Traditions bring life to new love and new families.

Family traditions give us roots and offer stability. In our frequently chaotic world, we move at a fast pace. We cope with a variety of challenges, many of which are unexpected.

For all of us, and especially adopted children, family traditions can provide connection, security and a safe place to land. What do some family traditions look like?

Mother’s Day

A special day for honoring mom can also bring healing.

Some families create traditions to honor both their adopted mom and birth mother. In an open adoption, it’s possible the birth mother can be present and part of the tradition.

If not possible, heartfelt and lasting traditions can be created. In an article written by Beth Roth, “A Mother’s Day Ritual” for Adoptive Families, she shares a beautiful story about a simple ceremony to help adopted children celebrate their love for both of their mothers.


For some adopted children, birthdays can be bittersweet.

Even if adopted at birth, they had a past before you became a family, and this day may be a reminder. Adoptive parents can be supportive in many ways. You can help your child by being open and talking about their feelings.

Honor and respect their past by creating birthday traditions that do so also. If an adopted child comes from another country or culture, talk with them about creating traditions that include customs or special foods to celebrate their past and their present. In an open adoption, a tradition can include contact with the birth mother or biological family.


Make fun a family tradition.

Maybe it’s shopping or making Halloween costumes every first of October or having grandparents over for pizza each before trick-or-treating. You could go out on a limb and have your child annually select your costume or do your make up!

These are memories made together. Cherish the time to play, have fun and be ghoulish.


This holiday means food and family. Traditions from planning the menu together to having your child make a special dish each year will build family bonds.

Why not start each Thanksgiving with the Macy’s Day Parade and hot chocolate? Or help your child draw and cut out leaves that Thanksgiving guests can write thoughts of gratitude on. Pick a local charity with your child’s help and serve meals at a shelter, participate in a canned food drive or visit a shut-in neighbor.


Events and holidays offer unique opportunities to create traditions and connection. Whether you have an open adoption or not, traditions can also help a child honor and maintain a healthy understanding of their biological family.

Create positive and cherished memories, and you’ll help your child look forward to holiday celebrations that honor their past and celebrate their present.

Author: Destiny Adoption Services

Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.