Every hopeful adoptive parent or couple has to write what’s commonly known as a “Dear Birthmother” letter…which is starting to be known as a “Dear Expectant Mother” letter, which is a little more accurate and in-line with positive birth language (Wonder what that is? We’ll write about that soon).
The letter is an introduction. It’s one of the things that helps the expectant mother narrow her choices of who she’ll choose to parent her child. It’s probably the first or second thing an expectant mother will see about us.
The letter needs to be authentic and honest, shouldn’t be overly flowery, shouldn’t make promises, shows your intentions of the type of parent you hope to be, gives the story of who you are, how you met, what your life is like, uses appropriate/positive adoption language, maybe talks about how you came to adoption as a way to build your family, who else is in your life: friends, parents, siblings, other kids, etc., etc., etc.
As authors of the letter we have to mind a 1000 word limit (not too much, not too little…it’s the Baby Bear of letters)…in other words, it’s a challenge to edit it down.
The best advice we’ve read is that this letter is like a mirror. It reflects who we are, what we enjoy doing, and the life we can offer. In the end, we’re not writing to every expectant mother. We’re writing to an audience of one, the one person who will think we are the right fit. In the end, a bunch of people will have read our letter and decide we may not be the right fit. That’s frustrating, but reminds us it’s a bit like finding the love of your life, or just the right puzzle piece.
The child we’re meant to parent is still out there and soon enough (we hope!) an expectant mother will read all about what makes us Rachel and Andrew and think “here’s the missing piece to the puzzle.”