Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Contact Letters

I am sitting next to the completed contact letters and photographs and am trying to write with the very furry tail of my Maine Coon, Leo, flicking over the keyboard.  He does like to keep me company.

The letters are waiting for a nice, crisp, brown A4 envelope to send them off to our Local Authority to be forwarded on to Katie's birth family.  I am proud of what I have written but there is a tinge of anxiety about causing upset or sounding like a Bridget Jones smug.  I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to receive the letters I send; the feelings that arise for the receiver.  Adoption is a complex myriad of emotions for everyone involved.  I want to ensure that the door is open for Katie to contact her birth family when she is older; if this is what she wants.  You could accuse me of being a liar if I said that I didn't have my own feelings about it.  I am her mum.  I am bound to her and I don't really want to have to share her with anyone else; but Katie has a story and there are characters in her story that may need to be revisited one day and I want to ensure that door is open for her and them.  I would love to know how it will all pan out.  Someone hand me a crystal ball please, so that I can prepare for what may lie ahead.  Of course there are anxieties that she will reject me and Mike one day.  I am pretty sure that all adopters have that anxiety lurking at the back of their minds.  I do feel though that a son or daughter is unlikely to reject a parent if a) they have a strong relationship with them and b) if they aren't forced to choose.  I knew when I became an adoptive parent that Katie has birth parents and there may be an emotional tie to them for her as she grows up.  She talks about her birth mother frequently and asks questions.  I answer them all as best I can; with as much honesty and balance as I can.  I want her to grow up knowing she can ask me anything and that she doesn't have to keep her questions and feelings to herself about her adoption.  My biggest fear is that she will try and trace her birth family through Facebook or whatever relevant social networking site may be running when she is older.  My training as a counsellor warns me that the lack of emotional support in this route could be so damaging.  I want Katie to know that we will contact her birth family, should she wish it, but that we do it with all the emotional support that we can to ensure she has the backup she will need.

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