This evening, I have finished the task which occupies my waking thoughts in the preceding weeks. It is a simple task, a letter and some photos of the children, something so easy. I am so proud of my children and I could easily write reams on their personalities, characters, successes, little anecdotes etc.. and fill album with photographs, yet this letter is to their birth family and it is so difficult to strike the right balance. For security, we have to be careful not to identify ourselves, so no mention of the beach babes they are as this may give a clue to our seaside town, photos must be vetted carefully for clues, no uniforms, local landmarks etc.. I am also aware of the circumstances of the family and am careful not to boast of the treats and holidays the children enjoy. To me the most important purpose of the letter is to let the family know that the children are happy, healthy and most importantly loved unconditionally. In one of the most emotional meetings of my life, I met the children’s birth mother, we shared a hug and I promised her that I would always love, care and be there for the children, we were both in tears so it was quite difficult to get those words out. I see the annual letterbox contact as one of the ways I can show her I am keeping my promise, its so difficult to write but so important too.
As well as for the birth family, the annual contact is for my children too. In the years to come when the children are 18, I want to show them that I always kept my promise to their birth family to write an annual contact letter. I have never had a response from the birth family but I am ok with this, I can only imagine how joyful and distressing the letters must be. The joy of knowing the children are happy and healthy but the distress of not knowing where they are, the hurt of the adoption etc.. I don’t feel hate or anger towards the birth family, just sadness at their circumstances and respect for their decision to have the children adopted and given a fresh start in a happy, loving family.