Adoption Forums®

Members List Photos Events Local Adoption Support Search Arcade Reviews Membership Upgrade
Welcome to the Forums.
If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. You may have to register before you can post or search: click here to proceed. To start viewing messages, select a forum below that you would like to view or click View All of Todays Posts.
Forum Categories

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-08-2013, 10:59 PM
emerald23 emerald23 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 286
Total Points: 16,998.08
Donate
told my family about reunion - it didn't go well

The good news: I am in reunion with my birth mother's family. (She herself passed away before I found her, but I'm now in touch with her sister, mother, and 3 daughters, and they've welcomed me as a long-lost family member.)

The bad news: my (adoptive) family isn't entirely supportive. In fact, it's breaking us apart.

My father actually is wholly supportive - he's never been one to feel insecure or worry much. He's happy that I've found nice people and wishes me well. He's curious, asks questions, is genuinely happy on my behalf... that part's great.

My mother, on the other hand, is... well, she's unhappy and uncomfortable, but at least she's trying. We've battled about my desire to find my birth parents for decades (I'm in my 30's and have ALWAYS known I wanted to search - she has always been adamantly against it). I knew she would be unhappy - she's always come straight out and said that she felt threatened and unloved, like I was looking to replace her as my mom whenever the topic came up. No matter how many times I told her it was about adding to my life, never about subtracting from it. I honestly think that the only reason she didn't flip out upon hearing was that I started by explaining that my birth mother was already gone. I've never understood her take on it, but I respected it, and allowed it to hold me back from searching for a long time. She has told me that she'll try to be happy for me. Best I could have hoped for, really.

And now, the downright ugly. My sister is also adopted (not biologically related to me), but has never been curious about her own biological family. After telling my parents about my search and its results, I called her to let her know as well, figuring she'd be largely uninterested in what I had to say, but also figuring that being honest and upfront was the right thing to do. I barely sketched out my discoveries before she opened fire on me with the nastiest insults she could think of. In short, she told me that I've never been a true part of our family and I should go hang out with my "real" biological family because they didn't hate me... yet.

(Honestly, yes, I have struggled over the years with my relationships with my family, but I do love them and I make sure to express it in my words and my actions. I dote on my niece and nephew, her two kids, and I encourage my small son to be close with his cousins. I am the go-to person in my family whenever someone else needs help; I previously left my career as a teacher to become a caretaker for my mother when she was struggling with a series of health problems. I set my sister up with a friend of mine because I thought they'd be a good match... and he's now her husband. I'm not perfect and my path with my family hasn't always been smooth, but what she spat at me was truly awful, purposely hurtful, and patently untrue.)

The hate and spite that poured from her for about 15 minutes totally shocked me. She asked me how I thought she'd respond, and I said, "Well, I was hoping for a little support from my 'real' sister." She said she had none for me and hung up.

It's probably obvious that we aren't speaking now.

My parents are torn up about the rift. I am too. I cannot even fathom how my news (delivered calmly and carefully in clinical language - "I discovered that I have a biological aunt and biological half-sisters, and I'm now in touch with them - they've welcomed me with open arms") could lead to the sort of venom that my sister spat at me.

I should probably add that my sister saw her best friend, a fellow adoptee, through her own search and contact/reunion with her own birth mother, and supported her 100% through the process.

I know that nobody here can give me the clarity I seek, the insight into my sister's mind and thoughts. But I'd love some feedback from people who have spoken to family about their reunions - the good and the bad. Perhaps in hearing others' experiences, I'll find a thread that leads me to understanding my sister's meltdown. And perhaps see a way to bridge the distance she's now thrown between us...

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
Adoption Reunion Information
Our reunion registry can aid your search for your birth family. Premium memberships available, offering benefits like:
  • Automatic searching
  • See who's viewed your profile
  • Higher message limit
  • Copy of Search & Reunion E-book ($19.95 value)
  • Just $9.99 / yr!
Find Your Birth Family
Virginia
Click here to visit Birth Family Finders
Our association with investigators and researchers nationwide allows us to find missing birth family members. We're fast, affordable and all investigations are handled by a personal search specialist with your privacy in mind.
Birth Family Finders
 

  #2  
Old 06-11-2013, 01:39 AM
justin1 justin1 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 45
Total Points: 3,808.21
Donate
First of all, all mothers are same and no one can really understand what mothers want. No mother can be so strong that she will allow her child to go back to the child’s real parents. Your mom is really brave that she understands this thing and it’s a proof how much your mother loves you. Give her some time and she will be fine. And as for your sister, she has not taken this news positively. All you need to do is to sit and talk with her because not talking to someone can never solve any issue. Hope that you can get all of your family together. All the Best..!!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-11-2013, 11:11 AM
AlabamaMommy's Avatar
AlabamaMommy AlabamaMommy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 567
Total Points: 59,276.63
Donate
I'm so sorry you are going through this! Do you think maybe she is threatened (like your mom) about being replaced? My sister and I aren't close, but she is jealous of people I am close with (even my own hubby and son) because I am close with them. I would suggest giving her time, then maybe invite her over for a chat and see if she's willing to at least talk about her feelings - without you getting defensive or upset. Letters, emails, etc cannot properly display our emotions. Talk it out if you can. Sounds like she's battling her own demons and isn't dealing well. So sorry.
__________________
Wife to a wondeful, Godly man for 13 years and "mom" to 6 great dogs

August 2010 started Foster parent classes

September 2010 met Birthfamily thru family friend

October 4, 2010 became licensed foster parents

October 5, 2010 attended the birth of our baby boy!!!

