Surprisingly Happy Memories

We recently spent a weekend with Mr. MPB’s parents.  Now, these weekends have a tendency to go poorly.  In fact, his parents are some of the only people in our lives who do not know about our losses and what lead us to choose adoption to grow our family.  They are the same people who questioned our decision to adopt when we told them by asking have you tried everything? and implied that adoption was not a choice they supported.  They are people who kicked me out of Christmas gifts because I wasn’t family.  They are people who have stated that my step-family members aren’t real family and therefore don’t matter.  They are people who almost seem to pretend our son isn’t adopted.

They are people who I spent years trying to make happy.  They are also people I’ve spent countless hours in therapy trying to come to grasps with.  They are people who I am continually working to accept for who they are, and not to expect anything more or different from.

They are people who we’ve built very special walls around – I have become incredibly guarded around them in order to protect my heart.  Now, we talk about safe subjects, like the weather.  And always steer the conversation away from even slightly controversial topics to avoid the fall-out.  After years of heartache and hurt, it’s simply best this way, and I’m finally okay with accepting our relationship for what it is.

Is it perfect?  No, absolutely not.  But, these walls have enabled us to create a relationship that usually works for us.

And so, we recently spent a long weekend with them.  We invited them to spend the weekend with us at one of our favourite places in the mountains.  Truthfully, we never thought they’d come.  They accepted the invitation.  I braced myself for the worst, yet I tried to maintain a positive outlook.

And this weekend, they were people who loved our son.  I have photos of my son walking hand and hand with his grandfather.  I photos of my son reading stories with his grandmother.  I have photos of our family happily walking in the woods and playing in a mountain stream.  I have stories I can share with our son as he grows up about how his grandparents loved him.  I can tell him about how his grandparents woke up early every morning waiting to see his smiling face.  I can tell him all about the toys his grandparents saved from when his daddy was little and then gave to him to play with.  I can tell him about how excited he was the first time he played with a balloon that his grandfather tied to his wrist.  I can tell him how happy his random hugs made his grandmother.

This relationship will never be perfect, I am not naïve enough to think that this one weekend has changed everything.  And, I’m definitely not about to forget all the hurt that I have taken the brunt of for years from them.

But, I’m thrilled that this weekend gave me happy memories to share with my son about how his grandparents love him.

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24 Comments on “Surprisingly Happy Memories

      • I hope one day I can have the peace with the situation that you have. I’m still too angry around my MIL to enjoy any time near her, even when she is acting pleasant.

        Some day, I will get there. Just not there yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • To be fair this is the first visit i can call good in 16 years. 16 years is a lot of bad visits!
        Also, in my opinion take as much time as you need. I have learned to always put my needs at the top of the priority list when it comes to dealing with them and it’s keeping me sane now.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This post makes my heart feel light. Wonderful for all of you, especially little MBP. I know it isn’t fixed, and there’s nothing to say the next visit will be good, but for now, you can just bathe in that little glow of happiness. The innocence of children really does bring people together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember someone (our social worker or maybe someone on my blog, or maybe even you?) saying not to worry too much about their initial hesitation about adoption because once an innocent little baby actually comes along it changes people. And honestly, that’s exactly how we felt this weekend. And, we were unbelievably grateful that we have these happy memories to bathe in right now. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh my goodness – I think that was me! It’s because I kept telling myself that all the naysayers when we were so desperately trying would come round when they finally met our little one who hadn’t arrived yet. It’s so true. Children build bridges. Fragile, maybe, but still a bridge 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad that you have something lovely that’s come out of such a difficult relationship with your in laws! I really thought they were beyond redemption so fair play to you for giving them another chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they are beyond redemption for me. But if they are going to treat Little MPB well, then I can probably tolerate them better, for his sake. Hopefully we have more pleasant moments in our future.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So happy again that it went so well for you guys. Hopefully this isn’t a blip in the norm for them, and perhaps they are going to be a bit more welcoming and nice to you both in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, hopefully this isn’t a blip. However, not to be a complete downer, I’m rather confident that it is. I know these people very well and I know that one good visit will not result in a life time of them. But I can deal/tolerate their cruelty to me if they continue to love Little MPB and treat him well.

      Like

  4. This brought tears to my eyes… as someone who shares similar feelings about my MIL and even mother, especially related to our infertility, losses and darkest most desperate times, this lifted my heart. Not exactly sure how to forget or forgive or reconcile my hardened heart, but reading this made me feel… healthier… and happy for you. I could just picture the scenes you described and how delighted they and Baby MPB were. 🙂

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  5. I’m glad for your son’s sake that they are making an effort to have a nice relationship with them. I know you won’t forget all the hurt from the past but that’s nice you have some sweet memories from the weekend. Hopefully it is a good sign that things will go better in the future too with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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