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.

Maybe it's time to buy this poster?

Maybe it’s time to buy this poster? Photo Source

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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80 Comments on “Am I Over-Reacting?

  1. 😦 I’m so sorry that people — even those related to us — can be so stupid and so poorly versed in even basic proper etiquette. I think you might have some tough choices to make about who you choose to include in your journey moving forward. I’m sure you’ve read about the ups and downs I had with family during treatment — well, when I announced my pregnancy, my sister in law (the worst offender) sent me this text that was all, “regardless of how things have been I’m so happy for you” blah blah… So I spent weeks trying to “let it go” and include her in things because we are family and it was time to move forward. I always felt like she was being really curt and standoffish with me, even as I tried to patch things up (without ever so much as an apology from her). Well, about two weeks ago I thought, I’m just going to text her and ask to hang out just the two of us like old times — and she sent me this HUGE text about how she can’t be “emotionally present” for me because of what happened and how she wants to be there for my “mommy milestones” but nothing else. So I’ve officially given up on having any kind of relationship with her outside of the necessary family interactions. Moral of the story — sometimes making all the effort in the world doesn’t make a difference to people who are too selfish, too shortsighted, too self-absorbed, or otherwise inconsiderate. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let people like that go be self-involved elsewhere. Those decisions are rarely easily made, but they can also always be revisited if those people decide to start behaving like decent human beings (like my cousin is trying to do after my “Let it Go” post that called her out pretty hardcore). I wish that if nothing else, these people would give you a little bit of closure, as my sister-in-law did — regardless of whether it turns out how we wish it could.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing Anamarie. I’m sorry you’ve had similar struggles with family! It’s hard to sort through all the emotional wreckage that results from these types of interactions. And for me, something changes when it involves family and I hate that I struggle so much to let it go and come to some sort of peaceful state about how things are and how they will likely always be. Clearly I need to continue to work on just accepting people for who they are, the good and the bad.

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  2. Oh my!
    Firstly i agree it is odd not to even acknowledge what essentially is a gift with a thank you.
    Secondly, i think you should approach them regarding this. Start off simple…did you get the book i sent?
    I think its fair to question them as they are meant to love and support you in what is undoubtley one of the hardest journeys you will go on (not including your losses).
    I think its ok to challenge them on their lack of interest.
    After Milo my MIL wouldnt talk to us about our loss so i confronted her, she was afraid it would upset us but told me she thought of him all the time. I explained we felt that silence meant he didnt matter, didnt exist, and that we would rather talk and possibly cry than ignore him. Luckily this talk meant things changed for us and i appreciate this may not be the case for you, but to ignore it would leave a question mark over it and id always wonder.
    So approach them, see where it takes you, if you get nothing, well you did all you could and can rest safely in the knowledge you tried.
    Good luck. Much love.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for all your words of wisdom! First, thanks for validating that it is weird for people to not even acknowledge receiving the book! Second, thank you for sharing your experience with your MIL after you lost Milo. I think you are right, we need to ask the question casually and see what they say. We need to find a way to express that we are struggling because they aren’t showing an interest in our growing family, we want them to be excited for us and to be part of this.

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  3. This reminds me way too much of our families. I always have to tell myself I can only control my own actions. You went above and beyond to give them the book. If they chose to not acknowledge it or even read it, that choice is theirs. Don’t get me wrong – it’s bizarre, but once the book is in their hands it’s beyond your control. I think it may be worth reiterating why you gave it to them and checking to ensure they received it, but you need to be prepared for a response that isnt the one you were hoping for. Who knows though? Maybe that will break the ice and the conversation will be productive? It’s always so hard with family members who suck at communication.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this! I really do appreciate your understanding and compassion! I love your choice of word – bizarre, because that’s exactly what it is to not even acknowledge it. But even more, I appreciate your idea to casually check in and see if they got the book. We cannot control the conversation from there, but at least we can try and open the door to another more meaningful conversation.

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  4. I think however you feel is totally valid and it’s your absolute right to feel sad and disappointed. At the same time, people can’t give what they can’t give – be that emotionally, physically, financially, time-wise, whatever really – and hoping that one day they will suddenly change is only going to result in you being hurt. Who knows why they are behaving as they are or what they do (or don’t) feel about the situation. You are on a wonderful path with a loving partner and a crowd of us on your side. Please don’t let these worries detract from the magic that is coming your way. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You nailed it with this comment – everyday that I continue to expect more from people then they can give, is one more day that I will end up being hurt. Clearly, no matter how far I think I’ve come at lowering my expectations and accepting people for who they are, I still have not got this down. I still need to work on this.
      Also, thank you so much for your kind words. I cannot wait for the day that we are too busy chasing around after a little one to be bothered with all this other stuff! 🙂

