When writing to them, hand write the letter and also hand write the envelope (at least address) so that it does not get mistaken for junk mail.
IMPORTANT - on the outside of the envelope to the LEFT of name and address write this: ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
If they have moved and left a Forwarding Order with the Post Office, they will then stick a sticker with NEW address on it and SEND IT BACK TO YOU.
THEN you would put the original letter into a NEW envelope with that NEW ADDRESS on it so that they only sees your letter being sent to the new address.
If you are nervous about who may see the letter/card, then write a more anonymous sounding letter. This way if husband or someone finds it and reads it, it looks like an old friend is writing. We would suggest a card and to use any personalized address label, etc. to make it look like a personal letter.
Dear (Birth Mother's first name) I am looking for an old friend from (city of birth, state) named (her name at that time). We met in (month and year of your birth) and I was hoping to reconnect. Since then, I have had a (positive word like wonderful, good, great, etc) life and am now (your marital status with X children) and work as (your occupation). Recently, I have been working on my family tree mostly to get medical history information and some heritage. You knew me as (Birth Name) but I go by (Adoptive Name) now. I am enclosing a photo of myself in hopes that you might remember me. I understand most people are busy these days and I do not want to interrupt anyone's life but would really like to talk to you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely, (signature) List ALL contact information -- home address, email, home phone, cell phone.
The best photo to include would be a yearbook style photo -- headshot or if you have a family photo (you, husband and kids).
There are ways to send it via the post office so that you know it was delivered. Do not have her sign for it.
Then you wait. This is the hardest part and while a telephone call CAN give an "instant" response, do not assume that her lack of response means she does not want contact.
Example: male adoptee wrote a letter to bmom (who had married bfather) and sent it FedEx. 2 weeks and no reply. His fiance called bmom directly as adoptee felt rejected. Bmom explained that they were waiting for youngest son to come home from Marine boot camp to tell him and sister (born after marriage) about BOTH adopted sons (the other adoptee also had searched and sent same kind of letter just 2 months before!) in person. Bparents wanted very much to have contact but did not want to tell son # 3 while he was focusing on training. At point of phone call, they began emailing and did meet son then told younger kids. In meantime, both adopted sons were put in touch with each other. Moral -- the birth parents were trying to find a "good" time to tell the younger kids and friends and family and they did not realize that waiting caused the adoptees to feel rejection.
Today's Date Dear ____________, I wasn't sure how to contact you and decided writing a letter was the most comfortable way for me. I have wanted to speak to you for some time now. Recently I have been doing some family research. Doing this research has led me to believe that we are related. For the past _____(amt. of time)________________, I have been searching for my birth family and my search has lead me to you. I have enclosed what information that I know about myself, including the non-identifying information regarding my family of origin that was supplied to me through the state of (__). I was born on __(date)__ in __(city)__, (state) at __(name of hospital)__. The birth name on my documents was _____________. I was adopted through __(a private adoption through (atty's name)/ name of agency used)__. (add any other info. known about bfamily). I was adopted as an infant and raised in a happy home. I have always wondered about my birth parents whom I did not know. As well, I have always wondered about other children born to them. While growing up I have always wondered about what traits and characteristics I have and who I inherited them from. When you are adopted, you lose that connection and your family of origin remains a mystery. I believe from the information I have gathered you may be a half brother/sister of mine. I apologize that this letter may alarm you a bit, and it is difficult for me to find the right words to say. The information I have enclosed is private and personal and I do not want to upset anyone. I will not/do not wish to intrude upon your life, but I couldn't let the rest of my life pass staying silent knowing I didn't try to reach you. I hope you will give me the opportunity to speak with you. I hope that you will call me at your earliest convenience. You can call me collect as I live in __(city/state)__. I'm usually home at (time or days which are best) . My phone number is _____________________. My address is _______________________________. I don't know what else to say. I hope you will contact me and give us a chance to speak to one another. I will be anxiously awaiting your reply. Sincerely, Your Name
