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Advice needed for first letter box contact letter, how to start etc etc

(42 Posts)
april74 Wed 04-Mar-09 10:31:13

Well says it all really, I am due to write my first letters.

I know of plenty of things that I want to say and have the photo's ready, I just struggling with the first line.

I have to write 2 letters 1 to the birth parents and another to her half sister who has been long term fostered by a family member.

We changed the spelling of our DD first name, but I will write with the old spelling.

Just need advice on how to get started.


QOD Sun 01-Dec-13 13:20:41

I know my dd doesn't think about any of it at all in her day to day life, she just is who she is, I am who I am and it would be like constantly reminding her that we aren't an average family.

I understand it more for older children if they have memories of their birth parents but, I don't know, it's like a constant reminder isn't it?

You sound flipping amazing though!

TeenAndTween Sun 01-Dec-13 14:37:23

QOD - it's not a constant reminder, as it only happens twice a year. But it is part of who my daughters are, and their life story. Yes, my younger one doesn't feel it and understand it in the same way as her sister does, but the fact remains that they are adopted and we would be doing my younger one a disservice if she grows up not aware of that and the reasons why.

Lilka Sun 01-Dec-13 19:13:01

I've never struggled with letterbox being a 'reminder', although I know other people do. I guess because I get constant reminders anyway, and would even if I hadn't been writing

As of this year, DS no longer wants me to write, so I've stopped, but before then he never seemed bothered. He's always 'known', and the letters and cards have been coming since he arrived, so for him I think the letters were just normal and expected

QOD Sun 01-Dec-13 21:53:23

Thanks, just interesting as I gave a lot of thought to how dd may react as she was obviously conceived to be given away. Always worried she may feel rejected but we've always made it clear how it was. I do overthink a bit :D

TeenAndTween Mon 02-Dec-13 09:05:45

QOD - i think it is natural to be worried. tbh as long as you've brought her up being honest with her, which it sounds like you have, then that's the best you can do.
(It sounds from your wording that she born via a surrogate? That's a very loving thing for her birth mum to have done. (Forgive me if I am reading too much into your words)).

QOD Mon 02-Dec-13 19:45:40

Yes my friend offered to have a baby for dh and I, so she is a DIY surrogate baby grin
She's nearly 15 and I ruddy love her, we've got thru to grumpy hormonal rants and she is a lovely girl.
Thanks for letting me be so nosey!

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Mon 09-Dec-13 23:43:36

I'm back!!
I asked my friend, yes, initial letter box contact but now stopped as 1 child contract was to respond to letter and they stopped coming. The other child got older and didn't want to do it
Interestingly, she said she quite liked it with the 2nd child, who was relinquished, as it was like a baby diary

Led us onto something else. The fact that the records are available from age 18 and, this could be a whole new thread and sorry op to take over wink but how to handle the child potentially then asking for information and finding out he's the result of a sex assault? We thenwent into the whole "was it better when adoption records were sealed" conversation. sad

StupidMistakes Sat 14-Dec-13 16:11:27

As a parent who has had her child adopted <and is due a letter in January which will be my first also> tell them the truth, tell them you changed the spelling, I mean how would the mother feel if she chooses to have a tattoo of her daughters name and then its spelt wrong? Tell them how they are doing, likes dislikes, how school hunting is going, whether you have chosen a school, if they have any hobbies, past times, take part in sports, have friends, plans for Christmas ie spending it at home, we have a real tree little one helped decorate the tree etc. Their favourite tv programmes like in the night garden etc, none of it tells them who you are but i know i need to know as much as possible about my ds <he was 3 when he was adopted and knows his name well now, and when i met the adopters they confirmed that they wouldn't be changing his first or middle name>

PLEASE PLEASE keep up letter box contact, i know its hard but the parents if anything like me are relying on them letters to keep them sane.

Italiangreyhound Sat 14-Dec-13 20:24:49

It is very interesting to read comments about the letterbox contact. And to know that adoptive parents and birth parents will both be engaged in it.

I know that things can be hard to write about and so it is useful to hear people's comments.

We are not yet adopters but hope to be.

