It's strange when you don't don't know your child's history. You don't know what his first words were, when he learned to walk or ride a bike or anything. There are more questions than answers about his first six years. Add to that we don't know his medical history or ancestry. For the latter we can explore testing through 23 and me or some similar company. For the former we have to accept that there are gaps in his past and do the best we can with the unknown.
Over the summer we received a package in the mail from junior's previous foster family. In the package were some photographs of him with his first foster family. We had previously had no pictures from the time he spent with this family, so this was huge. I then looked at the envelope the photos were in and saw a name. Previously we had only known the family's first names not their last name.
I did a little sleuthing online and realized I could reach out and see if I could begin talking with them. Dave and I discussed it with junior's counselor to get her thoughts. We all agreed it couldn't hurt to send an email. The worst that could happen is they wouldn't respond. If they did respond we could gain some valuable information that we thought was lost.
I thought long and hard about what to write in the email, and after I sent it I worried about whether I would receive a response. I didn't have to wait long, less than an hour after I sent the email I had a response! We've traded a few emails and we've received a few more photos. I wasn't surprised to learn when junior left this foster family they sent a photo album with pictures of him. For kids in foster care, it is all too common for personal items to be misplaced, lost, or left behind during a move. Being able to have access to pictures and information is such an amazing gift for us and junior.