I am adopted. Was adopted as a baby and have known none other than my adoptive parents. They're just 'my parents'.
It was a closed adoption and I never had any details or info of any kind on birth family.
Fast forward to early years of my marriage. DH wished I had some info (like heritage, medical history) before we had kids (and I had always wondered about that anyway) so I put my name in a site where adoptees and their birth families can find each other.
Time went by - no word - had our first boy in 1999 and in 2002 I received a hand-written letter. It was from my birth mom. I was 30 years old (I'm nearly 41 now).
Anyway, she got my name from that site and wanted to introduce herself. We started writing - then emailing - and even exchanged pictures, but I was very clear that I was NOT going to tell my parents (they are so insecure it would be a disaster), and I had no desire to actually meet her, etc. She was fine with whatever level of communication I was comfortable with.
As the years went on our letters/emails became few and far between. She's nice enough, but I just have no desire to really keep up communication.
Anyway, a few weeks ago she sent me a handwritten letter (hadn't done that in years) indicating that she has cancer. She had surgery and is awaiting next steps.
I know I *should* respond - it's the nice thing to do - but I have no idea what to say. I have no real connection with her. I don't feel anything really - she's essentially a stranger. But, somehow - since I know who she is - I feel 'obligated' to respond.
I don't really want to re-open lines of communication...
What would you do?