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Letterbox contact, (birthmother) shall I write back?

(67 Posts)
anotherusername Thu 04-Mar-10 20:01:33

My son was adopted 7 years ago, when I was in my teens, because they social services lied, manipulated me and then I could possibly hurt him emotionally blah blah blah

His adoptive parents have been brilliant and written letters to me twice a year with photos, which has been a lifeline for me.

I have a 2 child now, aged 3 and newborn and am a thriving mother (on my own, which completely contradicts the bullshit social services came out with in order to take my first son).

Anyway, people are saying I should write to my first son, because I can twice a year but I have not.
MAinly because social services have a great list of things I'm not allowed to say, I'm not allowed to give any indication that he was adopted against my will.
I am angry that anything I write will be ripped open and scrutinised my social services before it gets to my child.
I am worried that anything I say could upset him. Even if I said I love him it could upset him.
I am worried that if I pretend everything is fine it will seem like I don't care.

I don't want the adoptive parents to become worried if they see how much I care about him and how well I'm doing with my life.
If the adoptive parents realise he was wrongly adopted and should be with me they may become very defensive and then negative about future contact for fear of my son seeing me as his mum whom he should be with.

I don't want to upset my son by showing him that I have 2 more beautiful children who got to stay with me (especially when he is falsly being made to believe I gave him away).

Could I just do more damage by writing to them?

CirrhosisByTheSea Thu 04-Mar-10 20:17:24

I don't think it can ever damage a child to have proof that their mother was thinking of them

If you don't write he has nothing to show him that you're thinking of him. If you hear nothing, your only logical conclusion can be that your mother is not thinking of you (in the mind of a child, in my humble opinion!)

Yes, I can imagine it's so awful to feel so stilted in what you can say; but there's still so much you can say now that will mean alot to him I'm sure.

I do think it's very much worth it, personally.

maryz Thu 04-Mar-10 20:30:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chegirlshadabloodynuff Thu 04-Mar-10 20:46:37

I am so glad you are thriving with your children. I am sorry you lost your DS.

I am an adoptive mother. I wish his birth mum would write to him even though I know it would be difficult for everyone involved.

My DS's birth mother wont write because she refuses to follow the rules on letterbox contact.

She wants to call DS by his pre adoptive surname and underline it several times. She also writes that she will come and get him and how we are not his real parents etc.

So SS keep her letters.

She has every right to her feelings but we cant let DS see those letters as they will harm him. Letterbox contact is not the forum for dealing with her feelings of anger however valid they are to her.

Its really interesting to hear how you feel and I really do not judge you or blame you for your feelings. You are being expected to behave in a very selfless and restrained way when you obviously feel that a great wrong has been done to you.

I am moved by how you are worrying about the adoptive parents' feelings (I hope that doesnt sound patronising). However hard it is for us we make a commitment when we adopt a child to acknowledge that the child has come to us with an important history. Despite our DS's birth mother being very difficult towards us (we are related to her) I still want her to be able to have some sort of contact again.

Anyway - short answer. I think letterbox contact is important and I hope you can find a way to manage it. Can you get some help with it? If you dont want to approach SS how about one of the adoption support organisations? After Adoption?

Good luck.

anotherusername Thu 04-Mar-10 23:02:39

Thank you, alot.
Despite being really tired right now, I'll reread the responses again tomorrow..
I don't know what to tell him.
I want to tell him how loved he was, and how I had those few months alone with him and I breastfed him so he could be as healthy as possible, and that he got lots of cards when he was born and presents, and I took him everywhere in a baby carrier and I make cloths for him, we were very very close, and he never missed out of any love as a baby.
I'm so angry at the trauma social services may have doen to him by keeping him from me and in care for almost a year while they built a case.
I will never forgive them for taking my child.

The adoptive parents are nice people who think they're taking care of a child who needed a home.
Sometimes I wish I could find him and have a relationship with him.
The incompetent social services accidentally told me their surname.
I wanted to become a teacher at one point just to get near him...

CirrhosisByTheSea Fri 05-Mar-10 17:46:32

anotheruser, your trauma and distress is so clear and heartbreaking to read. Have you had some counselling for yourself about this? If not I am almost sure it could help in at least some way.

The things you mention sound great to me, telling him that he was loved and that you were close and all that you've said there. Who wouldn't like to hear that about their babyhood?

