Aaargh, other people!

(39 Posts)
greygretl Thu 05-Jul-12 16:36:39

Our DS came home last summer, and our formal adoption of him went through in the spring of this year. We're having a great time getting on as an adoptive family and learning lots together. Do his life story with him regularly, and have sent our first letterbox contact epistle. He's just celebrated his birthday, his first with us, and we had a lovely time. Apart from. Aaaaargh. My dad. Came round, took a look at all the cards he'd received. And said - did he get one from his parents? Frosty silence. Tumbleweeds. Then I pointed to the one from us and the subject was mentioned no more.

That's it really. Just a rant. I know I'm probably being over-sensitive. But for goodness sake!

MyBaby1day Mon 10-Dec-12 08:57:02

FOOL! (sorry), you did the right thing though OP!. I'de have said "course he did, he's our Son, it's up there"! angry!. HUGE Congratulations on your Son anyway OP!, can't wait for mine one day!! wink

MaryZcary Fri 26-Oct-12 17:21:17

Yes rocco, I adopted mine in the '90s. If you want to start a new thread I'll find you smile.

WendyGx Wed 24-Oct-12 17:35:52

Roz
Thanks so much for the advice and for sharing your experience. Its good to get perspective from others when you have none. I'm not daft enough to think I'm the first to adopt but my emotions are rampant!
Back at work now and its a good distraction. Keeps me off bemyparent anyway!!
You are very kind
W

auntierozzi Wed 24-Oct-12 13:39:31

Good luck with everything WendyGx. I remember those days, there is so much to deal with emotionally and I used to feel that nobody really could understand exactly how frustrating and unfair things were... You have to be so brave to grin and bare it. Treat yourself gently, if you are like me then you will be feeling fragile...Pamper yourself now and make the most of me time...Have a scream when you have to listen to other people's birthing experiences etc...Have a G&T!

I have 2 beautiful quite big girls now! Both adopted from China, the first when she was 10 months old, she's nearly 10 years old now and the second aged 23 months and she's 9 now. For the first few years when I had them in the double buggy I would be stopped in the street, in the supermarket, at the market by total strangers exclaiming on their cuteness but also asking many horribly indiscrete questions...All this while learning to be mum to toddlers..In the end you build up a repertoire of very sassy, rudish answers and you will develop a very thick skin!

My girls understand so much about their own stories now and are growing up really well. By the time you are looking after your kids daily there will be so many things going on that silliness from old ladies etc..will just be a minor thing. You will be a mummy dealing with all the mummy stuff and you will become an expert in your own children! You will!! I hope it happens soon for you but honestly make the most of being a couple for now. It will go by so soon...I hated it when people said that to me but now I know what they meant. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
All the best.
Roz

Lilka Wed 24-Oct-12 13:19:33

I think Maryz adopted in the early-mid 90's? I adopted for the first time in '96

roccorocco325 Wed 24-Oct-12 11:27:19

is there anyone who adopted in the early 90s.

WendyGx Wed 22-Aug-12 20:30:13

Thanks LOTH - I've already bought that book for the MIL who was asking so many questions I thought it would quieten her down - she's so excited.
My step mum wouldn't read it, but I might just mention it.

Thanks again, nice idea!

Ladyofthehouse Mon 20-Aug-12 12:55:03

Wendy, I had similar concerns with my mum and dad at the start of the process and we bought them a book from Amazon on being an adoptive grandparent. They both read it cover to cover and there were bits they wanted to adopt with us. But since we have been blown away by how understanding they are (we've recently been matched) and have put a lot of thought into it all. I'd certainly recommend that.

Since being matched I've also been shocked at people asking 'what's wrong with them' and what do we know about their real parents?! They seem to think they're entitled to a full history.

I've become very good at the response 'we're not sharing that with anybody' and no-one has dared ask why or anything else.

I also find the opposite - that people assume they know everything. So we've had quite a few 'oh they won't remember anything', 'they'll soon settle in at that age' and so on.

