|Image credit: etc.usf.edu|
I have a sort of pet peeve to discuss with all of you today. I actually discussed this on more than one occasion with my social worker. It seemed to be a pet peeve of hers as well. This is especially applicable if you have an adoption where you expect to get update letters and photos of your child, even if it’s in email form. Whether these letters are in addition to visits & phone calls or not, writing a letter back to your child’s adoptive parents is equally important.
I placed my daughter with her parents in January of 2010. We didn’t have our first visit until July 2010. They might have been open to a visit with me during that time. I don’t know, as I never asked. I don’t think I was ready to have a visit yet. I also wanted to wait for Nick (also the birthfather) to get home from his Iraqui deployment so we could visit her together. Anyway, during that time, we got our first scheduled update letter with pictures.
Though we still don’t have their last name or their address, it was important to me to send a letter back. I know T & C (my daughter’s aparents) appreciated the letter. In it, I not only responded to the things they said in their letter, but I gave them insights into my own personality and told them what had been going on in my life since placement.
Returning letters is still very important to me. Even though we’ve now added emails to our means of contacting each other, I know we all value the letters. Besides, it gives us something to look forward to getting in our mailboxes besides bills and junk mail.
I know that we all crave a relationship with our children. Not only our children, but we want a relationship with their parents as well. Unless we choose to have a closed adoption (or had that option chosen for us), we specifically choose the people we want to parent our children. Therefore it makes sense that we’d want a relationship with them. My social worker told me of several birthmoms that complained they never got anything from their child’s adoptive parents, but when the adoptive parents were contacted, they admitted that they have a really hard time writing update letters and never getting anything in response. It’s hard having a one-sided conversation all the time!
I would strongly encourage you to start a habit of writing letters back to your child’s adoptive parents when they send you one. Not only does it give them more motivation to continue sending letters to you, but it gives them more insight to who you are as a person. Also, if you’re fortunate enough to have awesome adoptive parents like mine are, they will keep the letters to share with your child when he or she gets older. Even if you never write a letter directly to your child, they can still find more about who you are and what you do.