the eric update – day 374: still more gifts! or the unbelievable kindness of strangers.

we’ve received many thoughtful gifts over the past year from strangers and we’re tremendously grateful for each and every one; but i was still very surprised to find an extra large package waiting for us at the post office when we returned from downeast, maine. it seems that due to a mail forwarding snafu, the package didn’t reach us in time for odin’s birthday but luckily the united states post office almost always eventually delivers packages to their intended recipients.

sometimes i feel a little funny writing about gifts that we receive from people because they never ask for us to publically acknowledge their kindness and it feels a little odd to continually write about the things that people take the time to send. while we appreciate all the goodies, we don’t ever want to create the impression that we expect people to send odin gifts or that we think any less of anyone who enjoys the updates but doesn’t feel the urge to send a “thank you” gift.

but this package is a little different because it comes from a family who, after finding themselves in the neonatal intensive care unit with their own 24 weeker, stumbled upon odin’s story while searching for information on micropreemies on the internet. and they decided to take the time to send our entire family gifts ( including mauja! ) on odin’s birthday thanking us for helping them through their own struggles.

it’s impossible, absolutely impossible, to adequately convey how much it means to us to know that in some small way we’ve been able to help make life a little less scary and a little more hopeful for a family that we’ve never met and that they would take the time to mindfully express their thanks. it’s a little hard to tell from the photo, but all the tags are handwritten and the ribbons are so beautiful that we’re going to save them and put them on special gifts for odin for many birthday’s to come.

and the sentiment that they expressed on the inside of the card really means a great deal to us. perhaps more than they ever suspected when they wrote it.

i didn’t ask their permission ahead of time so i haven’t revealed their family name, but if they’re comfortable doing so, perhaps if they recognize their handiwork, they’ll leave a comment. if not, that’s o.k. too.

regardless, we were tremendously touched by the gesture and we wish the very best for their entire family; maybe someday we’ll get a chance to meet and watch our miracle boys play together in the sandbox, while wondering if they ever were really that small and fragile.

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