gift ideas for foster family--Update more ideas - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-21-2005, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our agency suggested to us that we bring small, inexpensive gifts to give to the staff and our foster family/mother. Their suggestions included souvenirs from our state/city, lotions, perfume, t shirts, etc. I asked about Christmas ornaments, and that was also okayed. However, it looks like we will be going sooner than we thought (Yay!) so it may be too early for Christmas themed stuff. It should ideally be made in our state or at least the US (NO "made in China" was emphasized). Also, it needs to be something that needs no explanation as gifts are not customarily opened until one is in private. Our foster family has a Mom and Dad, also a 16yo dd, and twin 11 yo dd's.

However, I am having trouble finding things that are not made overseas! We are in TX--with as much state pride and such you would think their would be local made items...

I found some mugs with Texas flags and some with bandannas in a gift shop that are stamped "Texas art" so I got a few. This site has some cute Texas shaped soaps and also some lotions with a western theme picture on the bottle. Do you think it would be okay to get small bottles of lotion and some soaps and wrap them up in the mug with cellophane? Do you think this okay for the Dad, or should I do something else for him? And should I do the same thing for Mom as the daughters, or something different?
My original thought was to get some local food related things (pepper jelly, salsa, pecans) but we would have to declare them in customs because they are foods, and I really don't want to do that after flying half way around the world.

Any thought or suggestions or personal experiences?
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#2 of 8 Old 09-21-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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I thought you only had to declare "fresh" foods like produce or meat. Wouldn't something sealed in a jar or package be okay?

I think something western-themed would be cool. Can you get a glass candy dish/ash tray shaped liked Texas in a gift shop? The bandanas sound cool too. Okay this is totally hokey but there must be candles in miniature cowboy boots in gift shops in Texas. It's hokey to us but I've heard in parts of Asia the whole western/cowboy theme is considered cool and exotic. Good luck!
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#3 of 8 Old 09-23-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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Our agency told us that CD's are just catching on in Guatemala and lower and middle class folks are just starting to get CD players. We got our foster family (at our agencies' suggestion) an inexpensive, "boombox" type CD player and two childrens music CDs, and a picture book about our city. We also purchased some handmade earrings (from a local artist) for our adoption facilitators because we were told that they liked jewelry.

I would ask your agency and other families who have recently returned for specific ideas for your particular foster family. Most foster families really don't have much in the way of material possesions.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-26-2005, 08:31 AM
 
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Are there any sports teams t-shirts/hats that you could get (especially for the foster dad)? It was suggested to us (we're just outside of Toronto in Canada) to buy Toronto Maple Leafs stuff for our foster family; we're also going to get maple sugar candy and some Canada stuff from Roots.

Kimberly: blogging wife to Todd and work-at-home-struggling-with-work/life-balance adoptive mama to Adam (2005) and Leah (2008)
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#5 of 8 Old 09-27-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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queencarr- Do you know when you may be leaving?

So exciting...
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#6 of 8 Old 09-27-2005, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas--keep them coming. I am looking these things up!

Wednesday,
I have had trouble finding the rules; what I finally did find seems to say only fruits, nuts, some cheeses and meats have to be declared. So pepper jelly and salsa are back on my potential list. I did find some boot candles made in Texas, as well as some other SW shapes.

Diane B,
I thought about something for them to use for other foster children, but our agency said no. I was trying to think of something regional and unique for music style, but am coming up blank. I did, however, find a place that sells inexpensive turquoise bracelets that I was considering for the girls.
Unfortunately, there aren't really any other families from our area. I can call our local partner office and see if she has any TX resources other families have used. I do know that Korean foster families tend to be middle class by American standards.

Puddingpop,
I have wondered about sports stuff. We certainly have the teams in TX to choose from. The catch then is the made in USA part. I am still looking but so far no luck, everything is made in China, which is a no-no. That was one of my thoughts for dad, also one of the fancy belt buckles if I can find one that isn't outrageous in price.

Starr, we don't actually know when we will be travelling. We will have about 1 weeks notice (yikes!), and are figuring we should be going anywhere from the last week of October to the end of Dec, based on averages. Potentially, we could actually get a call any time, though. Our agency is saying probably sooner than later, as some of our paperwork went through more quickly than normal. That I why I am trying to get it all done now.

Thanks again and please keep the ideas coming!!!
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#7 of 8 Old 10-06-2005, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I have been searching and searching and Texas/southwestern theme has won out, I think

Although I liked the sports idea for Dad, everything said "made in someplace" that couldn't be removed from the item but, I found a neat belt buckle that I think would work.

For Mom, I wanted something a little more elegant, but still with a southwest flavor. I found thisturquoise bracelet that I think is pretty.

My favorite is what I found for the girls, 11 yo twins and a 16 yo. In Korea, shoes are not worn inside a house or at many restaurants. When we visited 2 years ago, unusual quirky socks were very popular all around. So I found these armadillo socks

All the items are small, will pack easily, and are not too expensive. I also have the mugs, and think they would probably fit inside, so I could still pack them that way if I want to, or use the mugs as extra gifts for staff. I think I will still pick up some pepper jelly, in case we need gifts for more than one occasion (we will be meeting at least Mom twice).

What do you think?
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#8 of 8 Old 10-06-2005, 08:22 PM
 
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Those sound like fabulous gifts -- good job, mama!

Kimberly: blogging wife to Todd and work-at-home-struggling-with-work/life-balance adoptive mama to Adam (2005) and Leah (2008)
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