Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I've struggled writing this post, for many different reasons.  It's been sitting under 'drafts' for a while in my mind.

When we started the adoption process, we chose a semi open status.  Once we were matched for the first time, we could see ourselves opening up, even though that match failed.  We called our agency, and told them we would like an open adoption.

Growing up with a completely closed adoption, I had stronger feelings about it then Trav, but we agreed that it would be the best situation for all involved.

When we were matched with Isaac's birth parents, they preferred a semi open adoption, which we of course respected.  The agreement was for us to send updates 1 month after placement, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and one year out.  Our agency requires us to send a copy for both his birth mother and birth father including pictures for both of them.  We have been sending the same letter (just addressed differently), and between 15-20 pictures.

So far, they have not requested any of the letters.  Their caseworker last had contact with them in October, and we understand their life situation, and where they are in the grieving process, they aren't ready to request the letters.

We're coming up on our year mark, so I talked to our agency about what to do once we send in our one year letter.  Should we continue with the every three months? Back it off a little and do twice a year?

To say I was shocked by their answer was an understatement.  Basically they told us on the last letter, let them know we are open to a continued relationship when they were, and they should contact us when they are ready.

Really?  That's it.  Just be done with it?

To say I'm not ok with this doesn't even come close. I'm just supposed to stop, to give up?  What am I supposed to tell my son.  "I tried writing your birth parents, but they never wrote back, so I stopped".  I knew that I wouldn't been able to look him in the eye and explain that to him one day when he asks.

If I write 100 letters, and not one of them is replied to, it's ok, because at the end of the day, I'll be able to honestly tell my son, we tried.  I wrote the agency back and explained that my husband and I had talked about it, and were not comfortable with stopping communication, so they should continue to expect our letters.  

But I'm sure he won't ask, because he will know how much they mean to us, how special they are.  We talk about them already.  We pray for them.  We hope for them.  But more then anything, we hold them in our hearts, and  love them.

If anyone hasn't told you yet, adoption is hard.  It doesn't get easier after placement.  In many ways, it seems so much harder.


  1. I don't think I would worry about what your son will think some day. I would continue to send updates once a year on his birthday. Eventually, when your son grows up and asks about it... tell him his parents loved him so much that it was difficult for them to maintain a relationship and they loved him enough to let him go to a wonderful family.

    I'm a birth mother, and gave my son up for adoption in 1992. We are a closed adoption state, so when I tried a few times over the years to get updates, I was turned down and told I was not allowed to have those. When my son turned 18, he contacted the agency and requested that they find me. Now, two years later he and I have a wonderful relationship.


  2. I like the idea that you plan to keep sending letters and updates so at least he knows that it wasn't your intention to leave his birth mother out of his life. I'm sorry you didn't get the answer you were hoping for from the agency, but you never know if and when the birth mother will come around and want to know more about what's going on in your lives.

  3. Although we don't have the background of being adopted ourselves, our daughter's birthmom stopped receiving our letters too. It broke my heart. I pray for her on a daily basis that she finds peace and will reconnect. Strangely, I feel like I need to know her as much as I want Colbie (our daughter) to know her.

    I still write all of the letters, but keep them in an envelope at home instead of sending them to the agency. That way if C's birthmom ever reconnects, I will have them all waiting for her. And if she doesn't, I will have them for Colbie to read when she is older.

  4. I don't know if Cadet's BM has any interest in the letters/updates that I send her. She stopped replying to my e-mails months ago. Technically, when he turns one, all I have to do is send one update a year. I know I'll write more than that, as I never want Cadet to feel that I didn't try to reach out. It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is.

  5. I have no experience with adoption, and I had no idea that something like this would ever occur. I think I would keep sending the letters as well. Prayers for you as you move forward.

  6. So so true!!!
    With both sets of birth parents for our kiddos, neither of them have requested letters and/ or pictures since the required ones by our agency. It was tough, and I still send holiday cards and Mother's day cards- to the agency they the bp's have to request the pictures, cards, letters etc.. You can only do so much! And who knows down the road when they are in a better place they may want more.

  7. Thank you for this post. I love hearing your experience and knowing that we're not alone in the pitfalls of the adoption process. You have such a unique perspective being adopted yourself. I think you more than anyone are understanding of how important open communication of some type is. Good for you for keeping the relationship going on your end.