Our number 4 has letterbox contact, which is where we (until he is able) will write to the birth parents via social services about what he has be enjoying. They, hopefully will also be writing too. As this can be highly emotive Christmas and birthdays are avoided. Our twice yearly contact is April and October. As child 4 has only just been placed our initial contact will be next month.
As we, like many adopters, are unable to include any photographs with our letters (a security measure, with social media being so prevelant now it's not worth the risk of the birth parents uploading a photo and asking people to look out for him*) I thought a drawing or painting would be nice for the birth parents to have. So today after school drop off we went off to buy some A3 paper and some finger paints. I cut a balloon stencil from a finished cereal box and child 4 set about painting balloons, the table, his hands, his feet in fact anything that was in the vicinity. I wanted his birth mum to know that, as promised at our meeting last month,we had let off the ballon on child 4's birthday.
I have a huge amount of compassion for this girl, knowing that the best outcome for child 4 was to be removed from his birth parents doesn't make that little guilt chip I will always carry go away. But how do we discuss the birth parents with child 4, we agreed that they would be known as mummy xxx and daddy xxx. I certainly don't want to pretend that they aren't child 4's biological parents, however he has only just started calling my husband and I Mummy and daddy and I really, really don't want to confuse him. So today I used their first names. When I write the letter I will address it to mummy xxx and daddy xxx and I will share their letter accurately with child 4, but for now their first names will have to do.
I am making notes already about what to write in this letter, but I don't want to sound condescending or make them feel that I am a better parent than they could be, at some point child 4 could/ will want to meet them and if we are to be involved (something I really hope he will want us to be) I want us to be able to have some form of relationship. A little bit of empathy will probably go an awful long way.
* A little while back someone shared a message on their Facebook timeline, something along the lines of " help us find this little girl last seen on whatever date" along with a picture. Most people would automatically share, thinking that they were helping a distraught parent find a missing child. As the parent of an adopted child, this scares me as one day it could so easily be a picture of our little boy loaded on by his (no doubt distraught )birth parents attempting to locate him. How distressing could that potentially be for him!