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  5. You know I ALWAYS have your back (seriously, always), but I do, in this case, think you might be overreacting a little. What I mean is, overacting about this situation specifically. My gut reaction is that you’re not upset about the book so much as you are feeling in general like your family is not excited about your adoption — and it seems like the book was the final straw, or at least added to the pot. As an isolated incident, I think that, yes, it is extremely rude not to say thank you for something you received in the mail. Bottom line, they should have said thank you, at least. But people are dweebs. They just often don’t think about how a simple “thank you” can mean so much. I’m not saying their behavior is ok, but I also don’t think it is necessarily a reflection of how they feel about you, your adoption and the book. And I’m thinking/hoping that they didn’t say anything about the actual book because they are waiting until they read it to say something. If it was me, I would be like, “Thanks so much for the book. I can’t wait to read it and discuss it with you!” They obviously did not do that, but I’m thinking that they have every intention of mentioning/discussing the book after they’ve had a chance to read it. Maybe I’m giving them too much credit? I’m rambling here, but I think what I’m trying to say is that them not acknowledging the book is rude, but I don’t think they’re offended or don’t want to read it or are not excited about your adoption.

    I do, however, think it would be a good idea to find some way to talk to them about their feelings surrounding your adoption. Like don’t make it about the book so much as like a, “Hey, I’m feeling like you’re not that excited about our adoption and I’d love for you to share in our excitement. Can we talk about this and clear the air?” If you do that and THEN they come across as not excited, then maybe, yeah, give up on them. But I’m just thinking/hoping that since adoption is a new/unchartered territory for them, they just don’t know what to say or how to act. Maybe an honest conversation between you and them would help everyone feel like they are on the same page.

    This stuff is hard. Family is hard. Adoption is hard. Adopting after loss is even harder. You are doing a great job navigating everything!

    Liked by 6 people

    • As always, thank you! I think you are right, I’m less upset about the book and more upset about the lack of excitement anyone in our real lives is showing us. Honestly, as an example, we stopped telling people that we are officially waiting because no-one seems to care!! I know rationally that the hurt is coming from this. That said, I do still think it’s common courtesy to say thanks, but I’m willing to let that go now because I am realizing that the book isn’t the actual issue that I’m grappling with.
      I also think you are right, that we do need to have a conversation. I think we’ll start by simply asking if they got the book and seeing what happens from there.
      Also, thank you so much for this “This stuff is hard. Family is hard. Adoption is hard. Adopting after loss is even harder. You are doing a great job navigating everything!”

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  6. I think sending the books was a great idea! It’s unfortunate people don’t know how to react or even respond politely! I think you are justified in how you’re feeling. Maybe you could call or text to see if they got a package from you? That could at least start a conversation. Your blogging family is always here to support you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Erin! Mr. MPB and I have been talking about it and think you are right, we should just casually ask! We don’t know what the response will be, but if we don’t ask we don’t know. I’ll let you know what happens. 🙂

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  7. I really can’t comment on whether or not you are over reacting but I can say personally, I would have to say something, probably I would start by asking whether or not they had received it (in south Africa we have a dreadful postal service so I wouldn’t assume, haha). I generally think that if you don’t know whether or not you are over reacting, it is best to check it out by asking… You may be, or you may not be, but you won’t know which one you are dealing with unless you ask.

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  8. I understand how frustrating it must be to have people in your life who aren’t like minded and to keep having to give them the benefit of the doubt. It also sucks to have to resign yourself to being okay with the fact that some people “just are that way”. Why? Why does common courtesy come so easy to some of us and not others? I’m happy to turn my back on people like this but it’s particularly difficult when it’s family. I don’t have advice but I do understand.

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    • Thank you so very much for understanding! I agree with you, when it comes to people in my life, I just cannot walk away from family. I want these relationships to work and so long as I want them to work, I cannot just walk away. But somehow I have to learn to just accept them for who they are and stop opening myself up to getting so hurt.

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  9. Try to keep in mind that while adoption is front and center in your life right now, it isn’t for them. They have their own lives, their own worries, their own plates with their own stuff. While I agree that they should have acknowledged receiving the gift, I also think you are overreacting on this. Instead of building resentment, simply ask them straight up next time if they got the book.

    Also, hugs. You deserve full support from your loved ones. I know how frustrating and hurtful it can be not get that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are spot on with this comment!! We literally live and breath adoption, and no-one else is. We don’t live in the same city as our family and so they really don’t see just how we are living and breathing all things adoption! And as you mention, they have their own lives with their own things going on.
      Also, thanks for your honesty, I really do appreciate it! Mr. MPB and I have been talking and have decided to follow your advice, we are just going to casually ask if they got it and see what happens.
      Thanks again!

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  10. Hello! Firstly, I’m so sorry that you keep having experiences like this. It must be so frustrating! I think because I’ve been so involved emotionally in adoption that I’m okay about talking about it and I actually find it exciting/interesting when other people go through that process – for example, one of my great friends from overseas (your continent!) called me up for a long chat the other day because they are starting the adoption process. I was so excited for them and we talked about it at length.

