I've just finished writing the Letterbox Contact letters for Little Prince's birth family. I've got some last bits to do and then I can send them all off on Monday.
When the Letterbox co-ordinator visits Little Prince's Birth Mum to take her the letter, and help her write her reply she is going to talk to her about possible direct contact with Little Prince. I spoke to the co-ordinator around Christmas-time about initiating this and had wondered what was happening as I hadn't heard back from her. So I rang her last week to see what was going on, and we had a long and interesting chat about what it could all mean for Little Prince and for his Birth Mum. The co-ordinator had sent a letter to Birth Mum asking if she would consider having direct contact with Little Prince and had not received a reply. She feels that Birth Mum is waiting to talk to her in person about this before she makes a decision.
From our admittedly "Little Prince centred" view, now would be a good time to initiate this type of contact, as he is so much calmer now he has his ADHD medication, and he and Birth Mum have time to get to know each other before the stresses of moving to High School or teenage hormones kicking in. The co-ordinator pointed out to me that Birth Mum is probably extremely nervous about meeting with Little Prince, she will be worried about how he will react to her and if he will be angry with her (which to be honest sometime he is - he asks "Why did she even have me if she wasn't ready to be a Mum?"). And also that she would need support from Social Services to attend any meetings, she did confirm that her Dept would be both willing and able to provide her this support. My concerns are that Birth Mum might find it all too much and back out of subsequent meetings, which would cause Little Prince enormous amounts of pain and anguish. And also if Birth Mum would find it too difficult to hear Little Prince calling me Mum, and turning to me for comfort, when he is scared and nervous (which he inevitably will be) he can revert to younger behaviours, including sucking his thumb and cuddling up on my knee. From what I've gathered about Birth Mum over our years of Letterbox Contact, I don't know how she would cope with seeing that.
We haven't said anything to Little Prince about any of this, even when he continuously asks to see his "Tummy Mummy" as we don't want him to be all upset and disappointed if it doesn't work out.
Another issue I am struggling with is that I have found Birth Mum on the social networking site we use. I have even made a fake identity on there and become her friend (although I never have and probably never will actually write to her via the site)! I can now see what she and her family post on their walls and the pictures they put up too. One recent post from Birth Grandmother said that she is considering moving to run a Pub in the town near us. One of the Birth Aunts seems to go for nights out in this same town. And the last pictures Birth Mum posted were of her and family members at a tiny theme park near to us. I think we might one day bump into each other anyway, so why not have direct contact?
I originally made the fake id and friended Birth Mum to see if I could find pictures of Little Prince's birth family for him, as they don't send him many pictures in the Letterbox Contact. And I also know that as soon as Little Prince is old enough to be on the social networking site, he will search for her himself and she is very easy to find, so I wanted to "check her out" in advance. Initially it worried me that she would accept a friend request from a total stranger (who doesn't actually exist!!) and now it scares me even more how much information she gives out on the site. With very little effort I now know her address, full name of her partner, Ebay account id and mobile phone number!! Perhaps I am overly paranoid on the web, but that seems an awful lot of information to be so readily available!
I am also worrying about how I am going to tell Little Prince about what I've done on the social networking site. My current idea is to wait until he shows a serious interest in joining and then show him, hopefully by then he will have an ongoing relationship with his Birth Mum and it won't be such a big deal.