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WIBU to let her send a card?

(26 Posts)
ChelseaCloisters Thu 25-Jun-20 21:37:51

I'm adopted, so is my sister. We are not related to each other. Name changed for this thread.
My parents were always open about the fact that I was adopted. They said that they had paperwork if I ever wanted to know more.
A few years back, shortly before my father became ill, and prompted by a TV programme, I decided I did want to know more, and asked my parents if they had any information about my birth mother. They did have some court papers relating to my adoption and so my search started.
My search was successful and I found my birth mother. It turned out that I had found her at exactly the right time, she had recently been widowed, and was overjoyed that I had made contact. We met up, took some pictures, and I posted them on facebook. All my friends were happy for me, and my facebook still tells me that it is my most popular post ever.
My birth mother wrote a letter to my adoptive parents thanking them for being such kind people, for bringing me up so well and for helping her in her time of trouble. I would meet up with my birth mother every other month or so, but we would talk on the phone most days.
When my father passed away, my birth mother asked if she could attend the funeral and celebrate my father’s life and of course I said yes. I introduced my birth mother to my father's cousins and my birth mother was welcomed into the family.
A few months on, my mother is now in a care home with dementia. My birth mother asked for her address so that she could send a card. I gave her the address, the card was received and was greatly appreciated by my mother according to the care home.
However, within a few days I received an email from my sister saying how completely inappropriate it was that my birth mother should send a card to my mother and that I should be ashamed of myself.
I did not understand what she was saying and I asked her to clarify and my sister replied as follows: "to allow our mother to have post from the very person who gave birth to you and nothing else while our mother did everything else for you is frankly disgusting".
My sister then went on to say: "It is truly a low blow to ridicule a 94 year old lady by allowing this to happen. I imagine our parents had years of stress and possibly humiliation about their inability to have their own children especially in that era. I find your actions deplorable and humiliating to the woman you claim you love.”
I have never even considered that there would have been negative consequences about finding my birth mother. Now my sister is making out that I have done something wrong by doing so.
I'm a bit stunned by her reaction and would welcome comments.

OP’s posts: |
RuggerHug Thu 25-Jun-20 21:42:12

Your Mother was happy to receive the card and was encouraging when you wanted info and pursuing the relationship with your birth mother. It is nothing to do with your sister, but I completely get how it may be difficult for her. Either if she has no interest in her birth mother or if she's jealous you were able to find yours.

Being generous I'd reply that it's nothing to do with her and if she doesn't mention it again I'd let it go because she may have just lashed out.


Darkstar4855 Thu 25-Jun-20 21:42:50

YANBU. I think your sister is being ridiculous. Your birth mother is not responsible for your adoptive mother’s fertility struggles but gave her the greatest gift imaginable. If you are worried I would talk to your mother yourself and see how she feels about it (as much as her dementia allows). It sounds like she was perfectly happy to receive it, in which case your sister’s opinion is irrelevant.

lyralalala Thu 25-Jun-20 21:49:36

If your mother was supportive of you finding your birth mother and has had communication with her before then your sister is being silly.

Has your sister searched for her birth family? Could it be that she has a lot of emotions at the moment about the possibility of losing your mother and you have your birth mother now she may be thinking she'll lose you too?

JustMarriedBecca Thu 25-Jun-20 21:50:42

Adopted here. I can imagine my Mum would have openly supported my search for birth parents but secretly been devastated. I have very complicated circumstances anyway and as it is I know my Mum was deeply upset by contact from my birth parents. I remember my Mum saying, in a more honest moment, she was the one who raised me and was there during the good and bad and she didn't want my birth mother coming in and taking credit for how I turned out.

I don't have contact with my birth mother because I found her manipulative, entitled and delusional when I met her (she considered herself entitled to a relationship regardless of my wishes).

I don't necessarily agree with your sisters reasoning for your mother being upset, I don't think infertility was a stigma. But I can understand why your Mum might be upset and your sister feeling like she is acting in your Mum's best interests.

Sorry - probably not what you want to hear.

Sunnydayshereatlast Thu 25-Jun-20 21:52:39

Maybe some envy here - - has dsis been interested in finding /meeting her birth mother?

