When we give a gift, we usually want it to make the recipient feel known, loved, or appreciated. But how do you give a gift that will accomplish that when you’ve never even met the person who will receive it?
Recently one of our prospective adoptive families and an expectant mother met for the first time, and in preparation for this they had each thought long and hard about what gift to give each other. Chris and Amber wanted to show immense gratitude to Danielle for the gift of being chosen to be the parents of her baby, and Danielle was deeply thankful to Chris and Amber for being willing to parent her child. So they all selected gifts, and the result of their gift-giving makes us think that they were somehow already connected in their hearts before they even met face to face.
But before we find out what they gave, let’s rewind a bit. Danielle has been journaling during her pregnancy, and earlier she wrote about wanting to buy matching necklaces for her school-aged daughter as well as her unborn child—the connection between them represented in a special piece of jewelry.
Many miles away—after hearing the incredible news that they had been selected by an expectant mother, Chris and Amber noticed a figurine they had been given when they adopted their son a few years ago. It was a figure of a father with a toddler aged boy, and it held a prominent place on their mantle. They realized that it would be fitting to fill the empty space next to it with a memento of this new child that they were hoping to adopt—their family represented in figures on the mantle.
Now comes the day of the meeting. Until this point, both parties had communicated only through their ASC caseworker, and there had been no talk of gifts, journals, or mantle decor. At the meeting, Chris, Amber, and Danielle were all so comfortable, and sat and talked like friends. Sitting there with them, our caseworker actually felt like she was eavesdropping on an intimate conversation!
Chris and Amber told Danielle they had gotten her a little something, and they pulled out a package. When Danielle opened it and saw what was inside, she was stunned. Three. matching. necklaces. One for the baby, one for Danielle’s older daughter, and the final one for Danielle.
Danielle was overcome….teary, thankful, and now nervous–how could her gift to them measure up to that? She handed it to them, and as they unwrapped it was their turn to be stunned–a figurine of a mother holding a baby, with the father standing behind.
Both parties were joyful but almost in disbelief that their intimate longings for representing their families had been met not by their own shopping trips–but by each other.
In a way that we will never understand, Danielle, Chris, and Amber already shared a connection that allowed them to show tender love and appreciation to each other before they even met.
What can we learn from this? That there is always more going on than we can see or even dream, and that we as ASC staff should be thankful to God for giving us a front row seat to see His plans play out.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”