The adoption process has changed a lot over the years, and with the increase in popularity of open adoption, today birth mothers and fathers have more and more opportunities than ever before to have continued contact with their children.
In open adoptions, you are encouraged to stay as close as you feel comfortable to your birth child, but the level of openness you are comfortable with is left entirely up to you. One of the most common methods of communication between birth parents and their children is through the use of letters, because sometimes it is easier to say things through written words than on the phone or face-to-face. But what are you meant to say? How do you write a letter to the son or daughter for whom you have placed for adoption? Where can you even begin?
Where to Start
When thinking about what you are going to write and committing your words to paper, it’s important to remember that nothing anyone ever writes will be perfect — and that’s a good thing! The important thing to know is that when you are sitting down to write a letter to your child, you do not need to agonize over getting it absolutely perfect. Whether this is the first letter you are sending to your child or you’ve been writing them letters all of their life, the thing that will mean the most to you and them is that you are writing at all.
What do you say?
It’s often quite difficult to work out what it is you can say to your child. When you were placing your baby for adoption, it would have been a very emotional time for you. Now that you’re sitting down to begin to write your letter, it’s not uncommon to overthink it. But this runs the risk of overwhelming you and stopping you from ever starting at all. You don’t need to be an open book and share everything about yourself, but by being honest and open about your feelings, you can let your child know a little more about you as a person.
Speak from the heart, but make sure that you also try to keep it positive and simple. You could share things with them as mundane as what your hobbies are, or what you do during the day. The simplicity and positivity in your words will maintain the engaging relationship you are trying to build with your child, which could go on to help them understand you a little better, and perhaps to even relate to you in their own way.
Lastly, if you wish to give your letter that extra personal touch, perhaps consider writing it by hand. Seeing all the strokes and squiggles of your own penmanship can often make all the difference, as the words you write then become more than lines on a page; they become a part of you that you have committed to paper for them. Even if, in the end, all you manage to write are 3 sentences, it could be a lot more than your child already has. For them, being able to hold that piece of paper with words written by you especially for them is the most important thing.