    That said, I think that some people find it difficult or weird to talk about adoption. I don’t know why… I just know that because I’m very open about it, people have often remarked on that to me – that it’s nice that I’m so open, yadda yadda. I mean, I’m just interested in humans generally and I’m an inquisitive sort when it comes to human behaviour so why wouldn’t I be? But don’t forget a lot of the older generation in particular (starting from our age upwards) were brought up in an age when adoption was shrouded in secrecy. So they probably have a different view of what adoption is, and they maybe aren’t sure how to talk about it.

    For example in my partner’s family they almost never talk about it (though have done with me! I’m like that!) and because he’s the same colour as his parents and could conceivably be his parents’ child, some of his friends don’t even know – which to me is a bit nuts. I don’t bang on about it all the time but I can’t imagine a world where people don’t know I’m adopted, just because it’s all there in black and white, so to speak. I’m used to giving an explanation of why I’m a different race to my siblings/parents. I’ve always found people are sort of interested – but it ranges from very interested to mildly interested…

    Another thought is maybe they don’t want to come back to you unless they read the book, and they haven’t done it yet. For some reason this happens to me quite a lot. I read ALL THE TIME but when someone gives me a book, it usually takes me ages to read it – sometimes years – I don’t know why. I think there’s some sort of inbuilt mechanism where my brain is being contrary and I only like to read books that I’ve picked myself. I don’t know why. It’s stupid. It’s not a good explanation but it is something I’ve found out about myself! Also maybe for some people it’s not the best way to engage because they don’t want to think they have to do homework to speak with you about it. For example one of my siblings never reads. Most men I know (current and ex partners) rarely read. The best way to engage with them would be to talk with them rather than ask them to read a book. That’s just a thought. Personally if I’m interested in something I’ll read about it.

    Equally you don’t know what’s going on in their lives. I know that because of my infertility I found it REALLY hard to be involved with or even think about my sibling’s baby – the first grandchild. (It should have been me… I’m the oldest… this was from #3.) Meanwhile I was stuck in a failing marriage with infertility and I just couldn’t be happy for them. I had some major meltdowns. I just found it difficult to be there and I kept avoiding family occasions until I could be there as a success rather than a failure.

    Or… They’re just not interested. I think that’s another thing. I think sometimes when we are so caught up in something emotionally, it’s easy to take offence when others aren’t as interested in something potentially life changing as we are. I can think of so many examples here. I remember when I was planning my wedding that I was acutely aware of how it was this huge momentous occasion for me and my husband but for all of our friends it was just another day, and for some of them they wouldn’t even be attending… at the most it’s just a footnote or an event they went to. It’s not this thing that was a year and a half in the planning.

    And one last thought (I promise, the blether!) is that my siblings often don’t acknowledge stuff I send to them. I kind of can’t believe they’re so rude about it. Actually it’s just one sibling who does this (the one with the kid). I send a lot of quite expensive stuff through the post to them and I often don’t get an acknowledgement – the last was a BIKE, ffs! In those cases I actually call them on it and I say “Did you receive the bike?” because I want to know if stuff I’ve spent my money on has arrived, otherwise I’m getting a refund! But I find that in person they’re quite effusive and thankful. They’re just a bit rubbish at staying in touch. It doesn’t mean they’re not grateful, and they really should try harder, but – ach! – siblings! It’s just family at the end of the day… They don’t have to be as polite as friends! 🙂

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    • Thank you so very much for this comment Nara! I always appreciate your perspective!
      I think you make so many wonderful points.
      First, like you, I am very open about life. I actually find it very hard to be secretive, so to me, talking about adoption or the loss of our babies or the loss of my mom and sister, is what I do. So, I struggle when others don’t!
      And I also think you are right, this whole adoption thing is a pretty big deal to us. It’s life changing and we are excited about it. We are also scared. Honestly, not a day goes by that we don’t think about it and talk about it. In fact, I’d say our lives kind of are centered around it. So, when our families don’t seem to care, it hurts. It’s just like the baby shower stuff, it hurts that no-one in our families is excited for us. It’s frustrating to watch everyone be excited for another baby, but then to not even acknowledge that we are expecting too. (In fact, just the other day we were told that at least we don’t have to start buying baby stuff yet since we don’t have a date, and I actually laughed out loud and nicely said our baby could come as soon as tomorrow so we have to be fully prepared for a baby to join our lives tomorrow). While clearly my body does not reflect the fact that we are having a child, our lives are changing just as much as anyone who is expecting a child, and so we do find ourselves taking offense and hurting when people don’t even acknowledge what we are going through. I think it’s good that I am becoming more aware of this, because at least I can try not to be so hurt by it and instead realize that people don’t necessarily understand what we are going through.
      Anyways, as always, thank you so much for all your wisdom! 🙂

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  11. I’m pretty sure it comes down to feeling uncomfortable. I don’t think you need to bring it up yet. I would just wait until you want to talk about something related to adoption and then ask if they’ve checked out that book you sent. When we were starting the process of open infant adoption, I had so much anxiety about our families’ reaction and even though my parents were really supportive, they never brought it up. We only talked about it when I did. We didn’t even get that far with Hubster’s parents. That was a great idea though! I’m sure that book is super helpful.

