Remember this post where I painstakingly told of the gifts we had been collecting for Brit? In the same post I shared that the gifts had been picked up by her father and we were just relishing the idea that she had them and was enjoying them.
Well, we never did hear back from her parents telling us that they got them. Not a word. The only way I knew that they must have them was because the gifts were not in the hallway when I returned to work on Monday.
I guess we have grown accustomed to this. Our gifts are only acknowledged in the monthly email we get each 25th. So if we send a gift right after we have just received our monthly email, then it will be a full month before we hear if they received anything we mailed, if we hear anything about it at all. Most times it is never mentioned.
This time I was so hopeful that maybe when we got our monthly email, they would share with us that Brit or her brother or sister liked the XXX or that they really appreciated the thought.
The good news is that in the monthly email Brit's dad did say "Thanks for the gifts". The sad part is, that was all he said.
I know it is petty of me to be disappointed. But the truth is, I hang on their every single word. I wait and pine for any words they send. And those gifts were such a labor of love for me. I was so excited about the kids getting them. I wanted to hear that they were received in the same spirit. (insert disappointment)
When I was choosing those gifts I put so much time and thought into choosing just the right thing. I would sit down at night and look over all the gifts we had collected up to that point. I would consider what else we could add without going overboard. When I came across something that I thought would be perfect for the care package, I would get so excited. I would rush in the door and immediately show BF and he and I would talk about how we thought it was just right. Each gift, no matter how small, was an investment in love.
I would love to see a picture of the kids with the gifts. Any of them. Never once have we gotten a picture of Brit wearing an outfit we have sent. They don't make a point of including photos of Brit with any of our gifts. I do recall one time when they did acknowledge a care package we sent and they made mention of how she played with one of the toys. It made us so happy.
However, never do they mention the personal gifts. The photo books we have sent from her visit with us. Or this time, the books with her photo as the main character. The things I spend the most time creating and contemplating get the least mention.
So here is what I am going to take from this.
I need to be a considerate gift recipient.
I hope I never neglect to acknowledge someone's heartfelt gift, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem.
And I will make sure I have my children do the same. I want them to be amazing adults and being appreciative people is so important. I would like to think that we practice this already, but I will definitely make it a conscious choice to be deliberate and purposeful and above all else grateful.
If you are someone from the adoption triad who receives gifts from another family member, please make the effort to acknowledge the time and effort put in the gift, no matter how small. Take a picture. Tell how it made you or your child feel. Make it personal. And do it when you receive it, because you just never know if the giver is sitting on pins and needles hoping the gift brought you joy.