ChelseaCloisters Thu 25-Jun-20 21:59:51

Thanks for the replies. I think JustMarriedBecca is probably right about how my sister feels. My sister has said she does not want to find her birth mother. However my birth mother is the meekest mildest lady that one could meet and all she wants to do is express her gratitude.

OP’s posts: |
screwthedoldrums Thu 25-Jun-20 22:01:25

I have limited experience of adoption but this is your history, your truth and you shouldn't have to sweep it under the carpet. It sounds to me that you've conducted yourself in a very dignified and sensitive way all round. You could try and unpick your sister's feelings but I think she's wrong about this. I'm happy for you that you had a good outcome in exploring your past thanks

Ravenclawgirl Thu 25-Jun-20 22:08:32

As an adoptive mother I can confirm that I no longer feel sad that I was unable to conceive. I really don't think your Mother will be bothered. I would be happy to hear from any of my children's birth mothers.

Spied Thu 25-Jun-20 22:09:20

It really depends on the type of woman your mother is.
Before the dementia would she have been the type of woman who would support you but covertly feel upset at your need to find your birth mother, feeling somehow that it was a slight on her or would she have honestly been happy and understood and accepted that it was nothing personal and it changed in no way your relationship with her?
Only you will know the answer.
How was your relationship with your mother over the years?

Crunchymum Thu 25-Jun-20 22:11:52

It's done now so I think all you can do is try to get to the bottom of why it is upsetting your sister so much.

Is this the first time she has mentioned her feelings on this? Has your mum recently deteriorated? Seems like there is something else going on here.

SunshineCake Thu 25-Jun-20 22:16:58

I have only read the OP.

Your sister is talking bollocks. It is testament to your adoptive mum that she has welcomed your birth mum and been so kind. She could have felt threatened but she helped you find her and she has welcomed her into your family.

Is your sister jealous as she hadn't found her birth mother?

You've done nothing wrong. Please don't fret anymore. Maybe spend less time with your sister and listening to her and more with both your mums and find out all you can, from both of them and about both their stories and history.

MollFlanders2020 Thu 25-Jun-20 22:23:57

YANBU at all. flowers From what you said your mother was delighted with your birth mother’s thoughtful gesture. I think sending a card was a lovely thing to do.

Your sister is clearly troubled that you have found your birth mother and I wonder if she is jealous of you generally, or of your relationship with your mother and birth mother. Has she met your birth mother? Has she tried to contact her own birth parents?

I’ve changed my name for the purposes of this post. I was adopted in the 1970s. When I was 18 I traced both of my birth parents. They’d separated before I was born; they were both very young and came from difficult backgrounds. My adoptive mother and father couldn’t have kids of their own which is why they decided to adopt. When my adoptive parents met my birth mother my adoptive mum thanked her for giving her the chance to be a mother. She said much the same to my birth father who was a nervous wreck the first time they met - the poor man was so ashamed and embarrassed but my mum soon put him at ease. smile

My brother is also adopted but has no interest in finding his birth parents. He’s very bitter about the fact that his mother gave him up for adoption and just doesn’t want to know anything about them. That said, my mum told me he was jealous that I was allowed to trace my birth parents and he couldn’t (he was under 18 at the time). My brother and I aren’t close and he’s never mentioned my birth parents to me. He met them once or twice and was polite to them. He doesn’t discuss his own adoption with his wife either.

My adoptive parents are my real mum and dad and always will be - they did all the dirty work! My birth parents have always understood that.

GrumpyHoonMain Thu 25-Jun-20 22:25:42

I think your sister is grieving and attacking you because she thinks you are replacing your mum with your birth mum and your birth family may eventually replace her. In your position it wouldn’t be your birth mum I would be calling most days - it would be my sister and perhaps she’s hurt?