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    • Thanks so much for sharing! Honestly, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who is worried about our families reaction to open infant adoption. It took us months of researching to decide that this was something we wanted to do, and so I think that’s in large part why we are so worried about our families reaction. We want them to want this with us, but we cannot control that. Arg, sometimes I wish it could all just be so much easier!

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  12. I have a few things to say here. First, I don’t know how well the postal service works in Canada, but I know that here in the US it’s NOT dependable at all. They’ve lost packages, delayed delivery, all kinds of stuff. So I’m saying, it’s possible that they haven’t even received them yet, if it’s only been a week since you sent them.
    Second…I overreact to everything, and I feel like I would be feeling the same way you are. That being said…I know that I overreact, and I try to readjust my train of thoughts sometimes to account for this. If I were you, I would call or text with “Hey I sent you a package recently, and I just wanted to make sure you got it?” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And even if it doesn’t open up a whole conversation about it, at least you will know whether or not they got it for sure.
    Don’t feel you have to bang your head against a wall. Some people just don’t know how to deal with things that aren’t in their every day life, or things that are “out of the norm” for them. You can’t force them to change the way they process or feel about something. The best you can do is give them any information available, and let them do with it what they will. You’re doing the right thing on your part, you can’t make them do the right thing (or what you feel is the right thing) on their part. Don’t try to force things, just let them fall as they will. Hope that helps. 🙂

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    • Amy, I love your advice!!
      I will say that we know they got the book because we tracked it. 🙂
      I really appreciate the suggestion that we just need to call and find out if they got the book. If we ask the question, then we open the door to the conversation. They may be upset or they may simple be reading the book. But either way, instead of letting our resentment build we should just ask the question and see what happens.
      Also, thank you so much for reminding me that I cannot change how others are going to process and feel about our decision to adopt. Clearly I still need to focus on actually accepting people for who they are – I’m not sure why, but I continue to struggle immensely with this!

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  13. This is such a tough one and I’m sorry you have to grapple with it. When I have these type of squirmy, uncomfortable situations I tend to just ask for what I need/want and then invite the other party to do the same. Sometimes it’s awful and awkward, yes. But, mostly, it works to at least blow the lid off so no more tension builds up. The line I find works best is “OK, before this becomes a “thing” between us, can we talk about ….” For some reason this works in my family which surprises me because they’re WASP-Y and tend to back away from emotional confrontation. My advice is to spell it out to your family. What you’re asking for is completely reasonable. 🙂

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    • Unfortunately with this side of our family, no matter what technique I try I have never been successful in having a “real” conversation. It’s actually rather fascinating how closed off they are. That said, I do think we need to at least ask if they got the book! I think the tension that has built up for us is a bit ridiculous because we don’t know what’s going on – it could be as simple as they are reading the book and wanted to call once they are done. We don’t know, but if we don’t ask we will just sit here letting the resentment build, and then no-one wins. Thank you so much for your thoughts and your ideas!! I’ll be sure to write a post once we know what’s going on.

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  14. Yes they should have said something about receiving the book, but to answer your question, I think you’re over reacting. This is another situation where I don’t think they know what to say, and they may be thinking, “I’m not sure I want to read this yet.”. I stress YET. They may be protecting their hearts, our just may not be ready. We can’t force people to be ready.

    I think you should just ask, “hey, I assume you got the book we sent. It’s a great resource when you’re ready to sink into it a bit.”. That will open conversation in a kind way!

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    • Thank you for your honesty Courtney! First, I appreciate the validation that expecting them to say something about receiving the book is normal. Second, I appreciate that you are willing to call me out and say yes you are overreacting. Honestly, we don’t know what they are thinking, so until we ask if they got the book we have no idea what’s going on. So, ask we shall.
      Thank you!

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  15. I do not think you are over reacting at all! I would expect ‘Thanks we got the book’ at the very least. You know I would just come right out and say ‘Did you get the book we sent, we sent it to family members as thought it would give a bit insight into the whole process we are going through’. Do they know you sent it to a other family members too? Maybe they are wondering why they have been sent it, not knowing you were kind enough to send it round the family. Hey I am not making an excuse, a text or an email to say thanks would be enough if they do not want to converse about it. Not that it is the same but I have this with Christmas and birthday gifts, I do not know they have arrived never mind a simple thank you. It is rude right? I was really interested to read how you approached telling the family because when reading about the process in UK I read how family are involved in the process and my biggest worry would be certain family members trying to involve themselves in the actual decision to go ahead and I know they would. Anyway I would ask them about the book, if it is Mr MPB’s family get him to do the asking, I always think it is better if my husband deals with his side of the family and vise versa. I am sure you will feel better if it is out in the open. 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for all your thoughts and ideas!! First, I do think it is rude to not acknowledge a gift when you receive one! I also think you are right, the best approach is to probably just ask casually, did you get the book we sent? And see what happens from there. We cannot control the outcome of the conversation, but at least we can bring some peace to our minds about what was going on.
      You also make a good point about who should ask – we have a simple rule in our lives: I deal with my family and he deals with his. And so far it has served us very well, so I know that we will implement this rule when we ask.

