Aaargh, other people!

(39 Posts)
greygretl Thu 05-Jul-12 16:36:39

Our DS came home last summer, and our formal adoption of him went through in the spring of this year. We're having a great time getting on as an adoptive family and learning lots together. Do his life story with him regularly, and have sent our first letterbox contact epistle. He's just celebrated his birthday, his first with us, and we had a lovely time. Apart from. Aaaaargh. My dad. Came round, took a look at all the cards he'd received. And said - did he get one from his parents? Frosty silence. Tumbleweeds. Then I pointed to the one from us and the subject was mentioned no more.

That's it really. Just a rant. I know I'm probably being over-sensitive. But for goodness sake!

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Thu 05-Jul-12 22:01:35

Fuckwit smile. You will meet many of them.

But (and this is a big but) does he consider your son to be his grandson? If he does, and if this was a slip of the tongue or using the wrong term, then forgive and forget. How he feels and behaves is much more important than the words he uses.

If this is how he feels, however, you may have trouble ahead sad

I agree with Maryz. Sometimes people just don't have the language right but they don't mean anything bad by it. If your dad is a good grandad to your ds, that's what matters. You need to teach him the right language though cos you don't want your ds to hear stuff like that.

My lovely sister said something the other day about dd's 'real mother'. I just said 'Well I like to think I'M her real mother'. My poor sister started to cry about how sorry she was, how she didn't mean anything by it etc. I know she didn't, she's the world's best auntie and dd loves her. She's only learning the language.

hifi Thu 05-Jul-12 23:00:02

My mother mentions my children's " real mothers".fucks me off no end.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 06-Jul-12 09:28:14

Yes,people struggle with the language and correct terminology sometimes.

How was your dad throughout the adoption process? Does he have a good relationship with your son?

Hayleyh34 Wed 18-Jul-12 10:40:12

People are twats insensitive at times. My parents get really cross if we even dare mention our daughters birth family hmm

I am still astounded by some of the questions people asked us and indeed still do

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 18-Jul-12 11:40:55

My sister sat at the table last Christmas and said to my mum " oh I bet you didn't think you would get to your age not have any of us ( meaning me, her and my DB ) have babies!"

My two DC's , who my mum is besotted with were sitting there and my DS age 6 must have thought what on earth is she talking about?

She then realised what she had said and made it ten times worse by saying " obviously I'm meant real grandchildren " angry

Hayleyh34 Wed 18-Jul-12 11:42:21

Good lord Angels, some people really need to get brain in gear before speaking!

utterlyslutterly Wed 18-Jul-12 12:26:04

Yes Hayleyh34 My in-laws are the same. Apparently our children's birth mothers "should be sterilised" and they are also of the view that we should not tell them they are adopted ! Like that method worked in the past!

Hayleyh34 Wed 18-Jul-12 12:28:47

Yep, we've had that sterilised comment!

My parents also said that we should never tell DD about her half-brother as it would be unsettling. Like discovering it when she's grown up wouldn't be grin

My mother absolutely doesn't 'get it' in terms in terminology. We've tried and tried. Last time I was accused of 'being silly' and having 'London Ways' (She lives in Norfolk, where I was brought up)

Having said that, she is very nice to dd2 (who is utterly gorgeous, brilliant, etc etc! <proud mum!>)

Hope all goes well OP x

KristinaM Wed 18-Jul-12 15:04:55

I've found that some people of an older generation are more convinced if you quote an authority

Eg the social workers have told us that we must tell her about her birth parenst/ refer to then by their first names/as birth parenst /bio parensts not real parenst

The lawyers told us that we can't discuss her birth family with you, it's confidential

I know this is a bit of a capitulation but it sometimes gets them off your back. Unless they are London SWs of course wink

That's a really good point KristinaM. I shall start quoting 'authority' at my mother! Hope you're well.

Kewcumber Wed 18-Jul-12 21:08:17

My mother who adores DS and is in many way quite in with the yoof and doesn;t act her age at all once said to DS something along teh lines of "you probably get your eyes from your mummy or daddy". Cue one rather confused DS (who has oriental eyes which look not one jot like mine!) and a slightly strangled comment from me - "ummmm we don't actually call them mummy and daddy".

So it happens occasionally with the best of them!

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 19-Jul-12 07:06:23

My parents don't like talking about our daughter's birth family at all. I guess I can understand their reticence, and ultimately although they supported us completely through the adoption process and adore our daughter, adoption wasn't their choice (and perhaps would not have been).

