How to Find the Perfect Gift for Your Child’s Birth Mother

What is done in love...

Jeanette Green December 05, 2014
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On September 11, 2012 our son was placed into our arms. Though I was present for his entrance into the world, I was not the one who fought through the labor to bring him here. The 24 hours is a blur. I remember such a mix of emotions. Pure, true, and overwhelming joy and sadness simultaneously filled my heart as I witnessed the sacrifice this mother was making. It was a love that I had never quite witnessed before and it was incredible. Only hours earlier, she had walked into a hospital feeling her son and being with him daily. I came into the hospital alone with only an overnight bag in my hands. And then after all her physical, emotional, and spiritual strength had been expended, she walked out of the hospital with her mother by her side. Just like that. Her son was gone—with me and my husband. We drove away with heavy hearts imagining her pain.

How do you possibly begin to convey the amount of love you have for someone after something like that? Is it even possible? I’m not trying to be cynical, but I have decided for myself that the answer is, quite frankly, it is not possible for one gift to express the amount of love you have for anyone, let alone a mother who chooses YOU to be her child’s mother. It’s impossible. No one item has the ability to express what the heart only can. And therein lies the answer. Yes, I wanted to give Lindsey something tangible, but it had to be from the heart. I hoped that if my heart was in it, then all that was in my heart would be expressed. Van Gogh said, “What is done in love is done well.” I was counting on it.

Only weeks before Micah was born, I began work on two blankets. I’m not good at crocheting, but I can bust out straight lines like nobody’s business. So I got to work. I wanted to make Micah and Lindsey matching blankets. I had already started the blanket too late to tackle such a task, so my friend Hailey helped me quite a bit. I originally wanted Lindsey’s blanket to be nearly queen sized so she could completely wrap herself in it, symbolizing the amount of love that would eternally be wrapped around her. But that Lindsey, she went into labor early and if it weren’t for my friend Lindsey’s blanket would not have been finished. It was crucial to me that when Lindsey walked out of the hospital empty handed, she had that blanket. So, yes, while she was in labor, I crocheted in front of her! We were in the room a long time before she went into active labor, so we chatted while I crocheted. It wasn’t as I had hoped. When I walked into the hospital, the blankets were incomplete and how tacky to finish it in front of her. But she loved it! Why? She felt my heart as I worked on that blanket in front of her. What is done in love…

Our relationship with Lindsey steadily grew. We loved her so much more deeply than we expected. She became family and we wanted her to understand that was how we saw her. I am lucky enough to have married into a Christmas tradition that I truly love. Each family member has a crystal snowflake, and the parents have the matching snowflake for each child. On Christmas Eve when we hang up our stockings, everyone, both parent and child also places their matching snowflake on their respective tree. The idea is that no matter where we are, even if we aren’t physically together, we are all placing our snowflakes on our trees. Together. We included Lindsey in our tradition and for Christmas gave her a Micah’s matching crystal snowflake. Every Christmas Eve, forever, when Micah puts his snowflake on the tree, she will be in our hearts. And when she places hers on the tree, hopefully we will be in hers. What is done in love…

We have given Lindsey other gifts along the way: photo album, Micah’s hand print, candles, and flowers. I didn’t realize a gift I gave Lindsey until she mentioned it one day in a letter to Micah. She and I were playing phone tag. When it was my turn to leave a message on her phone, I handed it over to Micah and he said, “I love you Lindsey.” A few years ago I went out of town. My husband handed the phone over to my three year old daughter to leave a message. “I love you Mommy” is still saved on my phone four years later. Of course hearing Micah tell Lindsey that he loves her would be just as cherished. It was something so simple, but it was done with the most sincere love. I thought she would like to hear Micah’s two year old little-man voice say what every mom wants to hear—he loves her. What is done in love…

It’s easy to get wrapped up in finding the right gift, the best gift, the perfect gift. But when it comes down to it, “what is done in love, is done well.” And it is also most certainly received well.

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Jeanette Green

Jeanette Green is a mother to three beautiful children--two through the blessing of adoption. She is a firm believer that we never walk alone, the sun continues to shine even when we can’t feel its rays, and you can’t get sick from raw cookie dough. Various life experiences have taught her that life never turns out like we expect. But if we’re patient, we learn that it’s better that way. To learn more about Jeanette and her crew, visit The Green Piece

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