The Best Gift

The WordPress Post-a-Day topic for April 2 was:

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

Bonus: what is the worst gift you’ve ever received?

I know a number of adoptive families who would say that their children are the best gifts they’ve received. I have a problem thinking of a child as a gift, though. According to, a gift is:

1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

3. something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned

Did S give us Jack voluntarily? Yes. Without payment in return? Eh… we paid 2 months of her rent and a few sundries for her hospital stay. I don’t think that counts as payment in return, but there are some who would disagree with me. Was Jack given to us to show us favor? I suppose you’d have to ask S that. Was he given to us to honor an occasion? No. Was he a gesture of assistance? You could probably make the case that he assisted us in creating a family. Was he bestowed upon us without any particular effort on our part? Hahahahaha. No.

To me, you say “gift” and I think a thing. An item. I’d almost say something that isn’t alive, but I think a plant can be a gift. I even have trouble thinking of my cats as gifts. (Of course, none of my cats were given to me as gifts, ever, so if I found one wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning, I might feel differently.)

Jack is an amazing little man. Calling him a “gift” somehow diminishes him, I think. It reduces him to being a thing. A trinket to display.

So, no, Jack wasn’t the best gift I’ve ever received. Max and I have been blessed by his very being. He continues to be a source of inspiration, frustration, happiness, consternation, and wonder. He’s far more than a gift.

What is the best gift I’ve ever received? Probably the drawing of Brainiac 5 and Andromeda from the Legion of Superheroes, commissioned by Max from the artists of said series, Jeff Moy and WC Carani.

Brainiac 5 & Andromeda

Brainiac 5 & Andromeda

As for the worst gift… the first one that comes to mind is a book of Hawaiian ghost stories. I don’t like creepy books, and I was hoping for some seashells or a colorful piece of clothing.


One thought on “The Best Gift

  1. Pingback: Open Adoption Blog Hop #1: Objet d’Art « The Chittister Family

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