WendyGx Mon 20-Aug-12 10:47:53

Thanks for everyone's sound advice and especially the idea of discussing under the topic of terminology. It means we can discuss things in a less confrontantional way. I have a thicker skin with strangers, rather than family and would find it hard to pick up a family member as I know their intention is good.

Finally thanks to greygretl who started the thread, its an awkward and frustrating issue in adoption and I've appreciated the advice and guidance from every post

Wx

PS wendy I read this book and it really revolutionsied my thinking and made my parenting ideas much more child-centred, which I hope would be helpful especially for parenting an adopted child and is, of course, useful for all children. No one had yet said it is a bad choice and I would just say I loved it. It goes up to age 10 which most books don't always seem to.

'Raising Happy Children’ Jan Parker and Jan Stimpson (Hodder & Stoughton.

Sorry - ....really good few books on parenting in a style that is good for children who have perhaps been through the challenges of adoption.

wendy hi, am not an adoptive mum (yet) just still at the hoping stage but do have a birth DD.

I agree with Jens42 better to talk about it now before the child/children arrive/s. I agree too it is best to say this is the terminiology because people of an older generation do not always know the correct PC term to use for all kinds of stuff. And sometimes it doesn't matter and at other times it does. And this will be a situation where it will matter, to the children and to you. Also, I think what your step mum meant was you might/will have additional problems/challenges/situations to cope with, and I am sure that is quite right. There will be challenges to cope with and she was probably trying to be supportive. So even if her language confuses or saddens you, try and look at the meaning. I think it is important when people upset us to see if that was intended (with nosy people who ask the wrong sort of questions as missfenella points out, and also to be aware when family and friends mean well but are just not able to vocalise what they mean.

I'd also say if the books are confusing you then you may find it useful to get help to find a really good few books on adopting in a style that is good for children who have perhaps been through the challenges of adoption. but I know that is not what you were posting about so I will shut up now!

All the best.

jens42 Mon 20-Aug-12 00:03:08

could just be bad choice of words, before you get your match could you sit down with her and say you have had a meeting with a social worker or whoever and this is all the terminology we will be using and you want to go through it her and with all the the rest of the family so as not to be consistent and not confuse your child. if she has been so nice about everything up to now sounds like she not meaning any harm.

MissFenella Sun 19-Aug-12 19:54:46

Hi Wendy - from the little experience I have that sounds very typical of the thoughtless comments. I'm hardening my shell to cope.

Waiting to meet our girls mid next month and I have already had a few 'what's wrong with them/why are they in care?' type comments. The words are nothing, but its the sneering looks and getting all up in your face that are really bugging me. The inference being 'you need to tell me all because I am owed an explanation'. I don't think so.

In my battery I have:
What a peculiar comment
We don't talk to others about that, its not their concern
That's rather personal isn't it, I mean, would you want your life talked about

My family are great (aged father has adopted cousins who were never anything other than family and the adoption was open knowledge too) so I cannot give you working comebacks but how about gathering a few to use?

With regards to your mum I think I would pick her up on language and how important it is to think before you get your family.

Congratulations!

WendyGx Sun 19-Aug-12 15:20:41

I'm only at the matching stage and not even blessed yet and I've just been shocked by my step mother. I was expressing some confusion about different approaches in raising children, how one text says one thing and anothet text says another and out of the blue she said 'and that's for normal children'. Am I being oversensitive for some little person who doesn't even exist in my life yet. The word 'normal' shocked me, thoughout my infertility issues and the approval process she's been patient and understanding. Maybe its just a bad choice of word/s but its worrying me. When (I am being hopeful!) my child/ren do arrive, will she use language like that? Should I let it drop and wait until she upsets a child? Maybe I should calm down. Any advice from more experienced folk would be much appreciated!

