Wendy Lane has put together a three-part blog series that talks about the significance of adoptive families and birth families exchanging pictures and letters. This is the third and final installment of the series.
Adoptive parents often make a commitment to send pictures and letters to their child’s birth mother on a regular basis. This blog is intended to give a window into what may happen after you send the pictures and write the letters. Each story is unique, but they all speak to the ways in which keeping a connection to your child’s birth family via pictures and letters is an expression of love, gratitude and respect for their role in your child’s life.
A birth parent came to the agency in an effort to reestablish a connection with the child she had placed for adoption over 10 years ago. She tearfully explained that she did not remain in contact for so many years because she wanted to be free of what she considered to be negative influences in her life before she connected with her child. She was not expecting anything from the agency or the family, and was prepared for us to say, “it is too late…you’ve lost your chance.” While she sat waiting in the office, we were able to go to her file and pull a large stack of pictures and letters that had been sent here for her over time. She was shocked that the family continued to send pictures and letters for all those years. She had lots of tears and felt an immense amount of gratitude to the family for keeping up the contact…even when she had not.
Many adoptive parents don’t know what happens to those pictures or letters after they are sent. It is an open-ended process for which there are no tangible results.
You are holding on to the faith that some day these will be important. You are holding on to the sincere hope that at some point in the future, your child’s birth parent(s) will contact the agency and realize what treasures, sent by you, await them.
Always remember that by sending in the pictures and letters, your child will know you did your best to honor the connection to his/her biological family. Keep the faith…and keep sending in those pictures and letters!