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  #1  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:20 PM
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Mrs.J Mrs.J is offline
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Unsupportive Family

My inlaws are great. They want us to have kids, they're happy that they'll become grandparents in a few years, they're talking about planning on retirement whenever we do finally adopt because they want to spend as much time with our children as possible. I'm thrilled about that (really!)!

My father has told me I'll make an awesome mom.

My mother is so dead set against it I want to cry. She doesn't think we'll make good parents, something about me not being "maternal enough", whatever the heck that means. She says that it would be a mistake to adopt a child and that I'm infertile for a reason, that's how God intends us to be - childless. I tried to avoid the topic with her, but she has brought it up on multiple occasions and now I have no idea what to do or say?

Help me, please? I know we'll make good parents. I've done more research than I thought possible, and we've decided on domestic adoption probably through a private attorney, although I'm not opposed to agencies.

We have plenty of love, which is what matters. We aren't wealthy by any means but we're comfortable. I plan to work part time for the first year or so, and from home as much as possible. Sure, we're going to screw up sometimes, but no parent is perfect. We're moving close to family and friends (not my mom, though) next spring in preparation for adopting, because we know we need a support system in place.

I think I'm just lost and losing my confidence in the situation. We don't plan on starting the paper chase until next fall (2013), but I want to make my mom as comfortable as I can. What do I do?
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:47 PM
momof6maybemore momof6maybemore is offline
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stop talking to your mom about it. She likely won't change her mind and her views on "why" your having infertility is really hurtful.

After you have the baby and she sees it and you caring for it, she will probably change her mind, but honestly you have nothing to prove to her. She can either choose to support you or she doesn't have to be around.

There was a period of time when my grandmother who was the sweetest grandma in the world began speaking negatively to me regarding our choice to foster and adopt. Once she saw the pictures and met the kiddos she changed her mind. Then came another battle when I told her I was stimulating my milk to come in and was nursing my newborn infant adoption. She had religious reasons against it plus her own views. It really hurt my feelings but I just agreed to disagree and continued on with my plans.

Years later she is back to the sweet old grandma I've always known and extremly supportive of me and my choices as a mom and constantly tells me how proud she is of me.

I'm sure your mom will come around at some point but I wouldn't let her words hurt you or hold you back. Give her time.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:56 PM
HoustonTexas HoustonTexas is offline
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We started our conversation with my parents like this: We have already decided and want to share something with you. We don't want to hear anything negative, but we would love to hear anything positive or if you have any questions. My mom guessed it right away and was emotional and supportive. My dad obviously didn't hear what we had just said: he said that we are crazy. We said again, we already made our decision and don't want to hear anything negative but welcome your questions. Since he has made the odd comment. It stopped when my husband told him that Steve Jobs was adopted!
My point is, you are sharing with them to be supportive. Let your mom know if she isn't, she won't be a part of your child's life. That was going to be the next step with my dad. You are not asking for approval. You already made up your mind.
Good luck to you! Remember, we don't choose our family, we choose our friends.
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:58 PM
Zenbaby Zenbaby is offline
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Mrs.J, congrats on starting the process towards adoption! I am so sorry your mom is not supportive. Luckily, you have many other people that sound wonderful and very supportive. I know how difficult the mother-daughter relationship can be, trust me-I really do. I would say first, you have to stop feeling responsible for her feelings. No matter how much you "want to make her as comfortable as I can", YOU do not have that power. Your mother has her point of view and no matter what you say or do, she can only be happy for you if SHE decides to be. It is so hard to have someone we love be so hurtful and unsupportive. I am terribly sorry you have to deal with this during what should be a happy time. From now on, if your mother says something about your inability to be a good parent, tell her you do not appreciate her attitude and that you will not talk to her about adoption or children until she can be supportive. Be clear that, although you love her, she is being hurtful and destructive and until she can find it in her heart to respect your desire to be a mother you will not tolerate her negativity, even if that means very limited contact. I can not express enough how important it is for you to speak your mind and share your feelings with your mother. If you feel you can not do this in person or over the phone, then write a letter. You will feel much better and be able to better deal with her if you are completely honest. It may be unpleasant for a while but if she knows how strongly you feel, she will eventually realize her mistake and be more respectful, at least that is the hope. It is easy to walk all over a person who does not stand their ground than one who clearly portrays a solid sense of self-respect.

