1) If I don’t answer your updates or texts, it may be because I don’t know what to say.
There may be times when I see an update from you or a request to connect ...and I just don’t know what to do. It’s hard for me to explain, but I am overjoyed yet pained at the same time. I love seeing the happiness and pride you have for your son. Your care and family is exactly why I chose adoption for him; exactly why I chose you. But it’s also painful for me sometimes. And it can lead to feeling overwhelmed.
I don’t know what to say in response. Nothing seems right. I want to be real with you, so I resist sending a smiley face or pretending. But I don’t want you to feel my sadness, either. I don’t want you to think my sadness means I’m regretting or second guessing my decision. It’s complicated for me to explain. So I stay silent.
2) Please keep sharing updates. Even when you think I’ve “moved on with my life”
Please don’t assume that at this point in my life --- two, 10 or 20 years after placement -- that I wouldn’t care about a milestone or event in your family’s life. I do. I care about him. I care about you. I want to stay connected. It matters to me.
3) Just because I have a family now, doesn't mean my feelings for the child I placed have changed.
My life may have changed quite a bit from what it was when I placed my son for adoption. But I will never “move on” from him. I will ALWAYS remember him. I will ALWAYS care for him.
Even though I love the role of MOM and love the children I am parenting, I still cherish the special connection I have with the child I placed; the child who calls you MOM. The deep affection I have for him will stay with me forever.
I need you to know that. I need you to make sure your son knows that, too. And we can do that together by staying connected through the years. I know that isn’t always easy. I’m busy, too. But I just know it will be worth it for all of us.
This is a continuation of a series of posts addressing birth parent and adoptive parent relationships. We started with this post "Six things birth parents wished adoptive parents knew", followed by "Adoption and birth siblings: advice for parents"