I am afraid that a parent not using the letterbox contact in order to give their children a sense of their own history and identity, really does appear to others to be using the child to make a point against social services. I am 100% sure this isn't you because your love for and committment to your son is clear as day. Don't give SS or the adoptive parents the chance to have that view of you, I would say.

dolphin13 Fri 05-Mar-10 22:56:46

You have suffered a terrible loss. It sounds as though you are a great parent to your children. I am a adoptive mother and I believe news from her birth mother is so important to my dd. Hopefully your ds adoptive parents can appreciate that you love your son and carried him safely inside you for 9 months then cared for him while you had him with you. My dds most treasured toy was given to her by her birth mum when she was 3 weeks old. It's a cheap quite plain toy, certainly nothing special but she loves it and I like to think it makes bm happy to know our dd still has it. I think you should write. Just keep it simple and let your son know that you love him.

anotherusername Sat 06-Mar-10 10:22:43

Thank you thank you.

I'm thinking of putting together a story book of our time together.
What do you think?
I also considered illustrating it as I'm really into art and can then have more freedom on what the pictures illustrate.
It always starts as a great idea, I've written lots positive but I get incredibly angry and confused about what to write when it comes to describing why we were seperated, and then of course I have to stop and abandon it for my own sanity..

maryz Sat 06-Mar-10 10:48:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anotherusername Sat 06-Mar-10 12:48:38

that's all perfectly understandable and what I think about already.
Of course I'm very angry about the situation as any mother would be.
I'm not sure it's something that one can come to terms with.
It's such an injustice that talking about it may be worse.
There is a group in this city for parents who've lost children to adoption, however I would have difficulty getting childcare in order to go sadly.
And I'm unsure if now is the right tiem to drag it all out.

It's funny to hear I need some help with it, as this is the most calm I've ever been over it the situation.
Do you think a counsellor could help madelain mcanns family?

Of course I want my son to be happy and not feel guilty and everything you said, that is exactly why I'm struggling to write to him.
Just as the mccanns would struggle to write a nice happy letter to their daughter and have to avoid everything they would obviously be wanting to say.
I think if I cared a lot less about him, it would be a lot easier to write.

CirrhosisByTheSea Sat 06-Mar-10 13:26:27

A counsellor could help the McCanns of course (and possibly has)

I think I really do agree with mary - totally understandably, all your feelings about the adoption and the injustice of it are clouding your ability to write to your son and perhaps if you do take some counselling help, it may help you in some way though I don't want to be glib about it - the feelings and situation is hugely complex and not easily sorted

But, imo, for your son, you need to be able to write to him and let him know all those lovely positive things, and send your lovely art work etc -- Without it even covering why and when and how he was taken away. That is not what letterbox is about(however hard that is on you).

I really think your anger with social services is stopping you from providing the only thing that you now can give your son - and how tragic is that?

anotherusername Sat 06-Mar-10 13:56:57

I've had many counsellors and may seek more at some point. I had one last year, that 1azpoor young woman sat there through me sobbing hysterically for 50 minutes a weeky.
I think the only good that came out of it was her having more of a pretty frightening understanding of how adoption effects mothers.
I function perfectly well in every day life.
Even if I could write directly to my son without social services seeing I think it would be just as difficult knowing what to say.
Nothing can be said, he's my baby and I want to hug him and that's all.
My perfectly natural anger and frustration at my son being held hostage away from me cannot be 'made okay'.
The more I think about it, the more I think I should be finding him and doing what is right and natural, being there for him and loving him.
So is it really a good idea for me to think about it all so much more with a counsellor?

I will convince myself all the more to find him asap.

CirrhosisByTheSea Sat 06-Mar-10 14:03:50

No of course it can't be made ok.

I'm just thinking about it from your son's point of view. Right back at the beginning I said he can't know you're thinking of him unless you tell him. And I still believe that.

All the rest, your completely understandable anguish and anger, is just stopping you from letting your son know that.

When you think about it, by not writing letterbox, the only people you are hurting are you and your son.

I do wish you all the very best, I can only imagine the agony which you live through, and I don't wish my answers to annoy or upset you. Good luck, whatever you decide.

maryz Sat 06-Mar-10 15:18:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anotherusername Sat 06-Mar-10 16:01:15

Thanks guys.
I'm still considering writing :-)

I always tell SS to thank them when I get things anyway, so his parents know I appeciate it.