I guess the name issue may be different for different people. Some people may change a name for security issues so that may mean they can't tell the name changed.

weregoingtothezoo Sun 15-Dec-13 12:23:29

I couldn't write on this thread at first as it was too hard. It's so painful.
My first letterbox contact from DD's adoptive parents was 7 typed lines that were very vague and came across (I realise this is my emotionally loaded interpretation) as very smug.

I've written twice now. Both letters were rejected. Now her adoptive parents have PR they have asserted their right to censor the letters and not to allow me to write for two months either side of her birthday or Christmas. They will not send photos or write to me by name.

It feels combative - but surely we should be on the same side? DD's side.

Any more will be identifying. I am so encouraged in some ways that many parents put so much effort in and involve their DC. But so sad that DD isn't with people who would do that - when I know nothing else about them it paints a very controlling picture.

Italiangreyhound Sun 15-Dec-13 14:53:01

weweregoingtozoo so sorry this is so painful, although totally understandable.

I can't imagine what is happening what the letter you describe, I can't imagine how anyone would feel smug, maybe trying to be positive has sounded smug?

I am also wondering if not sending letters/cards around Christmas and birthday is a standard thing as I am sure I have heard this before.

Hope this improves and you feel better about the letters.

StupidMistakes Sun 15-Dec-13 15:58:53

Italian I was told by social services that letters are not permitted around Christmas and birthdays as these are very emotionally charged times. I hadn't heard of two months either side. also social services asked for months which were too emotional for me, and months I had suffered a loss in. I decided I was happy to hear at any time, as I have suffered many losses in my life and would therefore rule out pretty much every month.

Italiangreyhound Sun 15-Dec-13 16:19:15

Oh SM it is so sad to hear you have suffered losses in many months but good that you feel able to receive letters even in this time. I really hope letter box works out for you as a good way to hear news etc.

TeenAndTween Sun 15-Dec-13 20:55:02

weregoing do you get any support your writing letters?

Any 'censoring' should be done really by the letterbox coordinator, not the APs as such. In our LA both BPs and APs get guidance on what to say / not to say in contact letters.

We have set months for contact letters which avoid Christmas and birthdays (though we do take Christmas cards in the contact letter which we save up for Christmas).

I am very sad that the APs seemingly write poor letters to you. Can you talk to the letterbox coordinator about this?
I guess there is not much you can do really. But do keep up your contact, even if rejected I think the LA will need to keep them on file, which in later life your BD may choose to access.

weregoingtothezoo Tue 17-Dec-13 17:34:27

Thank you Teen for your suggestions. I was thinking of waiting to see if the second letter is as bad so I can take it up as a pattern.
What I was told my letters were supposed to be for is amongst the many things I'm not allowed to mention. The LA said it's right for the adopters to also be able to censor - their word- so that they are responsible for what DD receives. I will keep writing though. It's all I've got.

Ollie44 Thu 07-Sep-17 12:00:37

I could really use some advice needed for first letter box contact. My young sister was adopted whilst I grew up with my grandparents and until now I never knew she even existed (I found out by accident). Her new adopted family send lovely letters and photos to me but I'm struggling with what to write back.

PoppyStellar Thu 07-Sep-17 13:22:10

Hi Ollie, that must be a really hard situation for you.

Some thoughts on how to start / what to say:

Thanks for any previous letter of photos
Introduce yourself (you don't have to be too specific but maybe some of the things you like / liked doing as a child, with a question as to whether X likes to do the same)
Depending on her age you could ask about films / sports / games / activities she enjoys, or what subjects she likes at school.

I wouldn't worry about the length of your letter, a short one is fine.

Our LA advises us to not use titles like mum or sister but to use names instead. I'm not sure what would be the best way to sign off in your situation but I'd probably go with a first name.

It sounds like your sister's adoptive parents are keen to do letterbox so it may be appropriate to ask them in future letters what sort of information would be helpful for your sister.

Your LA should have a letterbox co-ordinator who should be able to advise you on what type of things to include and what to leave out in a letter. I say should because some LAs are very good and some are rubbish. However you can usually speak to the letterbox person by phoning the general number for adoption at the LA.

Best of luck with it

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