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  16. First, I don’t think you’re over reacting. At all.

    You know I’m not one to make excuses for bad family behaviour but I want to offer a different viewpoint.

    If I did what you’d done and mailed my Dad a book without calling first to tell him I think there’s at least a 50% chance he would not be in touch until he had read at least part of it. And thought about it. (We have no other living parents so I use my Dad as my example.) Is it possible that these people in your lives could be doing the same?

    If not I think I couldn’t keep quiet. But you know me. I’m a bull-by-the-horns kind of girl. The LP would likely let it fester and never bring it up except in passive aggressive jabs.

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    • Thank you so much for your differing view point. I think you make a good point about them choosing to read the book before calling or texting. I think we are going to just simply ask them “hey did you get the book we mailed you” and see what happens and deal with the fall out, whatever it is. Thanks for sharing your idea!

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  17. I probably wouldn’t bother with the talking to be honest. It sounds like they aren’t that interested in you or Mister but expect you to be interested in them. With people like that, I’d personally let them come to me. Or I would ask them if they’ve got the books and then when they show disinterest then I’d return the favour.

    Life’s too short to have people in it that upset you, piss you off and are unsupportive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the past, I have made the decision to let people go from my life if they don’t do anything to improve my life, rather they just take what they need and leave it at that. But for some reason, when it comes to parents, I cannot just walk away. Instead I’m learning (sometimes poorly and slowly) that I have to lower my expectations and just accept that our conversations may focus on the weather and nothing more. I just have to accept them for who they are, so that I don’t end up going through this emotional torture every single time they do something that I deem as insensitive and hurtful. I may be a slow learner, but one day I’ll get it – I hope.

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      • Lowering expectations can help but it’s so hurtful when they go out of their way for others, I’m sorry you have to experience people like this. It’s so very hurtful and rejecting.

        When your little one comes along it may be that you change your mind, or it may be that they finally step away from their selfish behaviour. I hope very much for the latter for you, I know it can be very 50/50 which way they go.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. A) No, you’re not overreacting at all. You have very reasonable expectations of them. B) They clearly operate on some foreign level that does not include common courtesy, and you shouldn’t tear yourself up about that. Try as we might, we’ll never get other people to act the way we want – they way they should.

    YOU know the right things to do/say/write. Focus on that, and how it will translate into you being great parents and teaching your child(ren) those life skills. Don’t sweat the poor communication skills of those outside your immediate circle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this! I am still blown away by the lack of common courtesy! And you are right, we will never force others to act the way we think they should – life doesn’t work that way and clearly I still need to focus on accepting people for who they are. And while I do that, I simply need to continue to live my life the way I know is best, which will help our children learn to be courteous and loving. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters! 🙂

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  19. Some random thoughts that may or may not be relevant…

    First, is it possible that feelings were hurt when they were excluded from your decision-making process? NOT to suggest that anyone but you had a right to be involved in the decision … but … is it possible that when you entered the stage of telling them about your decision, you were already feeling a little defensive, and maybe came across as, “This is what we’re doing and if you don’t like it we don’t care!” I gather, from things you’ve written here, that there’s a lot of old hurt piled up in your relationships within your family – hurts that have nothing to do with your decision to have a baby. I know from my own experience that sometimes when we’re trying to protect ourselves from further hurt, we express ourselves in a way that is inadvertently hurtful.

    So … IF this is possible (and I don’t know whether it is – I’m just throwing it out there) … is it possible that your family has picked up that there are very strict rules about what they may or may not say / ask / think regarding this adoption … and that maybe they aren’t entirely sure what the rules are … and that maybe their feelings are a bit hurt, leading to resentment, leading to a decision – conscious or not – simply to avoid discussing the subject at all?

    If there’s any possibility of truth in any of this, maybe instead of feeling hurt yourself, it’s time for a … hmmm … let’s call it a love offering. Maybe – IF there is a possibility of truth in this – a note acknowledging that you may have expressed yourselves badly, and expressing a hope that they will be involved. Invite them to ask questions. Allow them to make mistakes.

