Well, that didn't go so well. — The Bump

Well, that didn't go so well.

Sorry in advance, I'm sure this will be long. So we told our parents about our decision to adopt this weekend and it really just did not go over well. We've been putting off telling my IL's especially because FIL loves to look for the bad side of everything and we were pretty sure he would start emailing us articles daily about adoptions gone wrong, etc. He actually took it surprisingly well, however, and was supportive when DH told him. I told my MIL when we were out getting our nails done, and it was awful. I certainly didn't expect her to be excited about it exactly but at least not to make it seem like this is a horrible thing. She just got this look on her face and was like "why would you do that?!". Then went into "Are you sure you don't just want to try for one of your own longer? Why don't you just do IVF? Why don't you just wait a little longer? It better not be a ___ baby (Insert various races/ethnicities/special needs here). What if they want to take the baby back? What if the kid wants to go live with their real mom when they're a teenager because they don't like your rules?" No matter how much I explained how we are very set on our decision and how excited we were about it, she just kept saying all this. I know that she didn't say any of it to be mean but she just has no filter sometimes. At the end of the day, as she's dropping me back off at home, she says "You know we'll support whatever decision you make and love whatever you bring home". This definitely made it better, but I needed to hear that 6 hours earlier. I was on the verge of tears all day after that conversation.


Then I told my mom tonight on the phone and the first thing she did was gasp and say "why?!". I seriously had to hang the phone up and call her back because I couldn't take it. The conversation did get better and she was a little excited by the end of the phone call (and thankfully my dad took it very well when I called him after), but I still feel discouraged. I really don't want to tell anyone else anymore. We are confident in our decision and SO excited but it was hard to hear such hurtful comments from my mom and mostly MIL (I'm really close with both of them and shared a lot of our clomid journey with them). I just didn't expect them to actually sound like they were disappointed and make it seem like this is second best, because we have never thought that way.


So, did anyone else's parents take it like this? When did they start to come around? Did you talk about it with them after the initial conversation? I really have no desire to talk to them about it again and, at this point, really don't want to share with anyone else because I don't think I can handle another reaction like that. I know I'll probably have to get used to rude comments and reactions in the future, and maybe I am being oversensitive, but I guess I just wasn't expecting it from people so close to us who know what we've been through.


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Re: Well, that didn't go so well.

  • I found out as a teen that I couldn't have children so this is something that we decided well in advance.  A few months ago during wedding talk MIL and FIL made a comment about children right away.  We took that time to tell them and they took it really well. They had trouble conceiving themselves so they thought about adoption.  I think that had a lot to do with how understanding they are.  Regardless of first impressions, surely your families will be thrilled when they meet their grandchild. Stay positive!
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  • We were pretty upfront with our parents/family members (close family) that we were thinking about adoption while we were doing IF treatments.  They knew that we had gone to meetings with our agency and another one to get more information.

    When we ultimately decided to move on, my MIL wanted to know if we were really sure and didn't we want to try IVF one more time.  I think she needed time to grieve the loss of a biological grandchild, just like we needed to grieve our loss as well. 

    I made sure to include her in our excitement and filled her in (along with the rest of the family) about what was happening. We made them a part of things. 

    You may want to sit down (you and DH) with each of them and tell them how you felt about their reactions.  They might not realize how their reactions made you feel.  I think it's important to be honest and tell them how excited you are to adopt and how you are firm in your decision.   Tell them that you need them to be supportive.  Tell them that you don't need to hear negative comments - that you know there are risks but you are willing to take them.  Be willing to answer their questions.

    Hope that helps :)

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  • Can't offer any advice but just wanted to say sorry you had to hear all that from someone who should be supporting you from the get go, and that we have that same picture from Ephesus from our honeymoon!
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  • We did not have that kind of reaction, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that. But a few things to keep in mind (and I'm going to play a little bit of devil's advocate here).

    Your parents and ILs may be coming from a place of grief. They had an idea of having biological grandchildren, who may have grandpa's eyes or grandma's personality. They may need some time to process the fact that, while they'll have an amazing grandchild who they love with all their heart, that child won't be biologically related to them. It's something that some adoptive parents have to deal with, so you can imagine that grandparents may have similar feelings.

    And this may be an opportunity to educate them. Of course all we ever hear about are failed adoptions, or horror stories. It's not newsworthy to report stories of happy, well-adjusted adults who were adopted. I can only remember one story that played out that way on national TV. We gave a copy of Adoption for Dummies to each set of parents when we started the adoption process, just so they could educate themselves. I've also gotten them a copy of In On It since then.

    You may have to dig a little deeper and open yourself up to talk to them more about this. Shedding light on the realities of the adoption process may help them become more comfortable about it, and will help them see the positive sides of this.

    For every negative or weird comment, you're also likely to find out that someone is uber-supportive, or has their own adoption experience to share. Heck, I mentioned on the playground that DD was adopted yesterday when chatting, and the lady told me her cousin had just adopted from Ethiopia. Small world, huh?

