Did You Get The Book?

As mentioned just the other day, we gave an adoption book to a bunch of our family with the hope that they would want to learn more about how we are growing our family.  Some did not acknowledge receiving it which sent my mind reeling.

Many of you encouraged me to take a step back before I overreacted and let my fears get the best of me.

We have since addressed their lack of acknowledgement with them.  So, today I have an update on what we did and how it went.  We asked the question did you get the book?  We left our emotional baggage out of the conversation and asked in a nonchalant and casual manner.

The paraphrased conversation went something like this:

Us: Did you get the book we sent you?

Them: Yup, just reading it now. And X is asking to read it as soon as I’m done. X really wants to know more too.

Us: Great. It’s nice to know you got it. Maybe next time you could let us know that you receive something so we aren’t left wondering.

Them: I just wanted to read it before I called. Did you send it to anyone else, or just us?

Us: Since some people were asking for more information, we found this book and thought we’d just send it to everyone. We actually sent it to everyone on both sides of our immediate families. Feel free to share it with anyone you think may want to read it.

Them: I know most things the book is saying, but it’s also been helpful in making me think about things I had never thought about like the extended birth-family `. And, it’s also made it clear that I can ask you questions whenever I want to. I’m often not sure how to bring up adoption stuff.

Us: I’m glad you are enjoying it and finding it helpful! As we said when we told you we are adopting, you can absolutely ask questions whenever you want. We don’t have a lot to update since we are just waiting to be matched, but we are happy to answer questions whenever you want to talk. We want you to be part of this, just like you would any other growing family.

I think it’s safe to say we had blown this way out of proportion and were clearly over-reacting.

In addition we learned a few more things:

  • They have not felt comfortable asking us stuff about the adoption. We told them originally to ask anything and we’ll do our best to answer them, but clearly this wasn’t enough. I’m not really sure how to fix this, but it could be as simple as we need to start the conversation more often so that they feel safe asking questions.
  • They were worried that we sent it just to them, just like some of you suggested. I think there was some relief when we said we sent it to both sets of parents and siblings. I think they appreciated knowing that we did not single them out as idiots. We overlooked this entirely when we sent the book and in hindsight probably should have given more of an explanation when we sent it.  Ops!
  • When they received the book they forgot to use their basic manners and say thank you. That annoys me, but not in a catastrophic and relationship ending kind of way.

Because we took your advice and simply asked the question we learned that we have a bit of work to do here. Thankfully, we figured this out before our resentment boiled over. And, because we asked the question casually, we didn’t blow up the relationship. This relationship may never be ideal, but the work is manageable and can be done. What we learned is that we need to show them that we want them to be part of our adoption journey – we need to give them opportunities to talk about it rather than waiting for them to bring it up. While we thought we were doing this, we need to do it more. We will try our very best to be better now that we know.

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62 Comments on “Did You Get The Book?

  1. Oh yay! I’m so happy!

    Yes, bring it up more, that is a great idea! They’ll take your lead and learn that they can bring it up too!

    This is just terrific!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We found that our extended family and friends felt really unsure how to ask questions about surrogacy so we realised that we had to bring it up more, lead my example and involve them a lot more in those conversations so perhaps your lot just need a bit more prompting and gentle nudging.
    I’m so glad you asked them! They will get there I promise I think you guys just may need to guide them a little more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing Arwen. I think I’m learning that we’ve built some pretty big walls through the last few years, and it takes work for us to bring some of them down or at least to put in windows. 🙂
      We thought we were doing enough to open the conversation, but clearly we need to do a bit more. Thanks for understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes people just don’t want to say anything about it because they just don’t know if it’s appropriate to ask questions or if you are going to feel sad about it. I see it in my family too. There are 2kinds: the ones who will telephone you to suggest all kinds of things regarding IF like “don’t drink tab water, it’s full of oestrogenes! STAY AWAY FROM THE TAB WATER”, the other ones feel awkward about it and don’t want to bring it up. I think it’s the same with adoption. You want it to be a celebration, like a pregnancy (which is totally the good reaction), but your family is maybe still grieving your IF or don’t know how to handle adoption because they don’t know what it is. I’m happy that it turned out this way for you! I hope you will get a match soon!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, when we were going through all our losses, we encountered both types of people. And now that we are going through adoption, we are still encountering both types of people – but somehow I hadn’t realized it!
      And now that the obvious has been pointed out to me, you are right we can start helping our family get to the point of celebration. It may take more time then we’d like, but it really is only fair that they have the time to sort through all their emotions too.

