“We didn’t want to simply accept the Make-A-Wish gesture, go on our trip and chalk it up as a great summer.” The kids were about to learn life lessons.
This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. I received customized cards and other compensation in return for my honest opinion and review.
His Make-A-Wish Dream
I will never forget the look in his eyes when I broke the news.
It was a beautiful Florida spring day. Jordan jumped in the van at school pick up, as he does every day. He checked the front seat to see if I brought any snacks, as he does every day. I asked him to go sit down and buckle up, as I do every day. So far it was an ordinary day in the life of Jordan. Until I said “Jordan I have something to tell you!”
My tone was neutral, so poor Jordan didn’t quite know what to expect.
“Jordan, you are about to get the biggest wish of your life granted!”
As it turned out, Jordan had heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He knew that they grant wishes to kids with serious medical conditions. Jordan knew that he had been very sick as an infant, but that he qualified for a wish was something he had never considered.
The sparkle in his light blue eyes, the grin on his face as his freckled nose wrinkled from the smile… The sweet look on his face is forever etched in my memory.
Fast forward several months. Jordan (of course) wished for a LEGO-related trip with his family. He considered a trip to Billund, Denmark to visit the LEGO headquarters, but our wish-granter felt that they would be able to give us a better VIP-like experience by sending us to LEGOLAND California Resort with a 4-night stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel. Jordan (of course) did not object to going to LEGOLAND California Resort for five days, who would?!
Life Lessons Learned
Accepting a Make a Wish trip comes with a lot of responsibility, more than you can imagine.
Yes, getting a family vacation with every detail planned and arranged is a luxury not many people are afforded. But we didn’t want to simply accept the wish, go on our trip and chalk it up as a great summer memory.
It was very important to us that the kids understood that this once-in-a-lifetime gift didn’t just land in our laps. We wanted them to know how the wish was granted, learn about charity, humility and appreciation.
The life lessons we learned from our Make a Wish trip
- The importance of “Reframing”:
- Getting a Make a Wish granted was an incredible way to turn a “bad experience” into something positive. It gave us the opportunity to reframe having had a very sick child. “Jordan, we are celebrating how far you have come and what a strong fighter you are. We are, as a family, taking the time to reconnect.”
- Jordan nailed it when he looked at his brothers with great pride in his eyes and said “So NOW you want to thank me for getting sick, don’t you?!” (That’s one way to look at things, Jordan.)
- Our wish granter told Jordan that he had to “think big” when he was trying to decide on a wish. Once we knew what his wish was, I explained how kind people take a portion of the money they earn and give to organizations like The Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Since the kids were young they have participated in charitable events. But this was the first time we were on the receiving end. It was easy for the boys to understand how charities work when I drew parallels to the fundraising and collections we have been a part of in the past.
- While traveling, Jordan was asked to wear his Make-A-Wish shirt. I explained to him that wearing the shirt was a great honor. The shirt would tell people that he had come far and he was about to experience something awesome.
- I was nervous, wondering if we would encounter awkward situations of people asking Jordan how he qualified for a wish. But I should have had more faith in humanity.
- When our plane landed in Atlanta, the flight crew asked all the passengers to please stay seated until the Make a Wish family on board made their way up to the cockpit. We had a really tight connection to San Diego and the pilot wanted to meet Jordan. Our seats were towards the back of the plane, so our party of six made our way to the front of the plane while everyone stayed seated. Not one person stood up, out of respect for our wish child.
- I am tearing up just thinking about the kindness we were shown throughout the trip.
- Personally, I was humbled by the experience, and the look in Jordan’s eyes was one of great humility.
- Showing Gratitude and Appreciation:
- The memories we made on Jordan’s wish trip will stick with us forever. There were moments of meltdowns, of course. The kids got tired and overwhelmed from time to time, that comes with the parenting territory. But being shown such kindness, generosity and selflessness everywhere we turned left us feeling “full of love” and at peace.
- To say that we appreciate the hard work and attention to detail from everyone who made our trip a reality is a great understatement. To show our appreciation, we decided to send photo thank you cards to everyone on our Wish team.
- Jordan helped me with the creative process of picking pictures for the card and he signed the cards. It was important to us that Jordan played an active role in creating and sending the cards. It was HIS trip and therefore HIS opportunity to show appreciation towards the ones who made it all possible.
Make a Wish is a volunteer-based organization and to think about all the hours they spent planning and arranging our family’s memories of a lifetime is mind-boggling.
We decided to work with Basic Invite to get our custom cards created. Jordan had a certain look in mind for his cards, so we would not be able to get the cards made just anywhere, it had to be Basic Invite cards.
The Creative Process:
Basic Invite’s website is so user-friendly that even a 7-year-old can figure out how to custom-create a card. There’s a clear difference between Basic Invite and “other” custom stationary websites. Some of our favorite features of Basic Invite include:
- Templates: They offer countless templates for each card category.
- Colors: The colors of the elements on the cards can be customized to one of their 160 different colors. This allows for almost complete customization of the cards.
Custom samples: Basic Invite offers customers a free sample of their card to be sent before ordering. Having the opportunity to check out the paper quality and colors is an incredible service offered, especially for big weddings.
Envelopes: Jordan was a little disappointed that he didn’t have to lick any envelopes from our Basic Invite order. The envelopes are “peel and stick” and come in 40 different colors, for that extra added touch.
Paper quality: I am a self-proclaimed paper-quality-snob. There is nothing worse than spending the time to create a card for a special occasion, only to receive a flimsy card with dull colors. The Basic Invite card we made for Jordan’s show of appreciation are made of thick sturdy card stock and the colors are bright and vibrant.
We could not be happier.
Next time you have the opportunity to teach your child a life lesson in gratitude and appreciation, consider using Basic Invite.
From the bottom of my heart to everyone who has ever donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, please know that your hard-earned money went to not only entertain a sick child, but to also teach him valuable life lessons and skills. Your money did actually buy true happiness – the only time that is actually possible.
Other great samples from Basic Invite. They offer a full line of wedding cards, holiday cards, invitations, new baby announcements – and of course Thank you cards!