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Christmas cards from birth parents

23 replies

mumofloads · 18/12/2010 18:17

If your dc received cards from their birth parents which were of the to my darling son/daughter at christmas variety would you
display them.

OP posts:
Jaybird37 · 18/12/2010 22:24

I think so. You have to show them to your DC, so if it is confusing or difficult for him/ her then that will be apparent. It would be odd not to display it if you display all your other cards.

Lilka · 18/12/2010 23:05

Honestly depends what's writtten inside - if the front of the card is slushy because company x thinks that's cute then yeah fine. If on the inside they've written sweet love you miss you darling daughter/son then depends on how much they've written it, and how they've signed off.

DD2 and DS bmum writes cards which say things such as 'To my beautiful daughter' on the inside, then merry chirstmas, love your first mum xxx. I've got no problem with that at all. She is beautiful, and she is xx's duaghter. However, if there were 500 i love yous written in every space on the card, love your only mummy, then that wouldn't get displayed, but i've never had a christmas card like that anyway.

You know your dc best and what they'll cope with and what they won't cope with, so go with your gut

slipperandpjsmum · 19/12/2010 18:20

I think you should. Being open and honest is the only way forward. Maybe not in the middle of the mantlepiece but out there somewhere.

Kristingle · 19/12/2010 18:36

no i wouldnt. but it depends entirely on your children and their circumstances

for us, it would invite questions from visitors that my children would not want to deal with. that's their choice

being open and honest with your children is one thing. breaching their confidentiality and right to privacy is another

Extremelychocolatey · 19/12/2010 19:46

The card(s) would go into DD's memory box.

snail1973 · 19/12/2010 22:01

I think it depends on the relationship you have/were expecting with the birth parents. If you thought rules had been put down about how they were to refer to your DCs and you felt these had been broken then perhaps I wouldn't display then and might even be talking to whoever supervises contact to ask their advise. However, if this is just how the relationship is then I certainly wouldn't open it and then hide it away (unless as Kristingle says it is going to invite prying questions that would not be appropriate).

walesblackbird · 19/12/2010 23:21

No. We were sort of ambushed into accepting birthday and xmas cards for one of our children (not in the original agreement but sw felt sorry for bps). Familiar story.

We have two other adopted children with no contact and try to treat our children as equally as possible. With this in mind we just put all the cards straight into our son's memory box until we feel it is appropriate to share them with him.

maryz · 19/12/2010 23:38

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kewcumber · 20/12/2010 00:17

I'm with chocolately - it would be shown briefly to DS with a firm "lets put this somewhere safe" also for reasons Kris mentions of privacy. But as several have siad it does depend on your existing relationship with BP's

mumofloads · 20/12/2010 12:59

Thank you everybody. DD is only 3.6 but she is aware she has another mummy and daddy. It is her BF that sends the cards and if I'm honest the reason I don't want to display the card is quite selfish. I completely understand that her birth parents will always be her first parents. I feel though that by sending a huge card saying on the front "to my darling daughter" is confusing for her and undermines our position in her life. I do put all the cards away in her memory box so she can see them when she is older.
I am very supportive of her contact with the birth parents and her need to understand her heritage. I have to confess though that secretly I want to scream "bugger off she's my daughter". Surely I'm not the only one who feels like that.

OP posts:
maryz · 20/12/2010 13:13

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilka · 20/12/2010 14:20

To an extent I agree, but it depends which child of mine i'm talking about. DD1 came home at 10, i have no baby pictures, no pre-school pictures even. She's school aged and in care before pictures start appearing. So whilst on one level, it feels like she's always been with me, i actually can't quite imagine her as a baby, and i can't imagine her not being adopted therefore. i wish she had never suffered at all, I wish she wasn't adopted and i had given birth to her. I really wish that. But i can't imagine it at all. i no longer get any contact at all with her BP's. i wish i could beat them up with something heavy, if i'm honest.

With DD2 and DS, i have very young pictures, and can imagine them not being adopted, but, whilst i wish i didn't have to broach very difficult subjects with them, i don't wish they weren't adopted.