April 25, 2011 Adoption was FINALIZED!!!

May 5, Received new birth certificate

We are now waiting to welcome another child to our family...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-20-2013, 12:41 PM
Momus Momus is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 24
Total Points: 2,690.10
Donate
Without knowing all the details of your relationship, as an adoptee who, like your sister, has never had an interest in tracking down my biological parents, my guess is that she is feeling protective. People can get pretty nasty when they feel that someone they love is threatened. It's "circle the wagons, you're either with us or against us."

The #1 reason I have never considered it is that I wouldn't want to cause my mom even an ounce of pain after all she's given me. If I had an adopted sibling who made the decision you have, I'd probably go to war, too. (I hope I wouldn't be hateful about it, and you definitely don't deserve that, but I wouldn't be nice, either.)

None of this is to suggest she's right and you're wrong. You have every right to make contact with your biological family, and as I said, I know basically nothing of the details of your relationships. My advice, as hard as it is, is to put yourself in her shoes and do your best to heal the rift. Best of luck!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-20-2013, 12:47 PM
Dickons Dickons is offline
Adoptee

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,459
Total Points: 1,503,780.56
Donate
Momus,

Why should the sibling who was attacked be the one to make nice? Why shouldn't the one who wasn't nice be the one expected to be the one offering apologies.


Kind regards,
Dickons
__________________
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-20-2013, 12:53 PM
Momus Momus is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 24
Total Points: 2,690.10
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
Momus,

Why should the sibling who was attacked be the one to make nice? Why shouldn't the one who wasn't nice be the one expected to be the one offering apologies.

You mean, the one in full protective mode because she feels her sister has intentionally wounded her mother?

Shrug. Seems like that might take a while.

For the record, I never suggested that emerald should be offering anyone any apologies. Based on what she's written, she hasn't done anything wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-20-2013, 01:05 PM
Dickons Dickons is offline
Adoptee

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,459
Total Points: 1,503,780.56
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
Momus,

Why should the sibling who was attacked be the one to make nice? Why shouldn't the one who wasn't nice be the one expected to be the one offering apologies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus
You mean, the one in full protective mode because she feels her sister has intentionally wounded her mother?

Shrug. Seems like that might take a while.

For the record, I never suggested that emerald should be offering anyone any apologies. Based on what she's written, she hasn't done anything wrong.

Momus,

Perhaps you should read my comment again - I'm pretty good at being specific in my wording...

From your comments it appears you think searching is being disloyal but I would question how it could be when you aren't looking to replace your parents that you have, rather just finding the parents who brought you into this world.

So glad mom and dad made it very clear they did not think that way...just wish all parents were so secure.

Kind regards,
Dickons
__________________
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-20-2013, 01:18 PM
Momus Momus is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 24
Total Points: 2,690.10
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
Momus,

Perhaps you should read my comment again - I'm pretty good at being specific in my wording...

I believe you weren't as clear as you think.

You wrote: "Why shouldn't the one who wasn't nice be the one expected to be the one offering apologies."

I replied: "You mean, the one in full protective mode because she feels her sister has intentionally wounded her mother? Shrug. Seems like that might take a while. For the record, I never suggested that emerald should be offering anyone any apologies. Based on what she's written, she hasn't done anything wrong."

I'm not sure what you think I've missed. Please be more specific.

Quote:
From your comments it appears you think searching is being disloyal

That's interesting, since I can't for the life of me find the words "loyal," "disloyal," "loyalty," or "disloyalty" anywhere in my posts!

What I did say is that I, personally, know that "searching" would be extremely hurtful to my mother. And I did say that perhaps emerald's sister felt the same way, and that her nasty tirade was a symptom of protectiveness towards her mother.

Thank you, though, for reading my posts, albeit somewhat carelessly.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 06-20-2013, 01:48 PM
Dickons Dickons is offline
Adoptee

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,459
Total Points: 1,503,780.56
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus
I believe you weren't as clear as you think.

You wrote: "Why shouldn't the one who wasn't nice be the one expected to be the one offering apologies.".

You missed the first part of my comment: "Why should the sibling who was attacked be the one to make nice?"

Which was in response to your comment: "My advice, as hard as it is, is to put yourself in her shoes and do your best to heal the rift."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus
I replied: "You mean, the one in full protective mode because she feels her sister has intentionally wounded her mother? Shrug. Seems like that might take a while. For the record, I never suggested that emerald should be offering anyone any apologies. Based on what she's written, she hasn't done anything wrong."

I'm not sure what you think I've missed. Please be more specific.

That's interesting, since I can't for the life of me find the words "loyal," "disloyal," "loyalty," or "disloyalty" anywhere in my posts!

