Give me a head of hair and I can bust out a gorgeous cut and color. Give me scrapbook supplies and I might as well just use it to light a campfire. BUT.. I love the idea of a good thoughtful homemade gift. Something that is unique and that couldn’t just be picked up anywhere.

Now, scrap booking and blogs are not my thing. I never had that deep down desire to be crafty and I wouldn’t even know where to start. So imagine my surprise and terror when I heard stories about making profile books for expectant parents to look at. I was positive that if our being parents was left up to my being able to decoupage we were in huge trouble and would never be parents. Luckily for us the books were no longer a necessity. We were assured that if an expectant mother wanted a hard copy they would print one off. We were saved!

Then we got chosen.

As I was putting together the customary little gift to take with us to give to the expectant mother upon our first face to face I started to wonder if the things I had put together were enough. I know we had some treats, a pair of silly socks, a skull cookie cutter and other items I don’t remember. It didn’t feel like enough. Something was missing and it felt like something extremely vital.  So I racked my brain and took to Facebook, Pinterest and such for any kind of answer. Fortunately some advise came from a friend: a mini picture book! Something small that she/he/they could carry around in a purse. Something with our faces on it so she’d hopefully always be reminded of why she chose to place him with us.

I was up until the wee hours of the night before our face to face meeting. I was sitting a hotel room at the desk with a glue stick in hand, piles of pictures and a huge load of paper while Ty chuckled behind me watching TV.

At the face to face it all went very smoothly. Granted, there’s always a huge level of anxiety when you meet the person who has chosen you to parent their sweet little baby. I tried to reign in the anxiety but it led me into babbling like crazy about the book and everything that we had put in the gift.

I should have known that the little book would be a catalyst for crafting. It has also led us into things to do for the birth family. Luckily. I mean what in the world could we possibly give to the birth family for Christmas? I was at a loss until this idea was presented to me. This year, we started a new tradition. Every year on LT’s birthday we will  ‘close out’ a year and a book and it will be part of their Christmas present.

This year’s book ran through year one and has all the crazy moments including his blowout on the way to see his birth mom for the first time since delivery and relinquishment.  There were holiday photos, everyday photos, staged photos and really every kind I had. Thank heavens for Instagram and Facebook! With most pages I included a little blurb, an adoption quote or an adoption poem and I may have cried each time I read through the book in the proofing stage.

With birth families it’s tricky to find that balance with gifts for holidays. What are some things that you’ve done?