    Hope I haven’t overstepped myself here. As always, I’m writing from the place of my own experiences… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • This describes ME and how I handled our infertility and IVF. After my mom hurt me with some pretty thoughtless comments during our first cycle, I cut her and my dad out entirely of the next two cycles. When I was 6w4d pregnant with a healthy ultrasound behind me, I told my mom. She was very kind and happy, but later said that because she messed up the first time, I put so many “rules up” that she didn’t even know how to show interest without upsetting me. Now, my mom and I STILL have a very bad relationship, but she was right. I gave her no options when it came to discussing our IVF. I shut her out, and for good reason, but then I couldn’t expect her to then show interest and concern at the same time.

      I am watching all of this from the space of happy endings, and I do worry that you (MPB) may be making relationships worse than they already are and are making similar mistakes that I made. And things have only been worse since I did that many years ago. It’s hard to recover from so much back and forth hurt. My parents are pretty indifferent to all the grandkids, but mine in particular. And I truly don’t think it’s their fault. It’s mine, because I shut them out and made it hard for them to show interest in a way that was acceptable to me. Don’t get me wrong, they could try a bit harder now that the waters have calmed, but that’s easier said than done.

      I can’t help but read your posts and think, “she sounds like me.”. I fear you’re going to look back and wish you’d relaxed with them all.

      Like this commenter, I hope I haven’t overstepped. I just don’t want you to back yourself into a long-term (or forever) corner like I did.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m going to make this really quick as I have a throbbing migraine and reading and writing isn’t going well for me right now. I will say more later when I can think, but please know that I do not believe either of you have over stepped at all. Rather, I value both of your opinions, and I have the utmost respect for your choice to tell me exactly how you feel in a respectable way – in many ways I think you are both right. I suspect Mr. MPB and I will be having a very interesting conversation tonight in large part because of your wise words. Thank you for being courageous and telling me what I asked to hear – your opinion! Love to you both. 🙂

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      • All right ladies, it’s now time for my real response.
        First, I continue to appreciate your honesty and your constructive advice! This is what I need to hear. I am thankful that you are willing to say these types of things and encourage me to give my own head a shake! I know I’m not perfect and sometimes we really do need to look in the mirror and see how we could do things better.
        I’m not prepared yet, to write a note or acknowledge to them that maybe we’ve handled the situation poorly. (Note that I said yet). What I think we are going to do, is simply ask them if they got the book and see what they say. The end result might be as simple as yup, we got it and we are reading it. Or it may not be, it may be that they are hurt that we sent it for whatever reason. In which case, we then need to address that and the note may be necessary.
        And I do think as you’ve both said, we may have made it hard at times for them to be part of this. We didn’t include them in our decision making, heck, this part of our family still doesn’t know the details of what we went through to choose adoption because when we told them we are adopting we also told them we don’t wan to talk about the past because we want to focus on how happy we are today (and I can say, neither of us regret that decision, long history there which I’ll save for another day). But, by doing this we very clearly gave them rules in which to talk to us, and that has to on some level make it harder for them to approach us. So, if I’m fair about it, as you two both suggest, this probably is playing in their minds.
        Anyways, all of this is to say that I do appreciate your thoughts and your perspective. We will have to see how it all plays out when we innocently ask them the question and see what happens from there. Hopefully the situation can be handled in a way that no-one is left feeling horrible, but we will cross that bridge if we need to. Thank you again!

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  20. No you are not overreacting. They have yet again disappointed you. Your standards are minimal and I want to give them all a talking to and you a hug. The fact that you sent them a book and heard no response is very unsupportive. My guess is that their lack of response is either selfishness and lack of compassion or awkwardness. Either way- it is hurtful. If I were you I would really try to lower my expectations of them and if they ever act supportive it can be a pleasant surprise. I think most people are doing the best they can with what they have and your family just happens to have a lack of empathy and compassion. Don’t expect more from them, you will only continually be disappointed. Doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch and keep them informed- just reset your expectations. You have all of us here to say all the right ( and wrong) things. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe thanks so much Mamajo! I really appreciate your perspective that we aren’t asking to much for a simple acknowledgement of the book! Honestly, I didn’t realize I had to lower my expectations that low – I’m a tad bit shocked that I have to lower my expectations again! And I think you are right, it doesn’t mean we cut them out, I honestly don’t want to do that. But what it does mean is that once again we lower the expectations and try to learn to live with the realities of who our families are, because we know we will never change them!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m not sure what I would do in that situation, to be honest. I bought my parents the book about international adoption that we read when we were deciding to go that route. To my knowledge they never read it. (They had to acknowledge it though because we gave it to them in person!) My guess is that it just wasn’t a priority – they didn’t think they needed to know anything more than what they already knew. Maybe the people in your life had the same reaction? (And how little people actually truly know about adoption, right?!) I don’t think you’re over-reacting by wanting some sort of response though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing this and validating that at least acknowledging receipt of the book would be normal. We’ve sent the book to a few people, so I suspect at least some of them will be like your parents and not be bothered to read it. I figure at least we tried to help them understand things a bit more, but at the end of the day it’s their choice if they want to learn more or not. But not even a simple “thank you for the book” or a “got the book” text is a bit weird to me.