KristinaM Thu 19-Jul-12 08:02:55

Yeah, but that's true of lots of things our adult children do, isn't it? We wouldn't have chosen the course DD did at uni , her career and her partner. But it's her life and we just want he to be happy. And OUR choices woudl obviously not been right for her. so all we can do is support her

Which is mostly what adoptive parenst want from their extended family too. Goodness know, our childfen have had enough rejection already in their lives sad

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 19-Jul-12 19:31:12

True, Kristina - and DH and I have done other things that one or all of our parents have disagreed with, though having a family is a pretty major thing that really does have an impact beyond just us two, in a way that job, car, tattoo etc doesn't. We're lucky in that parents on both side really have welcomed DD into the family and treat her exactly the same as the other various grandchildren they have. DH and I just have to manage the bits that they are less comfortable with, such as birth family, and hopefully work out the best way to do that over the coming years.

greygretl Fri 20-Jul-12 22:58:07

Thanks all, good to know these type of comments are all part and parcel of the adoption package. My dad is an excellent grandad to our DS and treats him no differently to my nieces and nephews, so no worries there - I'll just need to grow a thicker skin/prepare rapier-like responses to deal with the inevitable future similar situations.

One of which I faced today at a social do - Pimms and lemonade and children playing nicely together. All very civilised. Then I got asked, by an otherwise very nice lady, who I'd just met not 5 minutes before but who knew our DS was adopted, about why his "mother gave him up". I wasn't brave enough to go for a pithy put-down (but wish I had) and just mumbled something about it not really working out for them or something and then went off and fumed behind an ornamental shrub. I understand people are curious, but am pretty sure I'm not wearing a badge that says "forget common courtesy and social boundaries, pry away and ask anything you chuffin' like, our family is an open book - come read us".

Actually, perhaps I'll get that put on a t-shirt - any takers?

Kewcumber Fri 20-Jul-12 23:11:21

greygretl - you won;t grow a thicker skin. I isn't really possible because as they get older some of these comments will be heard (and understood) by our children and you never really can get used to that can you.

Re: Why his mother gave him up. Think it through, decide on one or two variations on a theme that you are happy with an practice them to yourself. I find depending on who is asking a couple of things work "I don't know" (accompanied by blank stare) or "thats private, we don't discuss it without DS's permission" (particularly works well if you child is under 5 and unlikely to be able to give informed consent!)

I have rehearsed "thats private and I don't discuss it at school" with DS and at 6 he has had cause to use it a few times sad

TeapotsInJune Mon 23-Jul-12 19:53:19

I work with a lovely lady with two DCs, a boy and a girl, who she adopted. They are 7 and 5.

When I refer to them, I say "your little boy/girl" as in "oh, you're picking your little girl up aren't you?"

Is this ok? grin I'd HATE to inadvertently offend/upset her.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 23-Jul-12 20:13:36

Teapots. That almost deserves my first biscuit...

TeapotsInJune Mon 23-Jul-12 23:13:21

Seriously, if I've dropped a clanger let me know. All the same I think I'm done with MN. Too easy to offend/upset people. I never ever do in RL so evidently it must be just my online persona. Bye. x

Samantha1967 Tue 24-Jul-12 22:05:00

my mother in law (my own mother is dead) shows 100x more animosity towards our adopted children's grandmother than we do towards their mother. I think it is just a generation thing - all this openness freaks her out. Both grandfathers on the other hand are really cool about it all.

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 10-Aug-12 05:33:08

Some asked me about my Dd's real mother, after the stoney silence I replied I am real, do I look like I'm made of plastic. Dd who is now 7 rolled about laughing.
She knows her story and we try not to dwell on it as she will fixate to the exclusion of anything else. So occasionally we pull her book down and let her read through and ask questions.

WendyGx Sun 19-Aug-12 15:20:41

I'm only at the matching stage and not even blessed yet and I've just been shocked by my step mother. I was expressing some confusion about different approaches in raising children, how one text says one thing and anothet text says another and out of the blue she said 'and that's for normal children'. Am I being oversensitive for some little person who doesn't even exist in my life yet. The word 'normal' shocked me, thoughout my infertility issues and the approval process she's been patient and understanding. Maybe its just a bad choice of word/s but its worrying me. When (I am being hopeful!) my child/ren do arrive, will she use language like that? Should I let it drop and wait until she upsets a child? Maybe I should calm down. Any advice from more experienced folk would be much appreciated!

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