In an open adoption, you are encouraged to stay as close to your child as you feel comfortable with, but the level of openness is entirely up to you. A common method of communication between birth parents and their children is through the use of letters. Sometimes it is easier to say things through written words than on the phone or face-to-face. But what are you supposed to write?
How do you 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 can be quite difficult to work out what to say to your child. 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 do be honest and open about your feelings.
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.
What format should I use?
If you want to give your letter an extra personal touch, consider writing it by hand. Seeing all the strokes and squiggles of your own penmanship can make all the difference. The words you write 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 a few sentences, it could be enough. For them, being able to hold that piece of paper with words written by you especially for them is the most important thing.