We were overwhelmed with gifts and well-wishes for the adoption of our daughter. People reached out from even the farthest circles to bless us: An old friend drove five hours to celebrate our adoption. My husband's extended family wanted to plant a tree in our daughter's honor, and my sister’s in-laws got us a hydrangea bush. Friends and family who were adopted themselves shared their own beautiful stories. We were inundated with poop emoji paraphernalia and sticker books and tiny stuffed animals with huge, glittery eyes.
We even got a card in the mail from my fourth grade teacher.
It is truly a beautiful problem to have, the burden of thank-you notes.
Yes, they take forever--and they take even longer when a child is helping--but I have found them to be an act of meditation.
Meditation is hard for me. I am impatient by nature. Most of my meals are prepared in a microwave and I can hardly sit and watch TV because it requires focus. (My attention span is only about eight minutes.) Most of my attempts at meditation result in a frustrated surrender to chaos.
But I have found that writing thank-you notes is a sort of meditation.
The process is slow, but that is a gift in itself. They force us to sit down, to come to the page (or card, as it were) and reflect. We must consider each person, each gift, each act. We must remember why we are grateful. And then we record that gratitude.
Thank-you notes are a way to relive the blessing, and even though they are so slow, I believe they are necessary, because I know how much it means to receive them.
I’ve saved a lot of thank-you notes over the years. They are physical evidence of someone’s care and consideration for me. I have a drawer full of them, and I riffle through them when I need to be reminded that people do care, that they took the time to sit down, consider something I had given or done, and thank me for it.
And so I’ve been trying to do the same.
Ever so slowly.