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  22. People are ao weird. I think maybe a few of these peoolw are stuggling with rhe concept of empathy. Sadly your adoption isn’t going ro be a big deal for somw of the people in your life and with wonky empathy buttons they aren’t actually going to consider why you might have sent the book. I mught bow have looked in the front cover btw – not until I went to read it. I woykd have acknowledged receipt though.

    You know what my therapist would say? Lota of thinga about expectations. People are who they are and we can’t make them reapond to our actions in a particular way. When we expect them to behave like X and they don’t our expectations aren’t met and we are disappointed. But our expectations belong to us, not them. I have had this issue wirh Eric for a long time. He can still disappoint me with his choices but they are his and I can’t make him change them. I tell him how hus choices make me feel sometimes when I think he is receptive or it particularly irks me but I do it knowing he may not change.
    I would just say something along the lines of “Hey did you get that adoption book we sent? This is just so important to us and we want everyone involved like they’d be involved if it was a pregnancy. We hooe that’s ok with you” and see what they say (obviously ise your own words). The hard part is not having an expectation surrounding their response. I feel if you went if to “talk” about how they didnt respond from the get go then you are starting with a negative and no good ever comes from that. That’s why I suggested the style of question I did . Sending you good vibes for a great outcome whatever path you take xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing!
      I think your therapist and mine would be reading from the same book. Clearly, as much as I feel like I’ve done some good work on lowering my expectations of our families, I have not lowered them enough! I didn’t realize expecting a thank you was too much, but evidently it is. So, lesson learned, the expectation bar is being lowered again. Honestly, I’m not sure how they can miss it, but time will only tell.
      Also, thank you so much for your suggestions. I think you are right, we need to just ask if they got it, and do so without the emotions we are feeling. We will have to see what they say and move on from there. And hopefully having low expectations about what their response is so that we don’t end up even more hurt.

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  23. I think that if they’ve gotten the book and not bothered to acknowledge it, then you’re not over-reacting. However, it could be that they just haven’t gotten yet, or not had a chance to open it. That being said, my Sister that doesn’t live close to us and her kids never let my Mom (her step-mom) know when they’ve received cards or presents. If she sends something now, which isn’t as often since she never gets a “Thank You”, she always writes a check so she’ll at least know they got it when it goes through her bank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know they have the book thanks to modern tracking and I know they’ve had it for at least a few days. 🙂
      That being said, I now think our family might just be like your sister! Unfortunately for both of us! Thanks for sharing, I guess some people just don’t realize how far a simple thank you goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. You’re not overreacting; people will disappoint you. They will probably disappoint you for a long while (I’m a bit jaded). People don’t know how to be supportive or even whether to be supportive sometimes. Your feelings are valid, so take comfort in that. But my advice would be to lower expectations–way low, like ground level low. This journey has required more forgiveness from me for those closest to me than any other time in my life. I haven’t always been gracious (you can read my posts from say Dec. 13 – April 14 as proof), but I am learning to be more gracious now even if people are still doing dumb ish–now I just don’t write about it. 🙂

    But you and the Mr. will be ok, and one day they will get a clue and act like they have some home training by sending a thank you note. Until then…xoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for validating my feelings around this! And thank you for reminding me that I really do just need to lower my expectations to the point of making it virtually impossible for them to be able to disappoint me. I seem to keep expecting things from these people, even though every single time I end up feeling hurt. I’m not sure why I cannot just stop expecting things that I thought were basic from people, and therefore stop feeling hurt every time something like this happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I totally think you should bring it up to them casually…ya know…just simply ask them if they have received the book you sent them. I think that if you try to sweep it under the rug it might just create more resentment and bitterness towards them and their lack of considerations to your choice of how you are pursuing parenthood. I am a firm believer that honesty (when spoken in love and compassion) is the best policy. Also, I can’t help but think that if you don’t say something and confront them with it, then it sends a subtle message that it’s okay for them to treat you this way. And it’s not. Hugs to you sugars!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are right, if we sweep it under the rug we will end up more resentful and for all we know they are just a bit inconsiderate and didn’t say thank you. And honestly, that’s a lot better then the other potentials that are racing around our minds. So, I think we will take the approach of simply asking if they got it, and not being too emotional about it. And we’ll see what happens.
      Thank you so much Elisha!