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 10-Aug-12 05:33:08

Some asked me about my Dd's real mother, after the stoney silence I replied I am real, do I look like I'm made of plastic. Dd who is now 7 rolled about laughing.
She knows her story and we try not to dwell on it as she will fixate to the exclusion of anything else. So occasionally we pull her book down and let her read through and ask questions.

Samantha1967 Tue 24-Jul-12 22:05:00

my mother in law (my own mother is dead) shows 100x more animosity towards our adopted children's grandmother than we do towards their mother. I think it is just a generation thing - all this openness freaks her out. Both grandfathers on the other hand are really cool about it all.

TeapotsInJune Mon 23-Jul-12 23:13:21

Seriously, if I've dropped a clanger let me know. All the same I think I'm done with MN. Too easy to offend/upset people. I never ever do in RL so evidently it must be just my online persona. Bye. x

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 23-Jul-12 20:13:36

Teapots. That almost deserves my first biscuit...

TeapotsInJune Mon 23-Jul-12 19:53:19

I work with a lovely lady with two DCs, a boy and a girl, who she adopted. They are 7 and 5.

When I refer to them, I say "your little boy/girl" as in "oh, you're picking your little girl up aren't you?"

Is this ok? grin I'd HATE to inadvertently offend/upset her.

Kewcumber Fri 20-Jul-12 23:11:21

greygretl - you won;t grow a thicker skin. I isn't really possible because as they get older some of these comments will be heard (and understood) by our children and you never really can get used to that can you.

Re: Why his mother gave him up. Think it through, decide on one or two variations on a theme that you are happy with an practice them to yourself. I find depending on who is asking a couple of things work "I don't know" (accompanied by blank stare) or "thats private, we don't discuss it without DS's permission" (particularly works well if you child is under 5 and unlikely to be able to give informed consent!)

I have rehearsed "thats private and I don't discuss it at school" with DS and at 6 he has had cause to use it a few times sad

greygretl Fri 20-Jul-12 22:58:07

Thanks all, good to know these type of comments are all part and parcel of the adoption package. My dad is an excellent grandad to our DS and treats him no differently to my nieces and nephews, so no worries there - I'll just need to grow a thicker skin/prepare rapier-like responses to deal with the inevitable future similar situations.

One of which I faced today at a social do - Pimms and lemonade and children playing nicely together. All very civilised. Then I got asked, by an otherwise very nice lady, who I'd just met not 5 minutes before but who knew our DS was adopted, about why his "mother gave him up". I wasn't brave enough to go for a pithy put-down (but wish I had) and just mumbled something about it not really working out for them or something and then went off and fumed behind an ornamental shrub. I understand people are curious, but am pretty sure I'm not wearing a badge that says "forget common courtesy and social boundaries, pry away and ask anything you chuffin' like, our family is an open book - come read us".

Actually, perhaps I'll get that put on a t-shirt - any takers?

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 19-Jul-12 19:31:12

True, Kristina - and DH and I have done other things that one or all of our parents have disagreed with, though having a family is a pretty major thing that really does have an impact beyond just us two, in a way that job, car, tattoo etc doesn't. We're lucky in that parents on both side really have welcomed DD into the family and treat her exactly the same as the other various grandchildren they have. DH and I just have to manage the bits that they are less comfortable with, such as birth family, and hopefully work out the best way to do that over the coming years.

KristinaM Thu 19-Jul-12 08:02:55

Yeah, but that's true of lots of things our adult children do, isn't it? We wouldn't have chosen the course DD did at uni , her career and her partner. But it's her life and we just want he to be happy. And OUR choices woudl obviously not been right for her. so all we can do is support her

Which is mostly what adoptive parenst want from their extended family too. Goodness know, our childfen have had enough rejection already in their lives sad

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 19-Jul-12 07:06:23

My parents don't like talking about our daughter's birth family at all. I guess I can understand their reticence, and ultimately although they supported us completely through the adoption process and adore our daughter, adoption wasn't their choice (and perhaps would not have been).

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