Gifts and Giving

"The love we give away is the only love we keep". – Elbert Hubbard

The gift I sent to my daughter for her birthday and graduation was found to be "objectionable" by her. She did not explain what was objectionable and I did not push. That particular gift was too personal for me to go asking for it to be picked apart for its value or worth. I left the topic alone.

However, I am finally (duh) getting the message that I should stop sending gifts. I struggled with this last year when she refused my gift in June. I asked to her confirm she did not want me to send. I assumed silence was agreement and I did not sending anything for Christmas. This was not easy for me but I did it.

I struggled with the recent birthday/graduation gift issue. Many told me not to do it, they thought the sentiment was beautiful but they felt it would not be received with the spirit it was intended. They were afraid I would be hurt if it was returned or discarded. Others told me to be true to myself and send it if I wanted to.

And so I did.

And it was objectionable.

I finally get it.

I do.

I may be slow in some areas (math being one of them) but I am finally getting it.

Last night, as I drove home from my parents, I had an hour of alone time with I-91 north and my dashboard confessional. This is is a common time for me to spend a great deal of time ruminating over stuff, often adoption related material.

I came to the conclusion (finally) that I will indeed stop sending her gifts.

However, I must do something for her on holidays and such.

A refusal of a mothers love does not extinguish that love.

Years before I found my daughter, I had a habit of planting trees, shrubs and perennial flowers in honor of her. Mind you, I do not posses any sort of a green thumb but for me, it was symbolic. It was a way to give back, to see something grow and proposer and enhance the environment in memory of her. I ceased this practice once I found her.

While I don’t intend to begin planting again, I do find myself needing to do something with the love and energy that I would have normally shared with her.

I had the the idea to donate monies to a scholarship or organization that helps young moms. I even went so far to consider forming my own foundation or scholarship that would help young moms with college funds. I came up with a name on what I would call it. Premature? Yes, but I like the idea and it is something I might consider in the future.

For now, I like the idea of instead of giving a gift to my daughter that she clearly doesn’t want, I would use the monies to donate to an organization or scholarship that helps young moms or girls at risk. I would do this in honor of my daughter (if even in my own mind as I would not use her name).

If you know of any organizations (preferably NOT faith based) that help young moms, single moms, ideally to go to college, do write me privately. I am doing some research. I regularly donate to Ethica and Origins-USA but I want to target a donation to a scholarship or group.  I know of one organization in GA that helped my friend Lily. I would like to know of others. You can comment here or write me at bluestokking at gmail dot com.

9 Thoughts.

  1. Suz,
    Do you know of anything your daughter supports? Would she appreciate a donation made to an organization she values?

  2. In Rockford Illinois we have an organization called MELD..mothers establishing life direction. That helps young mothers that wish to keep their babies and continue their education. They provide emergency housing, support groups, counseling and so many other services. Perhaps this group might interest you. You can donate or find out more about this group here…
    My mom was a young single mother and she ended up facilitating several young mom’s groups through this organization. Maybe it’s what you’re looking for. Good luck on your search and I too think that’s a great idea!

  3. “Others told me to be true to myself and send it if I wanted to”
    I’m afraid I was in this group, thinking that you would feel better knowing you had done what your heart wanted you to do, than wondering and wishing. I’m sorry your truly precious gift wasn’t received in the spirit in which it was given. I still believe some day it will have a greater meaning to her than it does now. I suppose I have to believe that, perhaps selfishly for my own sake as you know where my reunion stands. You are showing real strength, what a cool idea on the scholarship. Yep, you’re still standing!

  4. Me, too, among those who said send what your heart tells you too. Of course we can’t know, but I’m going to take a wild ass guess and say I’ll betcha your daughter didn’t discard your gift or your letter. Despite her objections, I feel strongly that she kept them.
    Love your idea though. If you ask her for ideas, I hope she supports something for young women/mothers. That would be meaningful for both of you.

  5. I am sorry that she didn’t accept your gift with open-ness. I do not think that it was disgarded though. My guess is that even she wouldn’t do that. I do think that you can donate to an organization in her can use her first name only or use the name that you would of given her. It doesn’t matter if anyone else knows her or the meaning behind it…it would be important to you and that is good to do also.
    Hugs to you!

  6. Jacque – THANK YOU for your referral. I will check into. I particularly love the fact that organization is in IL. That is the state my daughter was born in. Has a special meaning to me.

  7. Suz,
    I know you’re probably most interested in local or at least US organizations, but two of my favorite charities do support vulnerable families : Heifer International and Save the Children. Neither are faith-based. Heifer is a particular favorite of mine because one of its key cornerstones is empowering poor women. Women who typically would be vulnerable and voiceless are given real power with their new economic positions, as a result of Heifer animal gifts, training, and opportunities to hsare what they receive with other families. They are able to become confident providers, send their children to school, and break the cycle of poverty.
    They’re worth a look, in my eyes. Also, you can make a donation in your daughter’s name and she doesn’t need to be notified. You can print a card and keep them aside for her, maybe.
    Anyway, just a thought. Any of the organizations suggested will be a wonderful choice.

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