Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Would You Do?

Need a little help here.

Background: My 4yo ds lived with the same foster family in China from infancy til we adopted him at age 3. His auntie was like a second mother to him. We are still in contact with her. One of her best friends, Jin, moved to our area. (Seriously, what are the chances? She lives 30 mins from us!) Our son did not know Jin in China. We've recently been in *very* minimal, but friendly, contact.

We have 4 other children. The closest in age to my 4yo is 8, also adopted, but we have no contact with his foster family.

The issue: A package came in the mail, addressed to my 4yo from Jin. I checked it out. (Yep...unwrapped it and rewrapped it so I'd know the issues involved.) She sent him a Mr. Potato Head toy and a book. (If it makes any difference to this story, we already have both; although my 4yo takes great pride in ownership and he would temporarily love anything you give him only because it's his.)

She did not send anything for my 8yo. While the 8yo won't strongly care about the actual items, I think he will care that someone from little brother's past remembered him at Christmas while he doesn't have someone from his past to remember him in the same way.

What would you do? At this point, 4yo ds doesn't know the package exists; however, I do expect to run into Jin in the future and I believe she will ask him if he liked the present.


  1. I'm not sure what I'd do. Ideas .... both children are going to grow up knowing that their backgrounds are different, but sure that you love them both. Perhaps relabel with only 'from Jin' and give it as a shared gift. Or treat it like you would a gift from a music teacher, who might only give something to their student, not siblings. Just give it in amongst other gifts without drawing special attention to it.

    I would have done the same (check what it was and worry about how to handle it). Let us know how you go!

  2. We have a little bit different situation but some similarities. My 15YO is technically my stepson and then I have 9YO and 6YO girls. 15YO's birth-mother has on occasion sent him gifts with nothing for the sisters. We've just been very straight-forward with all the kids. "This is from 15YO's birth-mom for him." Usually we've had him open her stuff separately from our full-on family gift giving time. Often ahead of time. 15YO does get some extra stuff and go some extra places the girls don't get to go because of this woman. Of course she has also caused 15YO no end of pain. I don't know what I would do in your shoes. As Butterfly pointed out, your kids are going to grow up knowing their backgrounds are not the same. As long as you make sure you lavish love equally, I think they will weather these differences well in the long run.

  3. Any way you could send it back with a thank you and a note about how it would make your other son feel excluded? Like you said, he didn't know her before. Good luck.

  4. It is so nice of you to consider how your 8 year old would feel. Perhaps, an open heart to heart conversation would be best? Honestly, I don't know how I would handle it. It sounds like Jin may come in contact more than not so the issue would still remain whether the gift was received or not. Best of luck.

  5. I don't have adopted children, so I realize it is a little different. My kids do sometimes get gifts from friends/teachers that the others do not get. I just put them out, and we open them. Mine are ages 8, 5, 3 and infant by the way. It occurs mostly with the 8yo and 5yo, who have some teachers at co-op and such. We treat it as no big deal though, and are grateful and thank the person giving it.


Thank you for leaving me a message. I love comments almost as much as I love chocolate! And I do LOVE chocolate. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blogging tips