No idea why i think that way, just do!

Extremelychocolatey · 20/12/2010 17:01

Lol at "heritage and all that codswallop", mary. My DD has no interest at all in her Chinese heritage, she sees herself as very much a little English girl because she's so secure in her new family and country.

mumofloads - we have no knowledge of or contact with DD's Chinese b-parents but I understand completely - she's MY daughter (and DH's) Xmas Grin

Kristingle · 20/12/2010 22:38

of course they are YOUR children. and no, they are no longer the sons and daughters of their birth parents. that's what the adoption order is about.

they either relinquished that right or had it removed by a court of law. that's the facts. full stop

yes, of course, they are their biological parents. but they are not their legal parents, nor do they fulfil the responsibilities of parents, to bring up teh child

please don't feel guilty or apologise for claiming your own children

and BTW the Sw supervising letterbox contact should be ensuring that cards / letter such as these are not sent ( its different for kinship adopters, I know).

Lilka · 21/12/2010 00:00

My children are 100% mine, but actually they are still the son and daughters of their bio paarents. The adoption order cannot stop them being the son and daughters of their bio parents. it can change who gets responsibility for them yes, and their legal parents, but it doesn't stop them being mother and child.

One good friend of mine placed her child for adoption. They are mother and child. I know she cried most nights in pregnancy because she was agonising over what was best for her baby, she loved that child, she gave up alchol etc, she played mozart to her bump! She loves her cild more than her own life, and placed her because she believed it best. Her actions prove her to be an amazing mother in my eyes, and i have told her this. What else is an amazing mother, if not one who places her child first, and sacrifices for them, and loves unconditionally?

This woman says, along with other bp's who placed their children and i respect them all very much "I relinquished the parenting of my baby, but i did not relinquish my motherhood" And that is so true, she is a mother, she thinks as only a mother does really, i know she also has that cold dread when a child is murdered, and she listens to the news - i know the dread feeling myself, and i do not know any childless women who feel that way when they read those articles.
They will alwys be mother and dauhter, whatever.

I believe biological parents always have the right to call theri chilren their sons and daughters. What else are they exactly?

Even so, of course mumofloads, you are 100% your children's mother, so claim away! Feelings of insecurity are 100% normal, most of us have been there at one time or another :)

mumofloads · 21/12/2010 10:48

I agree that these parents will always be the biological parents of adopted children lilka but the situation your friend found herself in is not the norm. Most parents do not relinquish the children willingly for the childs own good. Most of these parents fight to the bitter end to keep the children. Meaning they often have long stays in foster care where they bond with carers before being adopted.
This man is my daughters biological father in my eyes no more than a sperm doner (sp?).
He didn't love her enough to give up alchol or stop beating her birth mother during pregnancy. I don't think he ever has a right to call himself daddy. Daddy is my wonderful husband who holds her when she is sick and pushes her on the swing.
He certainly has no right to continue sending cards saying "to my daughter" and letters to us thanking us for looking after his daughter for him.
kristingle you are right most letters are vetted. Ours are sent to our local family centre and passed to us unopened. I am going to ask that in future they are passed through the adoption team as they should be.

OP posts:
Kewcumber · 21/12/2010 10:50

chocolately - my DS is currently very interested oin being Kazakh and it formed a major part of his "treasure box" resentation at school (he's 5) and I'm sure all the other paretns are wondering where my Kazakh partner is!

mumofloads · 21/12/2010 10:50

Sorry lilka that comes across as being really ranty. I don't mean to be having a bad time with my other DD today and it's coming across in everything I do.

Think I need to take myself off and chill out. Grin

OP posts:
walesblackbird · 21/12/2010 11:13

My children's birth mothers certainly didn't think of what was best for their children. My children's birth mothers put their own needs firmly above any of the myriad of children they've produced between them.

They will always be their birth mothers - a term I used with my children. They gave life to them and that's a fact. However, I am the parent, I'm the mother. I'm the one who's loved them and cared for them since they were babies. I'm the one who's changed the nappies, cleared up the vomit and made sure they were safe. Their birth mothers certainly didn't do that.

