So, in my previous blog post “A bittersweet occasion: The boy is ours” I promised that we’d maintain regular letterbox contact with our kids birth parents – let them know what wonderful men their kids were growing into. In return we agreed we’d share their letterbox contact with our kids. An opportunity to update them on their birth parents live’s. After all we’re never going to keep from them where they’ve come from, the journey they, and us, have gone on and the reasons behind it. When the time comes, if appropriate and if our kids wish to, we fully intend to support them to form relationships with their birth parents.
The problem is that we’re struggling to uphold this promise for boy 3.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re doing everything we can to try, and will continue to do so. We’re gutted though. In nearly 5 years of promised letter box contact from us we’ve not had one reply from boy 3’s birth parents. Not one letter, one card or even one bloody acknowledgement that they’re getting them. And it really fucks us off.
Maintaining contact with our two adopted kids birth parents couldn’t be polar opposites….the initial agreement was the same for both sets of parents. We agreed with them, face to face, and in agreement with social services, that we would maintain twice yearly letterbox contact with them; once after Christmas and once after the summer. They agreed to maintain the same level of letterbox. Letterbox is where we send a letter to the birth parents via social services. We update them on what’s been going on since the last contact, news, achievements, funny moments, sad moments. Anything that we think we’d want to know as parents. It is so important to us that we have done everything we can to maintain that vital link between them. We thought the birth parents thought the same too, would want to update their child on how they are, what they’ve been up to. To ask questions. After all, we need to maintain that link so that they’re not strangers….they’re part of each other’s make up, they’re history….probably their future. Part of their life. Who knows whether they’ll want to meet in the future? That’s not our decision. We’ll damn well make sure though, if they do, that they’ll know what’s happened in each other’s life over the previous years. Well at least from our end they will.
Sadly not both parents seem to see the importance of this and we find it really sad.
Boy two, our middle child but first adopted, gets regular letterbox contact from his birth parents….letters, cards, gifts….all which we share with him as promised. He loves it and talks openly about them…he can mention things he knows about them. As planned they’re not complete strangers.
Boy 3, our youngest and last adopted, gets nothing. As I mentioned before, in almost 5 years we’ve not had one reply to our regular contact. We’ve double checked with social services and they are definitely getting them. So why are they not fucking replying? It tears our hearts out to know that one son is getting regular contact and updates and our other is getting nothing. Zilch. Fuck all. What are we supposed to say to him? How do we shield him from the inevitable realisation that they appear to not be interested? Especially given the obvious contrast to his brothers experience?
Can’t they be bothered? Too busy? Have they moved on? Don’t care? To be honest we can only guess. And I really don’t want to be harsh or unkind. Maybe it’s the only way they can cope with their ‘loss’. To not think about things, not acknowledge it. Bury their heads in the sand. But even that is alien to us. As a parent our kids needs come first, theirs before ours. Even if it’s difficult for us, if it’s in their best interest, that’s what happens. After all, we’re parents. That’s what we do.
In the meantime however we have to plan to deal with the fallout. Protect boy 3 from the inevitable heartbreak. Dilute and distract as much as possible. Whatever we can to shield and absorb for him. That’s our job. That’s what loving someone so much is about.
We’re trying to work around things. We’ve managed to find a maternal grandparent that is desperate for contact…And who hasn’t received a single update from her own child regarding boy 3’s development…We’re currently working with social services to arrange this letterbox. Also he has a half sister who we visit and maintain contact with…she’s currently with an amazing foster family….so he will always know and love her.
Birth parents may not want or be able to maintain contact. But we will make damn well sure that boy 3 has the connections he needs to understand himself, his journey and to build relationships with his birth family if he desires in the future.
After all. We love him to the ends of the earth and his needs come first.
Much love, S xx