Thanks, HeatherPNR, for another Open Adoption Round Table writing prompt–as you can see, I need it. Its been forever since I graced your all’s blog reader with anything 🙂
So, the Holidays and adoption. We don’t have a lot of set-in-stone holiday traditions with Woob’s first family (yet?). I stand by traditional gift-giving, though, as a way to stay in touch and as another way to let them know we care.
The first year of his life, Christmas passed without any contact from N. or her family, though we did send, through the agency, a gift. We bought one of those kits that has the bi-fold picture frame–on the left is a frame for a pic of Woob (the one we used for our Christmas card and oh-so-cute!), and the right half has a clay imprint of his little 9 month old hand. I’m happy to say they got it, because I’ve since been priveleged enough to see it perched upon the tv cabinet in N.’s house. At the time, though, it was hard not knowing what was happening in N.’s world, how they celebrate, who she’d be spending the time with, or with what sentiment the gift would even be received.
When Woob was almost two, his second Christmas, we put together the package to send, this time, without the aid of the agency (yay!) because we had gotten together over the summer and had some visits and phone calls. The gifts were nothing big, but we sent some things for N., her boyfriend at the time, and Woob’s soon-to-be sister, whose arrival was expected that February.
When Woob was almost three, his third Christmas, he had a more active role in picking out things to send, and it ws fun getting his perspective on what to pick out for his little sister (a baby doll), and another yet-to-be-born sister, again expected in February (a carseat toy) 🙂 A funny story about that. Since he was involved in the picking, he got to watch me wrap the gifts and he “labeled” each one and “signed” the Christmas card. We went together and took the wrapped presents to the UPS store for shipping where he watched as the clerk was handed the packages and sealed them up in a big brown box and took it away. He was distraught, and no amount of my explaining could convince him that the clerk behind the desk was not at that very minute playing with the toys that he had picked out for his little sisters! “But SHE TOOK OUR TOYS! They’ll NEVER get to N’s house!! THAT LADY TOOK OUR TOYS!!” Poor little dude. He talked about it for the next few weeks, and I had to have N. tell him directly over the phone that she did get their packages in the mail so that he would step off it already 😉 Who am I to be able to demystify the working of the postal network??
Now, Woob is almost four. (Which is CRAZY! Four??) We’ll be sending another package within the next week or so, this time to N., his two sisters, and N.’s new husband. Woob made his gift preferences known and he’ll make the trek to the UPS store with me. He has a better understanding of mail now–he LOVES getting mail! So maybe he’ll trust our carefuly chosen treasures to get where they are supposed to go.
Seems each Christmas, we get to add another person to love on that side of his family! THIS is what I wanted for Woob when I nudged for openness way back when…to know his family, to have them be a real presence–real people in his life. I think both of our family’s lives are too busy to get together right at Christmas, but a package, a call, a card help keep the connections going until we can get together again.