I'm sure there are some bms out there who are capable of doing the right thing for their child. Who are capable of what you describe Lilka - it's just not something that I'm familiar with in regards to my children.

Lilka · 21/12/2010 12:15

Don't worry mumofloads, you're not ranting Xmas Smile

I'm not actually that familiar with placing babies myself, excpept through her. My kids were all removed, all far too late. DD1 is terrified of her bios, shes been in therapy for years etc etc. I'm seeing a counsellor myself atm, because shes making more disclosures and I'm beyond being able to handle it on my own. So yep, i know exactly what you're talking about. They ddin't love my children enough to stop.

Our letterbox ddin't used to be vetted either, apart from one really good coordinator, who stopped a letter to DD1. It didn't have any cutesy phrases on it, instead it was addressed to DD1 and said that "don't you dare forget that you belong to me, you are my property" Went on to say that she was absolutely forbidden from loving me, and that if she didn't come and find them pronto when she turned 18, that they would punish her like she deserved. Lots of love your real and only mother.

They certainly aren't capable of doing anything loving or nice. Calling DD1's bio-f a sperm donor is insulting to sperm donors, most of whom are very lovely people who are trying to help others. DD1's bio-f does not fit my description of a sperm donor!

You definitely need to insist that your letters are vetted though mumofloads. It's really not acceptable that they aren't.

I don't really tend to use the term birth mother. Mainly because to me it suggests awoman who does nothing but give birth - and believe me, if she had done notyhing but give birth, then DD1 would have been a lot better off for it! And DD1 thinks in opposites - if she is the birth mother, then that makes me the death mother, because they are opposites, if that makes sense. Same with real mother, natural mother.
We use first parents, because that makes me the last parent - the last one she will ever have, the forever one. Or biological mother, so i'm the non-biological mother. Works for us anyway.

Yep, i have real trouble calling those people mother and father at all. i have an image in my head of a mother and father and they don't fit it! But DD1 will always be their daughter and tehy will alwys be able to call her their daughter, despite everything they've done, although i wish it wasn't that way Sad

Kewcumber · 21/12/2010 14:29

my social worker suggests using the given name (if you know it) rather than "birth mother" which works well for us.

I have the luxury of allowing myself to believe that DS's birth mother was trying to do her bst for him. I do actually htink of her as being his "mother" as she was really just in a different way to me. I am able to be magnanamous as she did him no intended harm and almost certinaly saved his life by going to the hostpital when she had him and becasue it is highly improbable that he will ever be able to find her.

The more time that passes however the more I find it difficult to think of her as being his mother. Which does make me a bit sad in a way - probably more because it makes me realise what she has missed out on.

Lilka · 21/12/2010 14:55

I still write contact letters to DD2 and DS bio mother and i address her by her first name and sign off by mine.

I feel very differently about her than i do about DD1's bios. DD2 and DS bio-mother is a very diferent person and she defiintely loves them, although she was not able to protect them. She was very much victimized herself by the men around and wasn't strong enough nor did she have the resources to get away from them. I do feel that she is their 'mother', unlike with DD1's scenario.

So whilst i think differently about the two sets of first parents, with DD2's biomother, I have to agree with Kew, we are both mothers, but in different ways to each other, and we are/will be important to our children for different reasons. DD2 feels that she has two mothers and she feels that she is her mothers daughter - and her opinion is ultimately the one that matters the most. I did hear two other adoptees discussing how they wrer referred to and both agreed that they wanted to be referred to as 'daughter' by their first parents. They both felt that they would be 'wierded out' if they were called 'birth daughter' and that they would feel like they were 'less than', or not proper daughters, unless they were referred to as just 'my daughter'. I found that very interesting and it makes sense to me.

PheasantPlucker · 22/12/2010 10:57

We refer to dd2's birth mum by her given name, and it seems, as Kew suggests, to work OK.
Re cards, we keep them for dd2 in her special box, but don't put them on the mantelpiece at Christmas. They always come from the birth-GPs, never the BM.

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