That time of year has come round again, contact time! I wrote about it last year, (read here ) but times have moved on, and so have my thoughts about it, to some extent.
We’ve now written 3 times, this is the 4th. One Birth Relative has replied, and it’s been great to have that two way communication. This is the same relative that we have direct contact with. At the moment it feels like a really positive relationship that I hope will be really help our daughter to come to terms with and understand her story.
The other birth relative has not replied. This is hard for me to emotionally manage now, so I can only anticipate that my little one may struggle when she’s older too. I hope that the life story work we’ve started, and will continue to build on will help her to understand the possible reasons behind this lack of reply.
I think I’m finding it more of a challenge to write this time, not because there’s not lots to say (there is loads!), it’s because we’ve been doing some basic life story work, and I’ve been able to see how it’s all affected my girl. It’s hard to write to the person who caused the ‘damage’, who couldn’t keep my baby safe. But more than anger I think I feel really sad for this person. Actually, her own story is pretty tragic and a typical example of generational social problems and difficulties. I’m not excusing what happened, but it does help to try to understand the history of the people involved. If I had been through some of the things she has, I’m not sure I’d be in the right place to reply to a letter either. Also, I can only imagine the pain of loosing your child, and not having the joy and privilege of seeing them grow up. Receiving a letter every now and then detailing how great their child is must bring up such conflicting emotions. I wonder if it brings up the trauma of losing her again and again. We were fortunate to meet her, and I saw her smile. I pretty sure she gave my daughter her beautiful smile. It’s a daily reminder that even though my girl is 100% mine, I didn’t physically shape her.
The other thing I struggle with is the fact that contact letters tend to be really upbeat and positive, and they don’t really truly touch on the challenges and difficulties of adoption. I’m not sure the birth relatives want to hear about the tantrums and challenging behaviours. They probably don’t want to hear how sad and confused Little One was when we discussed her story. However, I think I will try to touch lightly on some of these aspects, as I feel it’s only fair that they do have some insight into the realities of Little One’s life now. I want them to know that her life is just like any one else’s, with it’s natural ups and downs. I also want them to understand to some extent how her life will be forever affected by the fact that she is adopted .
So, I will attempt to put aside my feelings, and will continue to write. I actually love writing about what my little one has been up to. It’s a really nice way to look back over the last 6(ish) months, and to document all the progress and milestones. I guess it’s a unique plus point of adoption. It’s a great chance to celebrate our fabulous little person, and to reassure her birth family that she’s doing brilliantly. I hope they are encouraged by what they read, and I hope that it brings some comfort in the midst of a difficult situation. My daughter currently doesn’t know about letterbox, and crossing that bridge when it comes I’m sure will be another blog post.
Right, now to actually get on with writing the letters, and to stop procrastinating by writing this post……