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  4. Yey!!! I’m so pleased…this is a big step to making your conversations together far more open and with their new found knowledge, far less unintentionally hurtful!

    The book idea remains a genius idea 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do hope you are right about much less unintentional hurt! Hopefully they really do digest the information and try to implement it with us. I would be so thrilled if they do. 🙂
      And I agree about the book being a genius idea. Clearly we should have told them we were sending it, but I guess you live and learn.

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  5. You guys are amazing. I love how you are constantly growing and learning and being open. Your future child is one lucky person. I think lowered expectations combined with assumed positivity is a great combo. Xo

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  6. It can be so hard to navigate the “elephant in the room”. I am glad everything worked out for the best. I know this may sound weird, but I had a dream that you were called and matched! I guess my blog reading has infiltrated my subconscious. I only know you through your blog but you and your husband have been on my mind. Hopefully my dream comes true for you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love it – great for you guys. A really positive response from them and I think your point that maybe you just need to start talking so they know it’s ok to engage is a good one – you can show them as well as tell them that you’re open. Nice work MPBs :)) xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad that they received the book and are actively interested in learning more. I found with my in laws, that they were always awkward about asking questions because my wife is kind of sensitive about what they ask (rightly so, because they sometimes say and ask things that are kind of insensitive), so I tend to just give them long and detailed updates whether they’d like to hear it or not lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’ve been just like your wife, and so we’ve made it hard for them to ask questions sometimes because in the past they’ve been insensitive and hurtful. So, there are years of hurt compounding our relationship that make us sensitive. So, we try and thankfully this time they are interested in learning more and so we can make an effort to talk about adoption with them. So, this time, it was a good thing but who knows about next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad you asked, and I’m glad the convo went the way that it did. It’s nice to know that they’re getting some info out of it, too. I told you it would work out okay! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I won’t say I told you so because I hate that gloaty s**t but I’m happy that things worked out and not surprised you discovered what you did. Or that some wanted to read before talking to you guys – that’s totally what my immediate family would have done as I mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well Done! Sometimes it is so hard to leave emotions at the door, but opening up lines of communication with you families is really important. Keep it up, you are doing an amazing job!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am SO very glad that you got this response and that you learned some things too. Good for you for just asking and putting some of your feelings on hold for a moment. I’m really glad that it worked out fairly well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am glad you asked people get so confused about what they can and can’t say and don’t realize silence hurts the most. Counting down the days to baby

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, the silence is the worst. Trying to say something, even if it’s wrong is better then saying nothing at all. Hopefully the book will help them understand and make a better effort.

      Like

    • I would love it if they’d learn to use basic manners! I had no idea that it was too much to ask for someone to say a simple “thank you” or even just “I got the book” would have made me happier.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so glad about that. Sounds like they are putting in the work to go along on this journey with you both and that’s a beautiful thing. Hopefully, this opens up the lines of communication a little bit more, and everyone will be so excited when your little one arrives. Good stuff friend, good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you are right and that this does open up the lines of communication a bit more. We’ve had a rocky relationship with them at times, so it’s nice that this time the conversation worked out and I think everyone is probably feeling a bit better about things since we talked. And that’s always a good thing.

      Like

  15. This is great! We have had the same feedback from our family – they have no idea how to bring things up or talk about it. Lately we just volunteer info. It’s kind of awkward and blunt but it breaks the ice and we’ve had some good convos as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing – it sounds like both our families are unsure of how to talk about adoption.
      I am usually all about the blunt, break the ice kind of approach so it looks like that’s what we may have to start doing with the adoption stuff too. I’m glad to know the technique is working for you.

      Like

  16. Often our own fears or judgement cause us anxiety when being honest and communicating from a safe place will easily clear up any tension. I’m glad to hear this went well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement. You are so right with this! Clearly, this was one of those circumstances where I needed set up a safe space for communication and it worked. 🙂

      Like

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