Am I Over-Reacting?
Today I want to pose a question.
Am I over-reacting? Am I under-reacting? Or am I simply too tired of it all to bother doing anything?
Months ago I mentioned that we were buying a book for our families to have on open adoption. We thought they might appreciate having something easily on hand to answer any basic questions they may have.
We did this in large part because we realized that we’ve spent months and months investigating adoption. We were scared, we actually ran away from the idea of adoption for a good few months. But, ultimately we chose open infant international adoption.
But this was not the journey to adoption that our families took. No-one knew when we first started looking into adoption. No-one in our real-lives was invited on that part of our journey – we made a very clear decision that whatever we decided was going to be a decision between the two of us, not a decision by committee with all the voices and opinions of our family members factored in. So, at Christmas we told our families we are adopting. We were just at the start of the process, but the decision was final. We encouraged them to talk to us and ask questions, with one caviet, we were not discussing what lead up to our decision to adopt, rather we are going to focus on how excited we are to grow our family through open adoption. So, our family’s journey was more like: We are adopting. We hope you will be excited for our family. It was clearly a lot more sudden and not something they have a choice in. They had no time to research and were not forced to attend multiple classes and workshops. There are no potential adoptive grandparent classes offered anywhere. Some made stupid comments (actually almost all did), but we chalked that up to lack of knowledge and have educated them when appropriate.
So, a few weeks ago I finally got the books from Amazon (they were on back order). I gave a copy to one of my siblings when we saw them, and simply told them we thought they might want the opportunity to read a little bit more about open adoption. They said thanks, we’d love to and we’ll pass it onto others in the family once we’ve read it. And we carried on with our day. In our minds there was nothing awkward about it, they seemed genuinely appreciative of the book and excited for us to finally have kids! In fact, it felt like a completely normal interaction.
So, after what we felt was a normal interaction, we mailed a few copies to other family members (you know the ones I’m talking about). We wrote a lovely little message on the inside cover about wanting to share a bit of information about our family and signed it Love, us. So, here’s the weird part:
They have not acknowledged receiving the book!! Neither of the two couples have sent a text, picked up the phone or sent an email. We’ve called them and even still they have not said a word! I find this unbelievably strange – if someone sent me something in the mail I would at minimum say thank you, as a basic curtsey. And if someone in my family were choosing to grow their family in a non-traditional way, and sent me some information on it, I’d call and say something more than just Thank you. Probably something like: I’m really excited to read more and be part of your journey. I know the path you have chosen may not be the easiest and I hope to be able to offer you support whenever you need or want it, hopefully this book will help me be better prepared to do that. Thank you for including me and for thinking of me.
So, now I’m thinking they are mad at us for sending the book. I feel like they are probably thinking something like: we already know about adoption. I don’t know why they’d even send us this, do they think we are stupid? But I also realize I don’t know what they are thinking, I truly have no idea.
Our approach so far has been to wait to see if they bring it up. Now that it’s been a week and we’ve talked to them multiple times, we are debating asking them and even telling them how frustrated we are that when we try to include them in our adoption stuff they don’t even acknowledge it.
Honestly, after what has been an incredibly emotional last week for me, I’m not sure how to respond. I’m second guessing myself and so is Mr. MPB. We don’t want to over react, but neither of us can shake how weird this feels. Do we have a conversation with them or do we just let it go? If we talk to them and tell them how much it bothered us that they didn’t even acknowledge the book we know in all likelihood that they will just pass it off as no big deal and they just give us a half-hearted thanks (this part of our family will not have a real conversation if their lives depended on it). If we ignore it, I think it’s a pretty big sign that we are no longer trying we are both getting pretty sick of trying and getting no-where (they won’t know that part, but we do).
I just don’t know how to interpret the complete silence. It would be one thing if they even said we got the book. But to say nothing? What does that mean? Am I reading too much into this?
A large part of me is ready to just give up. To simply talk about the weather and the latest hockey game. To forget about being real and vulnerable with them. To stop trying. Every single time we try we end up questioning ourselves and our entire relationship with them. I just don’t know if it’s worth opening this conversation up, and once again feeling disheartened.
So my question today is am I over-reacting? How do we respond? Do we bring it up? Do we walk away from it now before we end up really hurt by pushing the issue?
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