What to Wear to Adopt
There’s so much heavy stuff in the news lately, we thought instead of a serious blog topic we’d go with something light and frothy, like “what to wear to adopt.”
Because yassssss, knowing what to wear (and not wear) might definitely make for a more entertaining read than the pending tax cuts legislation or the rising prices of avocadoes or the latest domestic terrorism death toll– you know what we’re saying?
So if you’re seeking to adopt through Abrazo, here’s our handy-dandy fashion advisory on what to wear to adopt. In the what-not-to-wear column is maternity clothes if you’re not pregnant (and yes, we have seen this done.) We’re all for the ease of enjoying “big shirts and leggings,” sure. But shopping at Motherhood Maternity and pretending to be physically-pregnant in order to enjoy the benefits of being paper-pregnant might just make one more pathological than pregnant– in the big picture. (Just saying.)
Coming to orientation
When you are adopting through Abrazo’s full-service program, you win an all-expense-paid-by-you trip to sunny San Antonio to spend an orientation weekend getting to know the AbrazoChicks and learning all about open adoption the Abrazo Way, to start you off right! Some folks come thinking this is really some sort of twisted group interview, but no need to dress-to-impress; if you hadn’t already impressed us with your application, you wouldn’t be invited. So come comfy! We’re not talking about skivvies-and-teddies comfy, of course? But if you’re ever going to show up anywhere in your worn jeans or sweats or flannel jammie bottoms, this is the safest time to do it. Because we already pretty much like you (unless you wear a “Spurs Suck” tee, in which case we’re warning you now: you’ll be doing yourself no favors with our staff.)
Meet the (prospective) birthparents
Whether you’re picking out pics for your profile or coming to meet in person, the old job-hunting advice about “dress for the job you’re seeking” probably applies here… which is parenting, of course. (And no, this doesn’t mean you need to go invest in mom-jeans or show up for lunch in a June Cleaver-style apron. Do not get a baseball cap embroidered with the words “Pick Me for Papa” across it.) If you look decent in a swimsuit, then including vacay pics on your profile is fine, but watch out for excessive cleavage or overexposure. For your first in-person meeting with the prospective birthparents (or the homestudy worker,) wearing nice jeans or khakis with a pullover or button down will obviously look more respectable than torn jeans and a midriffs, just as something clean and casual will make you look more approachable than donning your Sunday best. Some couples coordinate well, wearing variations of the same color, but matching husband/wife Hawaiian shirts just make you look, well, kitschy. Oh, and leave the heavy hardware (expensive jewelry, Rolex, etc.) at home, too, please. Make “show and tell” about who you are, not what you have.
If you’re fortunate enough to be invited to the hospital to share in the birth experience, then definitely make sure you wear the most comfortable flat shoes you own. Take along a light sweater or wrap in case the A/C is cranked up to accommodate the mama who’s doing all the hard work. Do not (not, not) wear anything identifying yourself as a new parent or parent-to-be (surely, this goes without saying, right?) and don’t bring along an overnight bag, either, because every conscientious adopting parent knows that the potential birthparents need whatever time they have to be the baby’s parents and you cannot rightfully assume that role until after placement has occurred. (So also leave your diaper bag and car seat out in the car until after discharge, capisce?)
After two or more days of respectful hospital visits, when it’s time for placement to occur, you can wear whatever you like– but remember, there will be many photos taken on this day that you’ll treasure for life, so you’re going to want to tidy up just a little, so your child doesn’t question why you looked so trashed even before your first sleepless night as a new parent. (As excited as you may be to finally don the neon “I’m the Mom” and “I’m the Dad” tshirts your in-laws bought for this occasion, most of Abrazo’s birthparents and adoptive parents go out together to eat after placement, so you may find such a fashion statement to be a bit awkward, if not altogether insensitive.) Oh, and word to the wise: from now on, avoid monochrome solids like black and white, amd don’t leave the house without a burp cloth and wet wipes in your diaper bag for the next three years at least. Even if the baby’s staying home. (You’re welcome.)
After the baby’s been home with you for 6-12 months, you’ll get notice from Abrazo that it’s time to come back to finalize the adoption. This (at long last!) is Dress-Up Day! Even though your final court appearance is likely to be brief, this is definitely a proceeding for which you’ll want to “clean up good,” as we say here in Texas. Gentlemen, a shirt and tie and “nice pants” are required (no tshirts nor jeans, please!) although suits and boots are optional. Ladies will want to wear dresses, skirts or nice outfits, like what you would wear to church, a job interview or to a luncheon at the country club. And don’t forget to deck out the baby, too! Because even the judge will want to be photographed with your gorgeous little one, so dress him/her up (the baby, not the judge) and bring along a change of clothes for the baby, just in case a last-minute eruption makes a wardrobe swap necessary at the courthouse.
All the cool kids and their families come back for Camp Abrazo, so if you’re cool like that, then dress cool, because Texas’ dude ranches are hot in the summer! Camp wear is Western fare, swimsuits and clothes for horseback riding. Plus we’ll even give you a camp t-shirt for the group photo, just to say “thanks for coming,” so plan now to be one of those lucky Abrazofolks who amass a closetful of limited edition Abrazo tees. (They’re sure to be worth big bucks, someday!) Incidentally, very few of Abrazo’s tees bear the word “adoption” on them, because much as we believe in the concept, it’s important to remember that it’s every adoption triad member’s right to decide if and when to publicly share that experience.
And now, Dear Reader, you know what to wear to adopt, so get gussied up, and we’ll hope to see you back in these parts right quick!