I would love us to know each other during his childhood and for him to have me to come to if he ever wanted affection, etc..
And of course for holidays with my other 2 boys :-)

I wouldn't go and abduct him, I wouldn't do that to him and his parents, I have a bloody conscience unlike certain authorities, I know the damage that causes, he's already had to recover from losing me, he would be traumatised to lose his parents again.
Poor boy could already have issues from the crap SS put him through as a baby with foster homes.
I would like to be a neighbour or something and have him spend time with me, it would be great :-)

duchesse Sat 06-Mar-10 16:19:00

I think he will want to know that you are thinking about him and caring about him. If the question ever arises about the circumstances of his adoption, I would be tempted to lie until he is old enough to fully understand the whole story (ie at least he's in his early 20s; unless he is exceptionally mature, his teens would be too early) You could say for example that "Mummy loved you very much but could not keep you", or "we didn't have anywhere to live", that sort of thing, depending on age. At least if your contact is by letter, you are able to fully screen yourself before sending it. Remember that he is only 7 and therefore doesn't need masses of details. He will be more interested in what pets you have or what his siblings are like than anything else at this age I should think. I am sure that you (rightly) feel very angry about this but I would really caution you against showing him that you are angry about it.

I really hope you can build a relationship with this little boy. It will help him as well. Very Un-MNetty hugs to you.

RebeccaRabbit Sat 06-Mar-10 18:59:04

Social Services do not take babies into care on a whim. Judges do not release children for adoption without compelling evidence that it is in the best interest of the child. What was happening in your life 7 years ago that raised serious concern amongst the social workers? What has changed since then that has satisfied SS that you are in a position to raise your two subsequent children?

I don't mean to sound judgemental (I'm very sympathetic) but perhaps there were very valid reasons why an adoption order was made against your wishes and if you can acknowledge that then you might be able to change your feelings about the adoption.

anotherusername Sat 06-Mar-10 20:35:02

Rebecca maybe there were reasons to take one child and adopt him against my will, 'because i could possibly emotionally hurt him in future due to 'depression', then only 4 years later let me keep another on my own with only a 30 minute check up.
Maybe the court appointed child guardian was wrong in standing up for me in court and supporting me having my son back with support.
Or maybe; social services failed in supporting me keep him as they're supposed to.
If I had done anything wrong before I certainly wouldn't have 2 children in my care now (again, on my own).
I don't believe any child should be taken away from their mother when the mother wants him, has done nothing wrong, and just needs support.
Of course I'm willing to support my son in believng it may have been the right thing for his own emotional wellbeing.

anotherusername Sat 06-Mar-10 20:37:50

""""""I really hope you can build a relationship with this little boy. It will help him as well. Very Un-MNetty hugs to you. """"""

Thankyou xx

hippacrocadillypig Sat 06-Mar-10 21:01:40

Rebecca you are seriously naive if you think SS don't ever make mistakes and children don't get taken wrongly from their parent/s and adopted - sometimes this happens and there are recorded cases.

anotherusername I have nothing useful to add but I really do wish you well and hope that you have a relationship with your DS when he is an adult. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through.

RebeccaRabbit Sat 06-Mar-10 22:15:08

No, hippa, it's you who is being naive if you think a child is taken away from his birth mother because she is a bit depressed and needs some support. SS bend over backwards to keep families together - often to the detriment of the child.

maryz Sat 06-Mar-10 22:39:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hester Sat 06-Mar-10 23:39:16

OP, you've had some really good advice on this thread. My heart goes out to you, and I hope you find a way forward that helps both you and your son. My only advice would be to write if you can (it will mean a lot to your son), keep the letters short and warm but don't go into trying to explain to your son at this stage - that can be for later, if you make contact once he is over 18.

His adoptive parents will have been advised on how to explain his past and the reasons for his adoption to him. They will be trying to do this in a way that makes sense and that doesn't give him a view of you that is either negative nor overly idealistic. It may be best for him not to hear an alternative version to that story at this stage of his life.

He needs to feel positive about you (and you can help with that, by writing). He also needs to feel positive about his new family (and you can help that, by not criticising the adoption or saying you want him back). I don't know whether your ideas about tracking him down are just a comforting daydream or something you would consider following up - but please, please don't consider doing that. I do not doubt for one second how horrendous it is to lose a child in the way you describe, but the only option now - for you and for him - is to go forward and try to build the best life possible from where you are.

RebeccaRabbit Sat 06-Mar-10 23:44:03

maryz - I think for the sake of her sanity and the well-being of her two other children, OP needs to accept that her son wasn't stolen from her as she keeps insisting. A rigorous, legal process was followed which means the boy now has a new family- with a mummy and daddy - and she has her family which consists of her two younger sons.

The adoptive parents have been generous in keeping letterbox contact, including sending photos. It would be nice if she could reciprocate with chatty letters saying she is fine and what she is up to. That is what her son needs now at this stage in his life.

Hopefully one day he will chose to find her and she will be able to tell him that she wishes she could have kept him. She must also be prepared for her son to be glad that he was placed with his new family because he loves them so much and has been so happy with them.

OP - I wish you well and hope that you can find some peace and enjoy the two children who are lucky enough to live with you.

maryz Sat 06-Mar-10 23:49:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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