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letterbox - what info from birth parents do you/the children want/need(15 Posts)
As title really, I'm in the middle of writing/editing my reply to my son's forever family. I just wondered what sort of info to include about my life? Obviously nothing overly negative but don't want to give too little or too much if you see what I mean?
Also, would signing off with "I think of you all often" be ok? As much as my thoughts about them are centered around my son, his family are often in them as well - I.e I wonder whether they've had a nice weekend together or is thinking of them all a bit strange?
Personally I like "thinking of you all* I too think of DS's birth family from time to time, I don't find it at all negative but would be interested to hear what other adopters think.
I also think it acknowledges their existence as a family unit which is quite reassuring to adoptive parents I would would guess might make them feel more comfortable with ongoing contact.
Yes, I like 'thinking of you all' too for the reasons Kew says.
As for what to say, I think I'd like to know big picture stuff (got married, moved house, got job/started college kind of 'big') rather than any minutiae - the kind of thing that in five or ten years, DC's forever family would be able to summarise for him.
I'd also like to know about if birth family can relate to anything we've said in our letter. 'We go swimming' 'I used to love swimming when I was a kid' or 'I was never very into sports' because those are the kinds of things we can use to talk about you to DC.
These letters are hard for me to write, I can only imagine how much harder they are for you.
"I think of you all often" is lovely, very positive.
I would personally like to know all about my son's birth mum and dad, what they were like as kids, what they were good at, what they did (at school, hobbies etc) about them really.
Also, personally I would love to know about the birth (but I would probably ask if they would like to know, this if you wish to share it, and I would wait until you have had a few more letters before offering to talk about this, if they want.
I say this because my son, adopted, was asking about his birth the other day! Obviously, I could not tell him much and wanted to.
I would, in fact, like to know anything they wished to share.
I'd keep it simple, nothing too in depth and if anything is more important you might say, I could say more about this another time, etc.
Thinking of you.
Thank you for all of your advice. It's the balance between being honest and not wanting to hurt/upset his mum & dad/him later down the line that's the tricky bit really
It's not that long since placement (March) and I met his mum only a couple of months ago so there's not really anything "big" to say.
I'm seriously thinking of saying "if there's anything that I can tell you that will help you help X in the future please ask and I'll do my best to answer" but not sure if that'd go down ok or not...
Yes, yes Anxious - if I get a letter asking if there was anything you wanted to know I would be very happy. And I think it shows open communication. As others have said, I would be very touched if I got a letter that said "I think about you all".
Don't worry about saying anything "big". Just say something. Even if it is about a hope for next year (I hope to get a dog next year/hope to move next year). Anything they have said in their letter which you can respond to as tldr suggests.
I also think quite frequently about my DS's birth mother. I find certain things difficult - like him starting school - and wish I could share some of this with her. He has her genes and I am very well aware of that. He is a bright boy, and very handsome - nothing to do with me. And sometimes I am struck by it and wish she knew. It's hard for us too - though I feel it must be so much harder for you.
How difficult for you to get the contact letter and the adoption order application at roughly the same time.
I actually want to thank her for writing first as at least I can reply to the information she's shared so I'm not going in totally blind!
Would you guys as a parent's mind if your child's birth mum asked questions - obviously nothing too personal, I was going to ask if he's allergic to oranges as I am and I hope he isn't! That sort of thing.
To be honest I half suspect his social worker has something to do with the timing here - I think she knows that the letter will help me deal with the AO if that makes sense.
anxious, that's exactly the kind of stuff I'd want to know and would be more than happy to answer. And if ever birth family asked anything I didn't want to answer, I'd simply not answer. It wouldn't cause drama or make me stop writing. (And if they pushed, I'd say that I'm not prepared to answer - it still wouldn't make me stop writing.)
Saying something like 'if there's anything I can tell you' as you suggest is, I think, really thoughtful, (and I say it in the letters I send our BF), but bear in mind until DC is old enough to ask questions about you/his circumstances, there really might not be anything.
(And yes, I realise 'big stuff' can't (or hopefully shouldn't be able to!) fill a letter, even when a whole year has passed, but you should think about including it when it does.)
Agree with tldr.
I would just say, can I ask some thing and I hope you can tell me but if there is anything you don't want to answer no worries, and if there is anything you want to ask, go ahead.
Nothing short of a storm of abuse (highly unlikely) would ever stop me writing to ds's birth mum and dad, but not all adoptive parents are the same so make it clear you are not demanding.
I'd love to know a million tiny things about my children's biological families . Not because I'm nosy, so I could share them with them as they grow up .
What they were like as babies or toddlers
Foods they liked
What they liked to do. Games etc
Favourite toys , stories , characters they liked , Tv programmes
Nothing needs to be identifying and it shouldn't breach any guidelines
Eg when I was a toddler we used to go to the seaside on holiday and I insisted on wearing my wellies on the beach because I didn't like the feel of the sand . You don't need to say it was Margate because my gran lived there.
Eg I used to love postman pat and pretended that my mum was Mrs Goggins
I'd LOVE to know about food or any other allergies or medical issues ( obviously not to share with the child, but for HCP if necessary ) .
Actually you might need to share with an older child or teenager eg your birth mum had bad asthma so it's really important that you never take up smoking .
I'd love to be able to say " you get your love of dancing from your birth mum" -( because I know it doesn't come from any of us as we are so in coordinated ) .
* all examples made up to protect the innocent
Thank you all so much for your input. I'll take it all on board when I 're draft the letter this evening.
Is there a 'norm' for the length of letter you receive? I just don't want to bore them senseless
You'll not bore them.
Ours have been about one hand written side of A4. I think we all appreciate how hard these are to write so maybe keep in mind that the fact that you wrote it is probably as important as what it actually says.
Just to let you know I took on board your advice and help, and today I posted the letter. Thank you ever so much x
I am sure it will be well received.
Look after you.
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