When we deny speaking our truth, we silently give the untruths validity.

I hope that I have in no way offended you. I hope you and your mother can find peace and understanding. I wish you all the luck in your adoption journey.
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due 2/2012!
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7/20/2012-Adoption failed. We said goodbye to DD.

Last edited by Zenbaby : 07-16-2012 at 08:02 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2012, 09:02 PM
WaitingTX WaitingTX is offline
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Gosh, I feel for you in this situation. The questions that come to mind for me (not that I expect you to answer them for us unless you wish to!) include how is your relationship with your mother outside of this issue, and how does she usually react to new ideas/situations with which she may have little to no experience or education? And, was she supportive of you having children before infertility was an issue? If this response is outside of the realm of her typical responses, then perhaps she is completely misinformed about adoption and just needs time and education. If her typical responses are negative, then as others have stated, you have to live the life that you want and be confident in your desire to be a mom. If she can't be supportive, then she will have to miss out on all of the joy that you will experience in this incredible process.

I like what Zenbaby advised. I think that it is common practice for the home study to address how your immediate family feels about your adoption plans (it was for us anyway). It is certainly not a deal breaker if family members are not supportive, but the social worker will want to know how you have dealt with the negativity, and how you will handle situations in the future if a family member remains unsupportive. So, it is an important topic to think about and find peace with.

My grandmother said the same thing to me about infertility - that God must have wanted it this way. She didn't mean to be hurtful, she just really believes that God makes such individual decisions. As I grieved our IVF failures and stewed/stressed about the emotional risk/complexities and high cost of adoption, my mother made the comment that people who really want children find a way to have them, and so maybe I didn't really want children? Again, she didn't mean to be hurtful, but she just didn't understand some of the realities that we face in this journey. Or, she was trying to manipulate me into action so she could have a GD, and if this is the case, then I am eternally grateful! :-) So, I guess my point is that the context of her comments is important. If they were a big surprise to you, then perhaps there is some deeper trigger for her that you should explore. Maybe she is terrified for you to get hurt?

I know how important parental approval can be, but please look to the supportive people in your life for support. I do hope that she comes around for her own sake :-) Best wishes!
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:28 PM
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When it comes to something she knows little about, she rejects it offhand automatically. I've always been infertile (known since I've been old enough to know), so this has always been a fact.
I've not always wanted to be a mom, so I think it kind of caught her offguard. This is one of those things that slowly happened over time and it was a rational decision we made (my husband's always known the score on this one and we made a decision together about it, it wasn't a one day we woke up and said "Let's buy a kid!")

I think she's scared of what we'll get. With a biological kid, we know the genetics we're playing with and we know the possibilities. However, with adoption... We could be getting "anything" and I'm pretty sure she thinks we'll adopt a serial killer or some kid that'll grow up to kill cats with sticks or something.

So we've stopped talking about it. She's brought it up as in "when do you intend to" and we pretty much lied. I'm not telling her until I absolutely have to. It's not mean, it's survival. It'll be awhile, we're saving the money up and getting a game plan. I intend to tell her when we're almost through with the process, after we're far enough in she can't try to talk us out of it.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:43 PM
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OMG!!!! Maybe your MOM is the one that shouldn't have had kids! Seriously, what a horrible thing to say to anyone, never mind your child!!! My mom has said sh*t like that to me too. When our 2 bio DDs were 5 and 7 and we told her we were thinking about adopting, she told me my need for another child was "pathological" and I needed to talk to a therapist about the need to fill a void in my life! WTF!!! Anyway, we didn't listen to her (thank God!) and 2 yrs later started the process and adopted our DS, the JOY of our lives (along with our DDs of course!LOL) And he has my mom TOTALLY wrapped around his little finger! LOL
Do what you and your DH want. It's YOUR lives, not your mom's. She had her chance with what she wanted to do with life.
Good grief.
(((hugs)))
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:13 PM
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God does allow some to be infertile, but he also calls us to care for the widows and orphans (Pslam 82, James 1, etc). Maybe THAT is His plan?

Wondering if she has an underlying issue? Was she a very maternal person or struggle as a mom? Not saying that to be mean, just trying to look at her comment from another view...
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:38 PM
Asha0314 Asha0314 is offline
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Wow, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Whatever you do, don't let it stop you from your adoption plans. But as I think someone else noted, be prepared to address this if it is ongoing when your home study starts.
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