Dear Megan, I put my child up for adoption in 2005 when I was in a rough spot. In the past two years I’ve gotten back on track. I recently received an update from my child’s parents. They said I could write and send some items and pictures. I’m wondering if I should go above and beyond everything to explain why I put my child up for adoption? How he was loved and still is? Is brutal honesty too much? I just don’t know what to include in my correspondence other than health and personal information. Do I stick to something simple or do I go all out? This will be the first time sending anything to him since the adoption. Please, any advice would help. I don’t know where to turn. – A.
Thank you for your email…I’m so glad you reached out! These are really great questions, and I hope my response is helpful.
Keep it simple AND go all out
My advice is to keep it simple but also go all out by sending two or three letters on different topics. I’m assuming you are sending all directly to your child’s parents. In this case, you can tell them what’s in each letter (maybe put each in a separate envelope and give it a label). You can let the parents decide, if you want, what your child is ready for.
For example, one letter could be about you and your extended family. This would include health history, your interests, personality, etc. It might also include information about other siblings, full or half. Keep it honest but focus on the positive. Information about your child’s father might also be helpful, if available. If you don’t have information about the father, you can tell your child that too.
Many adoptees love to see photos! This could be any photos you have of yourself growing up, as a teenager, photos of extended family, etc.
Talk about your struggles and how you overcame them
Another letter could be about why you put your child up for adoption, your struggles, how you’ve handled them, how proud you are of getting through these, and what it took to do it. Talk about why you chose adoption at the time you did, and tell him how much you love him. You can tell him any memories you have about the day he was born and the time you spent together. This would be the letter where you go all out. Be brutally honest and tell him how you miss him and think of him. You can tell him that you hope to meet him again some day. Maybe even give him the opportunity to write back to you.
Remember, too, that this might not be your only communication with your son. You might want to save some information for a later time. You be the judge of that.
I really hope this is helpful, and please keep in mind these are just suggestions! Follow your heart and your gut as well. I wish you all the best and hope that you will let me know what you decide and how it goes.
All my best,