October 5th, 2013
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lettersOur requirements with our agency for an open adoption is to write once a month for the first six months and then twice a year after finalization.  Our communication is expected to stay open as long as it is in the best interest of the child.  While talking to some adoptive families I discovered there are many people who stay in contact with their child’s birth families until they are 18 or even longer.   Each family expressed how much they loved having a relationship with their child’s birth family.  They believed it helped the healing process and allowed the children to accept their adoption more easily.

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When we had to write to our daughter’s birth mom after placement I had no idea what to say. I thought if I tell her too much it will only make her grief worse. I was afraid the grief would be too overwhelming and she would want the baby back.   If I tell her how wonderful her baby is and she is such an easy baby, would that make her think she made the wrong decision.  Those are real thoughts. It took me a long time to write the first letter.  Finally after I worked through my issues, I decided,  if I was reading a letter about my child what would I want it to say.

Our first letter included how much our daughter weighed, how long she was, her sleeping habits, funny things she would do, any notes from the doctor, and just how wonderful she was.  We also continued to express how thankful we were for her decision.  I wanted the birth mom to know how much she was appreciated and loved.  After we wrote the first letter, the following letters became easier.  I encourage you to only write positive thoughts.  Don’t tell her you are only getting only a couple hours of sleep and you are exhausted.  Of course you are exhausted, you have a new baby.  Acknowledge their grief.  I believe it is okay to tell them how sorry you are for their loss and you are thinking of them. Include a fun activity you did as a family, such as getting newborn photos.  You can also share how much you love being a new parent and how much you love the child.  We would include questions or concerns that would arise.  I remember when I started my daughter on solids, I did not know if she birthparents had food allergies.  Within the next couple of letters we were able to get our questions answered.  We can not do that with our son, because we do not have open communication with his birthparents.  It is the little things you may not think about for example; when the birthparents started to walk or talk or if they like a certain sport.  Open communication allows for your questions and concerns to be answered.  Not only for you, but for the birthparents too.

Having open communication helps create a life long relationship between the adoptive family and birthparents your child will appreciate.  When your child gets older and adoption issues arise, it is helpful that you have an relationship with their birth family. My hope for our daughter is the open relationship with make her feel more secure about being adopted.  We also want her to know how much we love her birthparents and how much we appreciate them.

Photo Credit

http://www.flickr.com/photos/basil_gilbert/396270430/

2 Responses to “What To Say”

  1. provplace says:

    Even I m in favor of open adoption as compared to closed adoption. Birth parents can live happily even after giving child for adoption. Give chance to stay closed to their child and can get all news and pics of child. Good content.

    • Heart Grown says:

      Thank you. I know several birth parents that are healed and happy after placing for adoption. I love that openness allows a child to have a relationship with their birth family.

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