Dieu Thu 25-Jun-20 22:30:23

Your sister is probably projecting. You've had the happy 'reunion' ending with your birth mother (yay ... delighted for you! thanks) and I'm guessing the same hasn't happened for her.
YANBU and I'm sure you have treated your (adoptive) mum with all the love and respect she deserves.

unstableunicorn Thu 25-Jun-20 22:37:32

Agreed that it sounds like she's projecting and lashing out, your adoptive mother sounds like a wonderful person and supportive of the communication. Acknowledging your birth mother doesn't detract from all the love and care your mother has given you. Maybe try having a chat with your sister when she's cooled off a bit? But yanbu at all, don't feel like you've done anything wrong

Coffeecak3 Thu 25-Jun-20 23:25:41

Your adoptive dm has been a brilliant dm and supported you to find your birth mother. This doesn’t mean she may not have felt slighted or a lesser dm in some way.
Perhaps, in your determination to play happy families you have not truly gauged the feelings of your adoptive family.
I wonder if the stress of your dm having dementia has worried your dsis into thinking that if your dm does die soon you will try to replace your dm with your birth mum.
You need to reassure your dsis that your dm and her will always be your real family.

rawlikesushi Fri 26-Jun-20 06:03:33

Whilst your mum was openly supportive, she may have been privately upset about your growing relationship with your birth mother.

I think you need a proper conversation with your sister, who may know more about your mum's genuine feelings about the situation than you think.

Sometimes people put on a brave face to protect the people they love and emotions are complicated. Your mum may have been pleased for you whilst also being very hurt.

What was the card that your birth mother sent, to your mum in the care home?

lifestooshort123 Fri 26-Jun-20 07:08:14

It sounds a lovely thing to have done and was well received. Sounds as though your sister is unhappy about her own situation and is upset about possibly losing her mum so soon after her father. I'd give her some TLC personally.

Beautiful3 Fri 26-Jun-20 08:09:13

Both your mothers sound lovely. Your sister sounds unhinged. I have no idea what she's on about, making a mountain out of a molehill springs to mind! Always look for the good. Your mother was happy to receive a card. Your birth mother was happy to send it. Nothing else, like your sisters opinion matters.

MrsMozartMkII Fri 26-Jun-20 08:13:34

This is your life, not your sister's.

Both your mums were happy with the contact so that's what matters.

LunaLula83 Fri 26-Jun-20 08:19:24

Your sister isn't important in this context. She's not part of the story so tell her that clearly and then you move on. Your sister is choosing to make it all about her. You kniw it.

GinDrinker00 Fri 26-Jun-20 08:22:00

Don’t take notice of your sister, she’s protecting her fears and worries onto you.
What a lovely post OP, sounds fantastic that your birth mother and adoptive mother get on and both make a effort. Enjoy it. I love happy stories like this. smile

IDKNABYBIF22 Fri 26-Jun-20 09:04:43

Sorry to be blunt, but this really stuck out to me:

When my father passed away, my birth mother asked if she could attend the funeral and celebrate my father’s life and of course I said yes. I introduced my birth mother to my father's cousins and my birth mother was welcomed into the family.

confused she invited herself to your dad's funeral? Where you introduced her to your dad's family for the first time?!

I'm adopted, as in my sibling. If they did that I'd think it was odd at best, and be really hurt/angry at worse.

This is probably about more than just a card.

3ismylot Fri 26-Jun-20 09:35:03

I am adopted and grew up with a separately adopted brother and these days I am in contact with both my Birth parents but not my adoptive parents or adopted Brother any more (long back story of abuse).
My initial reaction to your post is that your Sister is possibly projecting? You say she didn't want to find her Birthmother, did she ever look at her court papers? I wonder if her situation was very different and she knows it would go nowhere? She may not be genuinely interested but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be.
I know my adopted Brother traced his Birthmother and it wasn't good, she had given up multiple babies both before and after him and literally slammed the door in his face when he was 18. In my case my parents were 17, my Mum split from my Dad without telling him she was pregnant and then she was forced by her parents to give me up and was delighted when I traced her about 12 years ago. I only traced my Dad 6 months ago which was a major shock for him but I have been welcomed with open arms by him and my siblings.
I do wonder if your Sister had a bad experience which is driving her opinion.

It sounds like both your Birth and Adoptive Mother have mutual respect for each other and the fact that the card was well received should reassure you that it was fine, even if your Adoptive Mother did have worries and emotions about you having a relationship with your Birthmother they are her worries and emotions not yours and she will have always known it was a possibility. It sounds like everyone was in agreement with the contact so I don't think you have done anything wrong.

Did you and your Sister have a close relationship before this?

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