Anyhoodles, no, we're not doing an adoption shower. Or any sort of welcome to the family party, which is the first thing my extended family started talking about when we told them about our adoption plans. This just isn't something to celebrate. Not from the kid's point of view.
Think of this way: people keep saying how lucky our kid is to be adopted by us. You know what lucky would be? If her original set of parents hadn't screwed the pooch so badly that she ended up in this position at all. I can't even say that we're the next best thing, since her time since the system intervened has been less than awesome. So we're what? The pot of gold at the end of a really crappy rainbow? The safe harbor at the end of an arduous journey she should never have had to take?
Our kid wants to be adopted, but still, I expect that moving in with us will involve some grief for everything she's losing--a familiar foster home with dogs she loves, a familiar school setting, plus grief for everything she lost ages ago. You don't throw a party the weekend that happens.
Another buzzkill is that the process is uncertain and out of your hands until you're matched with a kid. In our case, we were the only potential parents being considered for our kid for months before we knew that we were it. Some agencies don't make a decision until after you've met the kid. It's really hard to tell when you can celebrate that you have a kid, because you don't know THAT you have a kid. Every time I updated my parents on the situation, I told them not to get too excited because I couldn't deal with their disappointment on top of my own.
And even once we were matched with our kid, I couldn't forget what a long, difficult road we have ahead of us. How do you celebrate when you're reading books about parenting traumatized kids?
But still...there is cool stuff. Like how awesome her room looks (she selected the bed set and curtains herself). And all the fun stuff we'll be doing like introducing her to NYC and just playing board games and doing craft projects so the three of us can bond. And how she comes with sarcasm pre-installed (me: Do you want to make ice cream next weekend? her: That shouldn't even be a question.).