By Alex Temblador
A UK adoption team in the Bournemouth Borough Council have created a wonderful calendar for children who are about to be adopted.
They framed it after advent calendars, or a calendar that contains flaps that contain pictures or words and is used as a countdown to Christmas. Each calendar is specifically set up for each child and counts down the days until the foster child will be placed into their new home with their new family. More specifically, it includes steps along the way in their adoption journey. For instance, the flaps might share when the child would meet their new parent(s), visiting their new home, and the day that they get to go and live with their new family.
According to Gay Star News, David Rafelle from Bournemouth Borough Council explained the need for such calendars:
“The vast majority of children who need adoptive placements come into care with little or no preparation; one or two may have even been removed by police in the middle of the night. We want the move to an adoptive placement to feel completely different.”
Nick King, a dad of two who adopted through the Bournemouth adoption team explained how these adoption countdown calendars assisted in his children’s transition from foster care to his family.
“The calendars helped enormously with the transition from foster care to us. It’s a scary and confusing time for a child. They know that their foster home is temporary, that their move to a ‘forever family’ will provide a permanent family but still, they are leaving a familiar environment to move to one that’s entirely alien.”
“For both children it provided a focus for them. Counting down to the time they would begin to get to know their new Dads and most importantly providing vital structure to the coming days.”
He also added that the calendar assisted his already adopted son with the arrival of his new sister:
“Similarly, when we adopted our daughter, after our son had been living with us for almost three years, the calendar Bournemouth Adoption provided helped frame the transition experience for him perfectly.”
“It managed his expectation of when and how he would meet his new sister, explained why she would not be spending the whole day with us to begin with and set an end point at which he knew we would become a family of four.”
Though the UK adoption team isn’t mass producing these advent calendars for the world, it’s no reason why foster care parents or soon-to-be adoptive parents couldn’t make one. Pinterest provides a great platform for ideas for DIY projects such as this. Furthermore, it might be something that you could mention to the adoption agency or state foster care system that you work with or have worked with, so perhaps all children will have these wonderful calendars to assist them in their transition into their forever family homes.