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  26. I don’t have time right now to read everyone’s comments, but I’m sure there are good ones. One of my reactions to this is to hope that it was just some sort of oversight that they have not said anything. Could they have sent a written thank you instead that you have not gotten? What would happen if you casually asked if they received something you sent them in the mail because you wanted to make sure they got it? Like you said, it’s really hard to know what they’re thinking. Whatever happens, I am sorry that you are questioning things. You deserve SO SO much love and support through all steps in this process. You and Mr. MPB are definitely in my thoughts! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think we’ve ever received a written thank you from them, outside of a text message, so I really doubt that’s the case. Although, it would be such a lovely surprise if they did. 🙂
      I think your suggestion about casually asking is probably the best approach. I think that’s what we’ll do. I’m sure I’ll post about it once we do it. Thanks for sharing your ideas with me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I think you need to simply ask the ask the question – did u get the book? What did u think? And then you need to calmly take it from there. When people feel uneducated about a subject they aren’t inclined to ask questions or start the conversation. All you can do is help start the conversation…And then decide from there what to do based on their response. You never know…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are right, we do need to just casually ask if they got the book. From there, we will see what happens. Hopefully they were just inconsiderate and didn’t say thank you. But if it’s more then that, it would be nice to know. Only time will tell I guess.
      Thank you so much for your advice! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. that’s incredibly odd for someone not to at least acknowledge that they received something from you. I would definitely just casually ask if they received the book.. I think that will non-invasively spark small conversation about it. But obviously, only go as far into that conversation as you want. Sometimes family lacks common-sense when it comes to discussions like these. I am so sorry. But, you are not over-reacting…at all. XOX

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is odd, right?! Thanks for confirming that. As for what to do next, thanks for your thoughts. Mr. MPB and I have been talking about all the advice we got here, and think you are right, we should just casually ask. And then we will see what they say, but at least by asking we have opened the door to a conversation, it’s there choice what they do from there.

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  29. I’m on the fence here. Given your history with your families, it’s easy to say, “Well, that’s just who they are, and you should sorta expect that from them, so maybe you are over-reacting a little bit, because really, did you expect more from them?!” At the same time, it’s like, DAMN! Not even a thank you text at least?!? I’d be super pissed and they would hear my mouth, so no! You and Mr. MPB’s reactions are totally appropriate. With that being said, (i know, totally conflicting, but bear with me), i think that they might also need some time. Who’s to say that they aren’t at home reading the books as we type this, and they they aren’t waiting for the perfect opportunity to have a real conversation, face to face, about some of this serious stuff. Maybe they don’t know how to react to some of the stuff they are reading. Maybe they aren’t ready. If my sister, let’s say sent my a book about some famous track star so that I understand where she is coming from as a Marathon Runner (totally obscure example), I might be a little confused at first, maybe not too interested, but wanting to connect with my sister on that level of something that she truly loves and believes in and is changing her life to do, might take me a little time. So i would say, give them the benefit of the doubt. Also, I’m on of those people that will try a handful of times to include you in my life. If you’re not taking what I’m giving you at face value and joining in, then really, it doesn’t really affect me. I have my wife and my kids, and my kitty and that’s all I need. I’ve had no problem in the past cutting people off, including family. If they add no value to my life, well, then, see ya later! Not saying that’s the best thing to do, but if they don’t really care too much to learn or be invested in your future children and the future of your family, should it matter what they think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for all of these thoughts! I agree, seriously how can they not at least send a text? Weird, right?! But, as you say, there could be so many things going on for them that we naively didn’t even think about. We’ve tried to open the door to them asking questions, but we really just don’t know what they are thinking.
      So, thanks to all the wonderful wise words that were shared with us, I think we will probably just ask, hey did you get the book? and see where the conversation goes from there. There is no harm in us asking, but there is potentially a lot of harm in us not asking at least in our minds there is.
      And more importantly I hear you about the fact that if our “family” cannot learn to be invested in our family and our children, then we don’t have the energy to keep investing in them. That’s not where our efforts should be focused, and so they wont be.

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  30. Well, I absolutely agree with you that a simple “thank you” is basic courtesy. Even if I knew EVERYTHING about adoption I would still be appreciative of the thought that went in to you ordering, buying and sending me the book. The personal note in the cover would make it all the more special and more of a keepsake for this wonderful new family member. In a way, it’s a perfect opener for me to call you and talk to you about it, to share in your journey more.

    I’m pretty direct so I’d probably be like “hey, did you receive a book about adoption?” *awkwardly wait for answer* then go from there! I think ignoring it could just lead to further confusion on your part but it’s a shame you always seem to be the bigger person with these matters. Good luck x

    Liked by 1 person

    • So, that’s what we thought too! We just naively thought that by sending the book it would give them them chance to call and talk to us about it, if they wanted too. Sort of a door opener. And clearly, basic courtesy is to say thank you – or so I thought.
      Anyways, we are taking the advice of calling and just asking if they got it and see what happens. I’ll write about what happens when it happens.
      Thanks for your advice and thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope it goes well for you. And hopefully you don’t find this inappropriate in me saying but some people are just a little weird with basic manners and stuff. Sometimes they just don’t realise a thank you would be nice! It doesn’t make it okay but it might not necessarily be anything more. Remember, “there’s nowt as queer as folk” 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  31. I’d ask “hey did you get that book we sent?” the next time you chat. That’s all. That’ll give you the info you need and then the ball is in their court.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pingback: Did You Get The Book? | My Perfect Breakdown

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