When you chose adoption, you provided your child with many lifelong gifts. For most women, their reasons for making an adoption plan include the ability to provide their child with two loving and stable parents, a bright future, and every opportunity to succeed in life.
Another beautiful, cherished gift that only you can provide is a letter of love to your child. In it, you have the opportunity to share your feelings of hope and love. Writing it will allow you to release your child into the arms of the adoptive parents with trust, faith, and love. Plus, this special letter has been known to help many a birth mother face mixed emotions after placing her child.
Wondering how to write a letter like this? How can you possibly express all the love you have for your child? Today, Lifetime Adoption is sharing 6 quick tips for writing a letter of love to your child.
1. Start Your Letter
You might begin your message by telling your child your hopes and aspirations for their future. For many birth mothers, this was a key reason for choosing adoption in the first place. Then, you can write about the process you went through to ensure they had the type of family you wished to provide.
Many birth parents have wondered,“Will my child know me?“ and, “I don’t want my child to hate me for choosing adoption.” But the beauty of open adoption is that your child will grow up knowing their adoption story and knowing you. Their adoption will never be a mystery or a family secret.
2. Share Your Reasons for Choosing Adoption
Take this opportunity to explain why you chose adoption. You might share that you didn’t make an adoption plan because you didn’t care about them. Just the opposite: you chose adoption because you care so much that you want to provide more for them than you can right now.
When you write your letter, we recommend providing some background on your life and the circumstances which caused you and your baby’s father to choose adoption. Says one birth mom, Kristina, “I hope that by sharing about my situation, my daughter will someday understand that even if I had parented, I wouldn’t get to do that. I would have been sharing custody and working so hard just to feed her that I wouldn’t be the one tucking her in at night. I wanted her to have a mommy and daddy who she could count on to tuck her in every night. So I found my daughter’s parents, and they love her as much as they love each other.”
3. Give Info About Yourself
Provide your child with information about you: your hobbies, talents, and strengths. That way, your child will understand in the future where he or she got certain interests or skills from. You never know, your child might inherit your athleticism or mathematical abilities!
Sharing info like this in this letter will allow your child to feel a special connection to his or her birth family and origins.
4. Let Others Contribute
Nowadays, many birth fathers take part in the adoption planning process too. If you’re still in touch with your child’s father, let him know about this letter that you’re writing. He may want to include something in the letter, too, or even write his own letter to his child.
Other members of your family may also want to write a letter if they are struggling with your decision or dealing with difficult emotions. This letter allows them to convey to your child that he or she is always loved from afar.
5. Make Copies
Be sure to make copies of the letters, and save your letter digitally. A couple of easy, free, and quick ways to save your letter digitally (“to the cloud,” as they say) are Google Drive, OneNote, or Evernote.
You’ll want to mail one copy of the letter to your child’s adoptive parents, of course, but we suggest that you keep a few copies too. Some birth mothers have created a special memory book or box for their child to open at an appropriate age. And save a copy of your letter for you, too. Re-reading the loving words you released your child with may help you through the years when you feel a twinge of heartache.
6. Determine Timing
Some birth mothers wish to ask the adoptive parents to give her child this letter at a specific time. Other women leave it up to the adoptive parents to choose a time they decide is best.
Your special letter is your hope and love on paper expressed to your child. It will be a treasure for your child and the adoptive parents for many years to come!
If you find that you just can’t get through writing this letter right now, you’re not alone. Not all birth mothers feel as though they can write a letter like this. It can be challenging to put words on paper that accurately reflect what is in your heart.
But please don’t let your words and feelings go unwritten or unspoken. You can always resume writing this letter later on and pick up where you left off. Stories and pictures the adoptive parents tell your child will pale when compared to the heartfelt words that you can share, describing your feelings and your decision to choose adoption.
Your letter is a beautiful way to leave a legacy for your child,
sharing the hope and love you have for them.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 14, 2016, and has since been updated.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.