A long time ago, Mr. MPB and I instituted an rule that if family members make an effort to visit and know us, we will make an effort to visit. It needs to be reciprocal, as I believe all quality relationships need to be. In fact, the other weekend we loaded up the care and drove hours to visit family because they made an effort to visit us (and let me tell you, the drive was not all that much fun with a crying baby and took a lot longer then the normal 6 hours).
I’ve mentioned before that we have some family members who have completed changed since Baby MPB joined our family. Instead of driving past our house, they now stop in. In fact, they stop in at least every few weeks (as an aside, I had no idea they were in this part of the province that frequently). Regardless of past avoidance and issues, they are now making an effort and going above and beyond to know Baby MPB. In fact, just the other day one even stayed over night and when having breakfast handed me their phone and said, can you take a photo of Baby MPB and I having our morning coffee together.
Yup, their effort and love for our child have not gone unnoticed.
I’m thankful every time they visit to see just how much they love our son.
But, what’s now donned on me is that others are not making any effort. I am specifically talking about one set of grandparents. Once Baby MPB arrived, they wanted to facetime daily with us when we were in the USA, and then once a week once we got home. Now, sadly we cannot get them to chat with us/Baby MPB for the life of us (I know screentime for an infant is bad, but we deemed a weekly call with grandparents to be okay as we want them to know each other and distance means we wont have as frequent of visists). I send photos via text/email, and never get acknowledgement/responses. In addition, asides from a visit right after Baby MPB came home, they have not and will not visit. Now, let me just point out that they have the money and the time to come visit once a month if they wanted to. We’ve recently specifically asked them to come visit this summer. In fact, we asked them to help with childcare for a few days while our nanny is on vacation and in doing so we specifically asked them to come spend time with their grandson.
The fact that we asked for help is almost unheard of for us. And the fact that they said no just broke my heart. Not because I want to visit with them (quite frankly they’ve been mean to me for years, I’m personally okay not seeing them). But my heart hurt for them.
I’m afraid one day they are going to wake up and be too old to travel and visit.
I’m afraid one day they are going to wake up and realize they don’t know their child, which is already the case.
And, even more, after years of begging for grandchildren, I’m afraid one day they are going to realize they missed knowing their grandchildren. And their grandchildren wont know them.
We’ve talked to other members of that side of our family and they’ve noticed the same thing. These grandparents have only visited them twice since their child was born almost a year ago. So, ya, it’s the grandparents and has nothing to do with adoption, which is a relief as I’ve worried about them not accepting him.
But, my heart is still heavy.
This set of grandparents will not make an effort, they seem to expect their children/grandchildren to be solely responsible for visiting. The fact is we simply cannot afford to fly across the country for frequent visits, it’s just not an option. And honestly, I just don’t think it should only be us making an effort.
So, while once upon a time I would have tried to change them and I would have forced Mr. MPB to visit them, this time I am not going to. I’m letting go and simply accepting what is. We will focus our efforts on investing in the relationships that are reciprocal. And so, our son will have stronger relationships with those who make an effort to know him. And hopefully we will help teach our son about the value of quality relationships.
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