In recognizing Mari’s Adoption Day, I try to accomplish two things…celebrate her home country and heritage and celebrate her uniqueness and individuality. This year she received two gifts.
The first one was an Ethiopian flag (representing the flag from when she was born - it changes quite frequently). I was very surprised by how much she loved it…granted, she thought it was a blanket and has a recently developed fascination with blankets, but I was still surprised by how happy this gift made her. BTW, she knew instantly that it was an Ethiopian flag…she opened it and said “Ee-ti-o-pee-a!!”
The other gift was a doll. I’ve struggled with dolls with Mari. She has NO interest, whatsoever, in playing with dolls. I’m trying to foster this a little bit because I worry about her ability to nurture and show empathy…she actually is very good at feeling empathy but lacks in the physical acts of nurturing. I thought that maybe a doll that looked like her would help. A fellow adoptive mom sent me a picture of a doll she had had made by an Etsy artist pmsusie (crafter, sewer, seller, whatever you call them….she is definitely an artist!). It had the most adorable face ever and was like nothing I could find on the market anywhere. I contacted her and asked her to make a doll for Mari. I sent her a couple pix of Mari and even the link to our blog so she could capture the “spirit of Mari.”
Not only is she an amazingly easy person to work with and very gracious, but she really puts her heart into her work…it’s not just about making dolls to sell, it’s about making someone very happy. Before she shipped the doll, she emailed me some pix to make sure I approved (I did - the doll was amazing!). So when the doll arrived and I opened the box, I was moved to tears by the surprise within. I saw yellow fabric and I thought, “hmmm…what’s this?” Not only had she gone back through the blog to look at pix but she had used my post on Mari’s Raffey as an inspiration…and made a little Raffey for Mini-Mari. I was so surprised and blown away by this gracious act.When Mari opened her doll…she said “It’s ME! Mommy, it’s ME!!” Yes, Mari, this doll represents you completely - cheerful, adorable, whimsical, light-hearted, and full of joy.
I think she liked her gifts...she even shared the real "Raffey" with Mini-Mari.