What I did say is that I, personally, know that "searching" would be extremely hurtful to my mother. And I did say that perhaps emerald's sister felt the same way, and that her nasty tirade was a symptom of protectiveness towards her mother.

Thank you, though, for reading my posts, albeit somewhat carelessly.

I didn't say you used those words in this thread but the tone and your words here indicate that would be how you would view it: "The #1 reason I have never considered it is that I wouldn't want to cause my mom even an ounce of pain after all she's given me. If I had an adopted sibling who made the decision you have, I'd probably go to war, too. (I hope I wouldn't be hateful about it, and you definitely don't deserve that, but I wouldn't be nice, either.)"

Kind regards,
Dickons
__________________
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-20-2013, 02:06 PM
Momus Momus is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 24
Total Points: 2,690.10
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
You missed the first part of my comment: "Why should the sibling who was attacked be the one to make nice?"

I didn't miss it. I suggested that "the one in full protective mode because she feels her sister has intentionally wounded her mother" wouldn't be likely to do this anytime soon.

In other words, it's not a matter of "should." Sometimes, as adults, even when we're not in the wrong we're well-served to make the first move to strengthen our relationships. Maybe that's not appropriate in this case -- but then I'm pretty sure I sprinkled my post with sufficient disclaimers to that effect.

Quote:
I didn't say you used those words in this thread but the tone and your words here indicate that would be how you would view it: "The #1 reason I have never considered it is that I wouldn't want to cause my mom even an ounce of pain after all she's given me. If I had an adopted sibling who made the decision you have, I'd probably go to war, too. (I hope I wouldn't be hateful about it, and you definitely don't deserve that, but I wouldn't be nice, either.)"

Um...okay...I still don't see anything in this that suggests I consider "searching" disloyal. "Searching" would hurt my mom. I don't want to hurt my mom. If I had an adopted sibling who hurt my mom, I'd be protective and angry. The end.

Note the complete lack of judgment or justification here. I'm not saying my mom would be "right" to feel hurt. I'm not saying I would be "right" to feel protective and angry. I'm suggesting that the OP's sister may have reacted as I would have, right or wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-20-2013, 02:58 PM
EdyDedd EdyDedd is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 427
Total Points: 31,925.54
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
Why should the sibling who was attacked be the one to make nice? Why shouldn't the one who wasn't nice be the one expected to be the one offering apologies.

When a relationship is important, sometimes you have to be the one to make the first effort, even though the other person is at fault. I don't think there was any suggestion that she should apologize for searching, or stop searching, only that if the relationship is important to her she should try to mend the rift.

This could mean saying, "I want you to know that it wasn't my intention to upset you. I don't regret my decision to search, and I'm still going to continue to do what I think is best for me. But our relationship is very important to me, and you ARE my real sister. I'm not going to lie to you, but if it would make it easier, I can agree to not discuss it with you in the future since I know that it's upsetting for you."

Yes, sister should be the one to apologize and make the effort, but if her pride gets in the way that might never happen. Is it fair? nope. But would you rather be right or be happy?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:11 PM
Dickons Dickons is offline
Adoptee

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,459
Total Points: 1,503,780.56
Donate
Edydedd,

I have read all of Emerald's posts and I don't think she should be the one that has to make nice but that is Emerald's decision to make - not mine, not yours. Sometimes though there comes a point in time when it becomes someone elses turn in the family to give a bit or can you say you really have a relationship?

Kind regards,
Dickons
__________________
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-20-2013, 03:57 PM
EdyDedd EdyDedd is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 427
Total Points: 31,925.54
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
I have read all of Emerald's posts and I don't think she should be the one that has to make nice but that is Emerald's decision to make - not mine, not yours.

I haven't read all of her posts, so you may have more insight into the situation and into her relationship with her sister than I do. I'm only going with this post, and it sounds like she previously had a positive relationship with her sister, one that is important in her life.

What her sister did is wrong, hurtful, and confusing. There is no excuse, and her sister SHOULD make amends. But for whatever reason (pride, defensiveness, selfishness, fear...who knows) she has not been able to do that. Emerald can't make her sister do the right thing, but if she wishes, she can offer forgiveness even when it hasn't been asked for, in the interest of mending the rift. It could open the door for her sister to offer an apology or an explanation. Or it could be met with more hostility.

I also agree that Emerald is the only one who can decide.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-20-2013, 04:00 PM
Momus Momus is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 24
Total Points: 2,690.10
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickons
Edydedd,
Sometimes though there comes a point in time when it becomes someone elses turn in the family to give a bit or can you say you really have a relationship?

"Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be."

Last edited by Momus : 06-20-2013 at 04:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-21-2013, 02:13 PM
BethVA62's Avatar
BethVA62 BethVA62 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,863
Total Points: 40,436.41
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus
"Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be."

sorry couldn't help myself...
Yeah emerald, treat her like a real sister!
Pin her down and pull her hair until she says Uncle errrr I mean Sorry
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Points Per Thread View: 1.00
Points Per Thread: 15.00
Points Per Reply: 5.00


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:42 AM.