theo was all yours? A: Just to be safe, we decided to wait until after the 30 days was up. It felt more secure to wait until we knew we were 100% parents. That said, I’ve never thought of Theo as all mine. I recognize that he also has an important lifelong connection to his birth family.
Q: What types of gifts did you receive? A: Theo was several months old by the time we had the party so we decided that donations for a stroller would be the most useful. It was the only thing we needed at that point. Our party host placed a discreet money box at the front door to collect for the stroller....I really didn’t need or care about the gifts, I just wanted to bring everyone together to welcome our son into our lives.
Q: What were some of the reactions you got about the welcome party from your guests? A: People were ecstatic. It was a stunning fall day and everyone took turns holding Theo and having their photo taken. It was just a wonderful community love-in!
Q: Do you have any tips or recommendations for people who are planning to host a welcome party?
A: If you are hosting, you should check in with the new parents to see what they want and make sure they are ready for a party. They may need time alone with the baby or child first. In some cases, new moms and dads do not want others holding their children until they’ve attached with them; in which case, the host should let people know in advance. Every adoption situation is different. Some kids are older when they arrive; some are babies. Either way, the number one thing is to make sure that you have a welcome party. Make sure your friends and family know that just because you didn’t give birth does not mean you don’t deserve a party! Q: What was your favourite moment that day?
A: Having all my nearest and dearest together in one place and seeing how happy they were for us.
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