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Gift ideas for the child that was adopted

Dear Megan,

I am meeting my son I gave up for adoption 22 years ago.  We have been in touch over the past years on Facebook and by texting.  His bio dad and I are meeting him in person for the first time this weekend with our spouses.  My question is this: I want to bring him a small gift and I’m not sure what to get him.  I have wanted to send him gifts to celebrate his accomplishments in the past but it never seemed appropriate at the time.  So now I’m looking for ideas!  Any advice at all is appreciated.  C.

Dear C.,

How exciting!  It sounds like you have developed a really nice open adoption.  It’s particularly great that your spouses are so supportive of this relationship.  I love to hear these stories!  Here are some gift ideas for the child that was adopted.  And of course…I have advice.

A small  but meaningful gift is priceless

I think a small memento is a good idea.  Something he can put away to look at or carry with him always.  One idea would be a key chain with a special “charm” engraved with his birth date, or a message or quote that feels meaningful.  Whether you’re religious or not, you might consider a St. Christopher medal.  He’s the protector of travelers and children.  It’s a really common key chain charm.  My mom gave one to each of my nephews when they graduated college, again not particularly religious, and I know they thought this gift was really special.

Another idea is a framed photo  (or photos) of you and his bio dad, maybe when you were kids.  You can brainstorm other gift ideas for the child that was adopted, keeping in mind something that only you can give.  This will mean a lot.  Also, consider wrapping anything that’s sentimental so he can open it later.

Final thoughts–the value in the gift you give him will not be in what it cost you.  So I wouldn’t go for something expensive necessarily.  And of course, treat them to their meals.

Take pictures, stay in the moment, and enjoy him

My last piece of advice is to take pictures, try to stay in the moment, and write everything down afterwards when it’s fresh (you will forget details, big and small, over the years).  Remember, too, that this won’t necessarily be the last time you see him, so don’t feel you have to cram as much as you can into the visit.  Remember to breathe, to take it easy and slow, and most important–enjoy him!

Best of luck to you!  Megan

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