A birthmother called into Act of Love’s toll free number last week and wanted the agency to relay birthday wishes to her son. She said a small birthday package was on its way and she wanted to ask what gift might the child really, really like. She said if it was something she could afford, then she would like to purchase it for him.
This brought to mind the image of Act of Love’s office at Christmas time. It actually resembles Santa’s Workshop, with gifts coming from adoptive parents to birthparents and from birthparents to their children they placed. It is a wonder to see and feel the love that the people on both sides of the adoption feel for each other.
With the holidays quickly approaching, the question will be on the minds of many, what kind of gift to I give that will be meaningful and appropriate? In the cases where the adoption is very open, birthparents and adoptive parents can talk about what would be best for the child, so that gifts aren’t duplicated. Many birthparents love hearing about what the child is “into.” Do they love baseball? Dance? Super Heroes? Reading books? Playing with dolls? This can help the birthparents that want to send a gift, give something the child will be sure to love.
Sometimes birthparents like to send personal gifts, such as photos, scrapbooks or collections of their family. This is very appropriate and can be something that the child will continue to look at throughout their life. It would be very helpful to add captions describing the photo.
Birthparents may want to send a copy of their favorite book as a child, and write something inside. Another personal gift that birthparents like to give is something they have made, such as a blanket or quilt.
Adoptive couples quickly learn that a gift to the birthparents that has photos or stories of the child is always loved and appreciated! Many on line companies allow you to upload pictures and add words and stories. Then, the company binds it all into a hardcover book that ends up looking beautiful! Other ideas that really help birthparents especially at Christmas time are gift cards for retailers such as Walmart and Target –stores that are easily found across the country. Many birthparents struggle to give their family gifts for Christmas, while trying to keep up with the bills.
Any kind words always keep the bond going, even if you just send holiday cards back and forth. The holidays are such a special time for reflection on family and what matters most. It is a wonderful time to connect with adoptive parents and birthparents and give thanks for the sacrifice and love that is shared by all. The adopted child will grow up with a good sense of well being as he or she feels the love from both sets of parents. And we all need to remember that the best gift of all is LOVE!