When we adopted our children we agreed to a contact plan which involved writing a letter twice per year to their birth parents to give them an update on how they are and what they are doing.
We had a scheduled contact recently, it wasn’t our first one, but it was the first time that we procrastinated on it.
This wasn’t necessarily because we didn’t want to write it, it was because we had no idea what to write. We had no significant news to share and not a lot had changed. We also knew that regardless of what we wrote we were unlikely to get a response despite at least one birth parent also having signed up to the agreement.
We had been given a crib sheet from social services to give us an idea of what to write, but it was pretty much a list of stuff which we said last time which hadn’t really changed. We aren’t obligated to write these contact letters, but in the interests of our children for when they get older and want to know where they came from we are doing so.
So, we wrote a letter.
Those of you who aren’t adopters, ask yourself this question, what do you tell someone about a child that was once theirs and biologically always will be, a child that they can never see again? How do you tell them that they are thriving in the environment they are in, growing at a stupidly fast rate, developing every day, away from them?
It’s honestly heartbreaking. If I put myself in their shoes, I don’t know how I would react to this kind of letter.
We stayed away from anything that might cause emotional distress. We kept it matter of fact without sounding cold. We said how tall they were, how big their feet were, what their favourite things were. Keeping it fairly light-hearted, and also telling them that things don’t always go smoothly, especially with the Terrible Twos coming forth.
Was this the right approach? I don’t know. We asked a simple single question in the letter in the hope that we might get a response. If that response ever comes it will be a very odd experience to read I’m sure. Half of me hopes they respond, the other half hopes that it never comes.