This is a post that has been forming in my brain for some time. Staying connected to family is especially important to me, as my parents, siblings, and relatives are scattered across various states. The following items have helped me tremendously and I'm always looking for more suggestions. For my IF sisters still waiting, I hope these ideas give you food for thought for when your miracle arrives.
It's hard to live far from family. However, I find the visits with them are more precious when they do occur. When KB came along, the separation hurt even more. Probably the number one worry was making sure KB knew my folks. My parents live on the west coast, a long flight from where we are here. I did not want my parents to show up someday and KB look at them and say, "who are you?" My hubby's parents live about an hour away, so we see them about once a month.
I think often of my ancestors from Ireland and Slovakia who emigrated here, never to see their families again. Even more close to home, I ponder my grandmas. Both moved moved to the West Coast from Chicago or Boston within days of their weddings. They eventually set up roots in Southern California. Yet they only had scant few visits with their family and phone calls had to be limited due to the distance. And we all know how babies don't always talk on the phone. :) We definitely have better ways of keeping in touch now.
These wonderful advances have made the separation a bit less painful.
2. The Recordable Storybook
3. Invitations even when you know they can't come.
A friend recommended this item for my baby registry. The soft album is very baby friendly (i.e., chew friendly). I inserted photos of my and hubby's parents, siblings, and in-law so she can see their faces. A holy card of St. Catherine of Siena (KB's patroness) completes the back of the album. The photos have made a big difference in helping KB recognize her family. Plus, it's always in her toybox for ready viewing. You can buy the album at Bab.iesRUs and the like.
5. Special books
My brother and sister each have a special book that they get to read to KB, ideally on skype. We have the same copy here at home.
6. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
I try to email a couple pictures every week to my and hubby's families. Usually the photos deal with a new milestone, or a cute moment. Some of my family members are on Face.book, some are not. The pictures are sent in real time so they can get an idea of how much KB is growing. I hope to continue this weekly ritual in the future.
Also, instead of purchasing cards at the store, I use Shutt.erfly to make personalized birthday/special occasion cards with KB's picture. When you post a picture of the card on your blog, Shutt.erfly gives you $10 off your next order (that's why random cards show up on my blog!).
Living far away from family was never our choice, but a decision made due to my hubby's job. We may not have family living in close proximity, but they do live in our hearts. I'm grateful that technology has made it a little more livable.