MORE FIRST CALL GUIDELINES
Here are some more suggestions for making that first phone call...
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First Contact: The Phone Call
There are no set rules for first contact, either by phone or by letter. However, there are some standard procedures that seem to have worked in the past for many facing what you are facing at the moment. Here are some suggestions based on past experiences:
The Phone Call
Always be extremely polite. I know you're scared to death, and you may think that you can't do this, but you can. Ask for the personyou are seeking. Once you have a good idea that you've got the right party, identify yourself by name, state your location ("I live in Colorado") and ask the party to whom you are speaking to write down your area code and phone number, in case you are unexpectedly disconnected. On several occasions, both the party calling and the party receiving the calls have been so excited that they "forgot" to exchange this information, so if you do it first, you won't forget later. Once you've identified yourself, ask the party you are speaking to if he/she is XXXX. Also ask if it is a good time to speak to them.... or would they prefer you call back. Tell them that you have something of a personal nature to discuss with them, but before you feel comfortable disclosing personal information, you'd like to determine if they are indeed the correct party you are trying to reach.
Use what YOU KNOW, from your research or your non-identifying information, to verify that you do have the right person. You could ask, "Are you the XXXX who used to live in XXXX? Were your parents' names XXXX and XXXX? Do you have 2 brothers and 2 sisters? Was your maiden name SMITH ??" (Just kidding, but you catch my meaning). Once you get at least 3 affirmative answers, you can be pretty sure that you've got the right person, so now it's time for the BIG QUESTION.
Just say something like, "M'am, the reason I am calling, is that I was born on such-n-such a date in (City, State) and my name at birth was (if you have the birthname, give it) or if all you have is Baby Girl Smith ..... use that. If there is silence .... proceed with, "I have been searching for you for a very long time, and have reason to believe that you may have some personal knowledge of that day in my life. I understand that my contact with you today may have come as a surprise, and if you need to think about this and call me back I will understand, but I hope that you welcome hearing from me because you have been in my thoughts for many years."
There IS NO SET response .... everyone reacts in a different manner when contacted. Many original mothers expect to "someday" hear from their lost child, but many harbor that as a "what if" and not as a "what now" scenario. They could be shocked, confused and at a loss as to what to say or how to respond. Treat them lovingly. Most expect adoptees to be "angry" at them. Why I have no idea .... but that IS THE MOST common thing we've heard. "Are you MAD at me?" The best response is from the heart. If you say something like, "Of course not. I know you did what you had to do then in my best interests!" it might ease their initial fears. Gauge the reaction of the party you are calling. If he/she seems open and friendly, have a list of questions ready that you might want to ask. Sometimes it is NOT a good idea to ask, at this particular moment in time, anything about your other birthparent. You might ask what happened leading to your relinquishment.
As I said earlier, there ARE NO set rules for first contact. You have some ideas now on what to say and how to say it, but here are some other tips (not necessarily in order of importance).

1. If they say this is NOT a good time to talk, ask for a more convenient time when you can call. Don't wait for them to suggest a time, but ask if tomorrow morning or tomorrow night would be better. Give them an option so that they are in control of the situation ....but also make your intent to call back perfectly clear.

2. Have a list of questions ready just in case they're absolutely thrilled to hear from you! This is a good time to get those initial questions out of the way.

3. Ask if you can get updated medical information ~~ this is also a good time to try to figure out where you got that "nose" and your hair and eye color. If this is a "good call," the party you are speaking to is going to be just as curious about YOU as you are about them. They may willingly provide information, or they may be somewhat hesitant on what they are telling you.

4. Have a pad of paper and pen handy, so that you can record the information you are getting. Believe me, if you are like the rest of us, unless you write this all down you won't remember half of what you're learning.

5. Ask if you can write, exchange pictures, or possibly even MEET sometime. This is, of course, our ultimate goal, but if the birthparent/family member is uncertain on what you want in a relationship .... this will clarify your intent on establishing some type of a reunion goal.

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