Since there is never any tactful way to discuss the issue of birthday presents, let me start by conceding that I have no tact. Now that we're clear on that point, I might as well say what's on my mind.
Many generous and well meaning friends and family have asked what would make a good gift for the little monkey's upcoming birthday. I've spent some time thinking about this, believe it or not. This is my conclusion.
I honestly believe that Jordan has been showered with such generosity over the year, that any additional gifts are unnecessary. This upcoming party is truly intended as a chance to celebrate with our close friends and family and take a moment to reflect on what an amazing year we all have had. Not to sound too Mommy Dearest or anything, but Jordan doesn't really need any presents.
But, for those of you invitees who, like me, hate to show up empty handed to anything, here are some suggestions as to what would make the perfect gift. Feel free to give Jordan a birthday card indicating which option you selected. I promise these will be saved for his 1st year book.
1. Make the decision to become an organ donor, and discuss it with your family. Sign the back of your license if you haven't already, but more importantly, make your intentions known to your loved ones. No one thinks about topics like this, and the idea of it seems slightly discomforting because it means considering your own mortality. Until Jordan's trauma, I never thought about it either. Needless to say, my thoughts on the subject have changed considerably.
2. Register with the National Bone Marrow Donor program. The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a federally funded nonprofit organization, was created to improve the effectiveness of the search for donors. The NMDP maintains an international registry of volunteers willing to be donors for all sources of blood stem cells used in transplantation: bone marrow, peripheral blood, and umbilical cord blood.
3. If you'd like to spend money, consider a donation to The Children's Organ Transplant Association. This advocacy group raises money to help children's families cope with the enormous costs associated with transplant medical care. Their focus is on pediatric organ transplants, obviously an issue near and dear to us.
4. And finally, as you all know, the one special person who is responsible for Jordan's most precious gift was a little girl named Breanna Maree Loomis. Her tragic death was not in vain. And a memorial in her memory was established last year to help offset the medical costs faced by her family. If you'd like to celebrate Jordan's birthday, you can honor the little girl who gave him a second chance at life.
Donations to her memorial fund can be sent to:
Breanna Maree Loomis Memorial Fund
c/o Nicole Barton
The Alpine Bank
1700 N Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61107
Once again, thanks everyone for your incredible love and support. We can't wait to see you all at the party!