Giving gifts to your birth child is a lovely way to keep that special connection you have with each other. It’s also a great way to support the adoptive family as all of you work together to create a strong sense of self and belonging in your child. Here are five gifts for your birth child to get your creative juices flowing.
1. A keepsake from your own childhood.
Did you have a favorite stuffed animal, book, or blanket that your mom kept tucked away in a memory box? Did you cry when you mom would wash your blankie? Did your parents ever have to scour the house for that one teddy bear you couldn’t sleep without? Include a note telling the story and what it meant to your childhood. If it was special to you, it will probably be special to them. These can make the perfect gifts for your birth child.
2. A photo album or digital photo book of their birth family.
Include as many family members as you can (but ask permission to share their photos first) and bonus giggles if you include embarrassing pictures of yourself as a child/teenager. Kids love seeing images of their parents going through those “awkward stages” of life.
3. Supplies for a hobby you can share.
Do you love drawing? Give a box of crayons, paints, and papers then include postage paid envelopes that your child can use to mail finished art projects back to you. Maybe you have a passion for photography. You could give a starter camera and a flash drive, and the two of you could plan photo projects (nature, colors, or animals). Then, exchange flash drives to “critique” each other’s work. These gifts will help your child explore new hobbies, learn more about your interests, and keep the lines of communication open at the same time!
4. Adoption-positive books.
Books are always a welcomed gift and there are lots of great children’s books that celebrate the beauty of adoption as well as the uniqueness of all different types of families (click here for some excellent examples). Taking it a step further, you can purchase a “record your own voice” book and narrate it to your child.
5. A poem or personal letter.
Nothing may be as meaningful to your child as your own heartfelt words. Sharing a poem or personal letter about your choice to place them for adoption, about your love for them and even the challenges you’ve endured, and especially about your dreams for their future, will be a cherished gift that they can draw strength from time and time again.