Last year, a few months before Christmas, I asked Jen (who by the way is seriously one of the most crafty/creative/talented people I know) for ideas of what I should do for stockings for our family. I wasn't sure what to do...do I make them all matchy-matchy or do I do something different for each kid?! The only thing I did know was that I wanted something creative and unique that could illustrate how unique our family is/will be.
Jen suggested that I make a stocking for each of my children. She had the idea to make a two-sided stocking; one side could represent us and the other side could represent the birth family/birth country. Now, if you know me you know that I'm not very crafty. I can copy ideas I see pretty well, but as far as coming up with ideas on my own from scratch...yeah right!!!
Jen said that she would help me brainstorm ideas and she'd guide me through the process of making Allie's stocking.
Unfortunately, the stocking didn't get finished for Allie's first Christmas. We all got so busy with Christmas, school, and with the exciting news about Addison and we set it aside. As things often go when you have little ones, we haven't had time to get back to our little "project." I just assumed that we'd finish it a month or so before Christmas this year.
Today, Jen and Addison stopped over and Jen said she had a little gift for me. As I opened the bag, I almost started to tear up. Jen had spent the past week finishing Allie's stocking and it's amazing! It represents so much to me. It represents an amazing time of the year where family and friends are filled with love and giving, it represents Allie's birth mom who is one of the strongest and courageous women I've ever met, and it represents a truly amazing friendship that I am eternally grateful for.
This is the side of the stocking that represents us and our family. We wanted to have one side be more "traditional" as far as a stocking goes. This picture doesn't do it justice! The bead work that Jen did on this side is AMAZING!
This is the side that we did for Allie's birth family. I know it's not what you'd picture on a stocking or to represent a birth family, but we've only met "T" two times. We met her two days before Allie was born and then about 10 days after Allie was born "T" and her pregnancy councilor came to our house. You can about imagine the fear that we had leading up to "T" arriving. Remember that just 6 weeks before, our first adoption had fallen through. We were scared of losing this little miracle that had already captured our hearts. When "T" arrived, we greeted her at the door and she handed us a HUGE box and a big gift bag. We introduced her to Allie for the first time and honestly our fears melted away. "T" has such an amazing presence about herself. We had a wonderful afternoon...one that we will cherish forever.
As far as the box goes, it was from the Great Harvest Bread Company. It was filled with monster cookies, delicious breads, and wonderful granola. She said she had asked people what she should bring us and they told her to bring food. She said, "All new parents need good food to eat." I was amazed. She was bringing us gifts...shouldn't we be giving her gifts?!?!
In the gift bag was a card, a book, and lots of clothes. In the card she wrote to us about how amazing we were, how lucky she feels to have found us, and she even congratulated us on our new family! The book was a "Carl's walk in the Park" book that her parents had given to her for Christmas when she was a child and they'd even wrote in it. She was giving that to Allie. The clothes were adorable clothes that she had bought for Allie. For the most part, most of them had...you guessed it....giraffes on them. "T's" strength amazed us that day, and ever since that time whenever we've seen a giraffe stuffed animal, piggy bank, or an outfit with a cute giraffe on it we think of Allie's birth mom. It only seems fitting then then that Allie's second side of her stocking have a giraffe on it.
I hope that Allie enjoys her stocking in the years to come. I hope that when she looks at it she can see how much we respect her birth family. Most of all, I hope Allie is lucky enough to have a friend that would work as hard as Jen did to help complete such a special gift for our family.