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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