Today's Date Dear ____________, son /daughter I wasn't sure how to contact you and decided writing a letter was the most comfortable way for me. I have wanted to speak to you for some time now. I have thought about you since your birth. It has been my Hopes for you, that you would have a better life than I could give you. Although I was unable to keep you due to circumstances beyond my control, I wanted you to have a better life. With Loving Parents and a Stable Home and Family Atmosphere. Where you would be Loved and Cherished as the Special Gift that you are. It is my Sincerest hopes that the family that you were placed with, gave you all of the Love and Attention that you so rightly deserve. I hope that you felt the love and support of two Wonderful People who wanted you so much, and was Blessed to have Recieved You. I have often wished that I could see you one day and tell you just how special you are. I wondered about your smile and the first time you did smile. I wondered about your first words, your first steps, your first Christmas and all of the first holidays that you experienced with your new family. I wondered about your first day of school and your Jr. High School Graduation along with your High School Graduation, your Prom and when you turned 16 if you had gotten your drivers license.These are just a few of the things because, there are so many things I have thought about when thinking of you through the years. I hope that you are happy and that you know that I loved you so much. I did what I thought was best for you at the time. You were a special gift that I had to share with your Adoptive Parents. I hope that life has been good to you and your New Adoptive Family. It is not my intention to take anything away from you or them. I wish you no harm or harm to them. Thank them for giving to you all that I could not. For the past _____(amt. of time)________________, I have been searching for you, my birth daughter / son, and my search has lead me to you. I have enclosed information about myself, including the non-identifying information regarding my family of origin that was supplied by me through the state of (_________). You was born on _____(date)__________ in _________(city)________, (state) at ____________(name of hospital)__________. The birth name on your documents was _____________. you were adopted through ________(a private adoption through (atty's name)/ name of agency used)_________. (add any other info. known about bfamily such as if they have brothers or sisters). You were adopted as an infant / small child and raised in a happy home. I have always wondered about your adopted parents whom I did not know. I have always wondered about other children born to them or adopted by them..Wondered if you have any brothers or sisters at home. While you were growing up I have always wondered about what traits and characteristics you have and If you inherited them from me or our family. When you were adopted, you lose that connection and your family of origin remains a mystery. I believe from the information I have gathered , you may be my child that I have longed to know for so long now. I apologize that this letter may alarm you a bit, and it is difficult for me to find the right words to say. The information I have enclosed is private and personal and I do not want to upset anyone. I will not / do not wish to intrude upon your life, but I couldn't let the rest of my life pass staying silent knowing I didn't try to reach you. I hope you will give me the opportunity to speak with you. I hope that you will call me at your earliest convenience. You can call me collect as I live in ________(city/state)_____. I'm usually home at (time or days which are best) . My phone number is ____________. My address is _______________________________. I don't know what else to say except that I hope you will contact me and give us a chance to speak to one another. I will be anxiously awaiting your reply.
Sincerely, Your Name
I am writing in the hope that you might be able to assist me. I'm doing some research into my family history and I believe we may be related. I was born in (month / day / year), in (town / state). I would greatly appreciate you contacting me at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely (your name, address and phone number / email)
Advice on what to say to birth sisters or birth brothers
Start by telling them you were working on your family tree and looking for (add birth mother or birth fathers name here) and their birth family members. Then say, I was born on (add your birth date here) to (add birth mother or birth fathers name here) in (add birth city and state here) and placed for adoption. I am looking for biological family because I need my family medical history and would like to know who I look like.
Then if you email that, add this: Please respond back to let me know if I have the right person or not. Here is my contact information: (give them your phone number, email address, first and last name)
They should respond back to that, if the email is still working. Or if you have a telephone number that is working (a lot of people use cells now or have unlisted phone numbers) you can call them directly, saying the same thing. If you get voice mail, leave that message and your telephone number and say that you will call back on (day and time) in hopes of reaching them. When you call be sure to use *82 to un-block your phone number so that they can see it on their caller ID; that way when you call back, they know it is you and not a bill collector or salesperson.
Most brothers and sisters are happy to hear from a sister or brother who was placed for adoption.
Also, remember that they may not know about you or that they may be afraid you are a scam artist, identity thief or even a bill collector or salesperson, so if they are rude, be polite anyways.
If you cannot reach them by email, you can write them a card (like a Christmas card) basically saying the same thing, giving the ways to contact you and if you have a photo of yourself or photos of you on a Facebook page, how to reach that page. IMPORTANT, please hand write their address and also to the LEFT side print ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED. This way, if they receive it, it won't get thrown out as Junk mail and IF they moved and left a forwarding address, the mail carrier will put a yellow sticker on it with the new address and will send it back to you. This gives you THEIR new address.
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