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When a friend shows you their real views

(20 Posts)
highinthesky Fri 19-May-17 08:55:52

I caught up with a friend recently, it turned out we knew someone in common and I mentioned in conversation they had two (now grown up) children. Said friend told me "but only one is hers". I have always known that one was adopted but it would never cross my mind to think of them differently.

Am I being oversensitive to think less of this friend? She is childless herself and doesn't know I've looked into adoption. I know it's a lot more emotionally complicated than many people appreciate but the comment made me see this long-standing friend in a completely new light.

tldr Fri 19-May-17 09:18:51

If you're looking into adoption, I'd say get used to it. It's pretty common and mostly not said in any way other than unthinkingly.

Ketzele Fri 19-May-17 10:14:15

Yes, it's horrid when friends come out with that kind of shit - but as tldr says, it's part of the adoption experience. I get a double whammy as we're lesbian parents, with one birth child (so one of us not the 'real' mother) and one adopted child (neither of us 'real' mother!). I am very used to it and have a thick skin, but there's no denying that part of me closes off to friends who come out with this stuff. Also being aware that I don't want to expose my kids to their views either.

highinthesky Fri 19-May-17 13:36:19

What annoyed me was the implication that one parent-child relationship was lesser than the other. Can you really be friends with someone who's empirical value judgement is so far from your own?

Ketzele Fri 19-May-17 14:51:38

See, I suspect that many many people think the same, but know better than to say it. So what would worry me for than her value judgements would be what she might be saying to others, what she might say in front of my child etc. Once you have adopted you become a bit of a tiger mother, standing between your child and the world. Your child gets teased at school for being adopted, and you you look at the parents of these kids - probably all pleasant people - and wonder what is getting said at home...

Many posters on here have had to distance themselves from friends and family with these views. It's really saddening.

donquixotedelamancha Fri 19-May-17 16:16:28

I see it differently- many people have no clue about adoption and can be quite nosey or tactless though lack of understanding. I don't mind the noseyness, because I'm quite happy to say 'we don't disclose that' but to be very open about most of it. I'm far more bothered by the systematic discrimination that can exist within services because of the same lack of understanding.

Of course some people really do have ridiculous views. You could probably tell from her tone whether she was being unpleasant or just a bit dumb; so I'd trust your own judgment.

PoppyStellar Fri 19-May-17 16:51:08

It is thoughtless and tactless to say what she did but I second what don says about judging whether it was ignorance or unpleasantness. I'd been lucky not to come across this from people who I class as friends until a few months ago when a mum friend from school (who I have a lot of time for) talked about my DDs 'real mum'. I was a bit dumbstruck and went home to stew about it, but realised it came from ignorance not malice. I talked to her a few days later when i'd calmed down and she was hugely apologetic.

bostoncremecrazy Fri 19-May-17 17:03:11

Water off a ducks back here! We learned pretty quickly that most people say things like 'real mum/dad' 'your own child' out of ignorance and not knowing the preferred terms of birth mum, birth dad, birth child.
Dont lose a friend over it.

flapjackfairy Fri 19-May-17 17:13:21

And you also get " do they see their mum at all! ".
I am a foster carer and adoptor and for a while it went over my head because people always ask that about fc but even people who know our youngest is adopted say it !
I dont get offended just jokily say yes he does , we are not invisible !
Seems to work without causing offence !

highinthesky Fri 19-May-17 17:39:56

Wow! Thanks for sharing your experiences, seems I'm gonna have to develop a tough carapace, and fast confused

luckylucky24 Fri 19-May-17 18:41:08

We have a birth child and an adopted child. When hearing DD was adopted they would say "is DS yours then?". The first time I was caught off guard and said yes. After that I started saying "DS is my biological child". Even an adopter questioned this though and I had to explain why that referring to DS as "mine" inferred that DD wasn't mine.
I would put this down to ignorance and move on. If you cut out all people that made off hand comments that seemed offensive you would lose a lot of family and friends.

tldr Fri 19-May-17 19:21:23

Sometimes I catch myself saying it - I heard myself refer to birth mum as real mum to DH the other day. They've been mine 4 years...

highinthesky Sat 20-May-17 04:18:05

I'm still wondering why it's bugging me. The adoption happened over 20 years ago yet my friend, who has known this person for less than a year made the distinction. I'm pretty sure she heard it third hand and not from the mutual acquaintance herself.

We live in an age of blended families, but then said friend is very old-fashioned in her views.

bostoncremecrazy Sat 20-May-17 08:31:15

If its bugging you I'd be looking at yourself rather than her if you see what i mean. If you are considering adoption this will come up time and time again. Life is too short to be loosing sleep and friends over such a (probably innocent) remark.
If shes childless she more like than likely made the comment out of ignorance surrounding adoption and its issues.....and i suspect was made in a 'head tilt...oh bless....only one is the birth child....the other they adopted....more head tilting'

flapjackfairy Sat 20-May-17 08:47:03

I suspect it is triggering your fears that if you adopt your child will be less than other peoples birth children and you will be seen as less than a proper mum ?
Normal worries pre adoption i think but when you have your child and fall in love with them you realise that you couldnt love that child more fiercely if you had given birth to them. They are 100% yours. I have 3 bc 1 long term fc and 1 adopted . I love them all the same there is no distinction at all in how we treat them or feel about them.
Sadly not everyone can grasp the concept and those who havent experienced it sometimes find it hard to believe so you are always going to get some insensitive remarks but when you have your child /ren you just dont care tbh.

2old2beamum Sat 20-May-17 13:58:33

Our worst comment was when our 2nd AC died a colleague said well its not like losing one of your own ! Yeah.

flapjackfairy Sat 20-May-17 16:13:27

2old that is truly shocking! I would have found it hard to restrain myself at that one !

highinthesky Sat 20-May-17 18:13:24

2old that is just beyond decency. How dreadful to lose a child, and to then have your loss trivialised in such a crass fashion flowers

Tells you all you need to know about your colleague.

boston and flapjack you are so right about looking at myself. I take a huge pride in my mothering skills and there is no way in tarnation I would want anyone to say anything hurtful to my children full stop. But I'm also aware that adopted children may not have the same resilience as birth children having previously formed and lost attachments. Maybe I should head this off from the outset - will wait until I'm through stage 2 and at the matching stage.

OlennasWimple Mon 22-May-17 02:59:32

Bloody hell 2old shock

Italiangreyhound Tue 23-May-17 16:15:21

2old I am so sorry.

We have been very lucky in that no one has ever said anything upsetting bout ds.

People have referee to things like "a child of your own etc" to shock I would say ds is my own but yes he does also have a birth mum. dd is my birth child so also my own.

It was wrong of your friend to pas on this 'gossip' and her comment was not pleasant bit maybe not meant intentionally unlikely.

If you have fears about adoption you can work through them. but remember regardless of what Your friends it aquiantances think or say if you adopt they are your child.

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