We had a baby shower recently. Before I get too far, I want to thank everyone who came and supported us, especially Kathryn, who planned the event and even pulled out a surprise gift from my folks who couldn’t make it. Thanks everybody!
The baby shower is different in adoption. There are the obvious reasons, sometimes you don’t know the due date or you can’t get the baby shower cards that talk about your baby bump. Other times the baby’s gender is in question. All in all though, it is essentially the same. We are expecting a child, and friends and family want to help out if they can. We understand the differences above, but there are groups that think we should have our shower post adoption. I don’t understand this one as much.
Listen, I understand that having people want to help you out is a blessing, and if they choose to do so post-adoption it’s perfectly fine. I’m sure it happens with natural births as well. The problem is the message you can read from it. “You’re family building is different than normal, and we will treat it accordingly. We’re still not sure your adoption will go through as planned, and we do not like to bet on not sure things. Instead, we will give gifts to 100% things, like natural child birth.” I know that is an over-simplification, but don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind on occasion. We need the same things to care for our new baby that any new parent would need. The more likely reason is that like most things, people don’t have the history with adoptive parents and don’t know if they should be treating things differently.
Anyway, stepping down from my soapbox, let’s end this blog on a positive story. It’s the story of five blankets. Our aunt from Cincy makes blankets for all the new children in the family, and at the shower, we received one for our girl. Steph told the story about the blanket she received from her aunt when she was a baby, and how it was still at home in Iowa. Or so we thought. There were three gifts from her mom and they went as follows: a blanket made by her mother, Steph’s blanket that her aunt made which we had just mentioned, and a blanket made for Steph when she was born by her great grandparents (see picture)! All beautiful and touching.
That night, we were corresponding back and forth with birth mom when she mentioned that should wants to give us the blanket that she brought home her daughter in, so that we can bring home our daughter in the same blanket as her sister. This is just amazing. One day almost all adopted children understand their situation, and usually have the question “Did my birthmother love me?” or the variation “Was I not good enough for her?” This one gesture says “YES, I did love you from the start”, and establishes that link from her family to my family to create OUR family.
What is life but a blanket that is sewn together from the fabric that is our friends and family that support us. These bonds are pulled together to help protect us from the elements, and together provide the warmth and strength that shreds cannot.