    Big ((HUGS))

  • So sorry you are having to go through this with your families. I sure hope everyone comes around soon! :-)
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  • im sorry they didnt react the way you expected. with me i have a medical condition and knew a birth i wouldnt not be able to have kids with out DE or adoption. i think after we had 2 m/c with the DE , dh told his parents and they were understanding and  supportive. i think they need time to come around to it and also when they see how happy you are as a family they will be happy too.
  • we are doing foster to adopt and to say that dh family didnt take it well is an extreme under statement. they said horrible things and honestly still do occassionally. its been a few months since we told them and even though we hear all kinds of inappropriate things from them still it has gotten better... time. time is the solution and some education if you can stomach teaching them. dh mother talked about how bad foster kids are and how awful it would be to have an addict child... i explained that dh father was an alcoholic and my family has addiction issues so we would be just as likely to have those problems in a bio child. that turned things for her a little... its all about perspective. sorry about this post my phone hates when i post on tb... gl
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  • Thanks so much for the encouraging words. My mom did call me today and tell me she was excited, so I feel a little better. I haven't spoken to MIL since then (which isn't any different since we sometimes don't talk much during the week) but I feel like I'll have a hard time bringing it up later since she doesn't even know that I was upset by all that. I'm more than happy to answer questions about it, I just hope she starts asking some. When I first told her I felt like I was having to force-feed her the information because she didn't really want to hear about it. I really hope it gets better, I can't imagine not being able to share this process with them. Thanks again for the encouragement :)

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  • I've always told my parents that I want to adopt (they legally adopted me when I was 14), so they knew, but we told the ILs at dinner one night. They were supportive and wanted to learn more, but then FIL asked "So, you just... don't want to have any more babies? That's not going to work again?" and I said "Doesn't look like it." and moved on. I think I was being sensitive that night, but that sort of hurt my feelings- like "Oh your body won't do what normal people's bodies do?". I told DH that it upset me, and I think his dad's just awkward with words, because they've been very supportive every sense. 

     My parents were more concerned with adopting a child of color and the issues that our family and our child (and our son Noah) will face because of our different skin colors. After explaining to them that we have taken some courses about racial sensitivities and being a "conspicuous family" (as well as having 3 families that we are friends with who have children of other races as resources), and that we're not blinding walking into this thinking "oh it will be just the same as adopting a white baby", they are totally supportive of it. I think they just wanted to make sure that we have thought through everything and weren't just glossing over something that may cause issues later if we weren't prepared. 

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    wife to joe 2.2.08. mama to noah 9.5.09.
    After multiple m/c's, a MTHFR diagnosis and the Lord calling both of our hearts in the same direction, we're adopting!
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  • I'm so sorry that happened to you.  I'm thinking of a phrase that helps me in my life when people are being rude or making me feel bad.  "What other people think of you is none of your business."  Just don't even let their negative statements into your mind.  You've made up your mind, this is what you're going to do, and it's going to be good.  Babies are born in your heart, not always in your tummy.

    That said, congrats on your adoption!  My best friend was adopted and has an amazing relationship with her parents and met her biological mother a few years ago and they have started a bond as well.  When she goes home for the weekend (her biological mom and the mom who raised her both live in the same town) she spends the most time with her family that raised her.  It worked out really well for her and she had a great life growing up and now she's even more lucky to have another family that she gets to learn about and bond with.  Two families, twice the love!

    What you are doing is amazing.  Don't let anyone bring you down!  I read about a family who couldn't conceive so they adopted, and once they had the stress of giving birth off their back, they ended up getting pregnant with twins!  So within a year they went from no babies to 3.  Anything can happen.  Chin up and good luck!

  • I think a big part of it, is remembering how hard it was for you to give up the idea of a biological child, and then projecting that sense of loss onto your parents.  I know when we told my parents and in-laws, they were less than enthused.  They didn't really understand why we were making the choice we were making, the timeline about how long it could take, or anything about the process.  So there was just a lot of ignorance about adoption in general, and we had to take the time to educate them.  They hadn't been going to the doctor's appointments.  They didn't hear the doc tell us how poor our chances of conception were.  It was all secondhand, so they didn't experience it like we did.  To them it was just - one day we were TTC, and the next, "hey we're going to adopt, be thrilled for us!"  My dad was especially sad, because he assumed I was sad and resigned at not being able to have kids.  Once he realized that we were more than ok with this decision, he got on board.  

    As for the harsh comments your MIL made, she probably was reacting out of a combination of shock and good intentions gone wrong.  As adoptive parents, we have to make decisions other parents don't, about our baby's race, background,  drug and alcohol exposure.  That stuff's all a given and in your control when you can conceive.  She may have just been trying to caution you about the challenges of the decisions you're going to have to make.

    I guess just, for now, try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Some of the things they say will be hurtful, and you don't want to hear it when you have new hope, but educating them is key to their acceptance and understanding.  That, and time to process this new info.  Good luck, and congratulations on making the decision!

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