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Adult adoptee. Do they want me to back off?

8 replies

lomega · 06/07/2015 21:13

My DH was adopted at birth and has always known, he has had letters/photos exchanged (both between his BM and mother when he was young, and between himself and BM as an adult). So relations are good all round.

Recently we had our own DS (who is now 18mos) and he wrote to his BM after a long absence of a few years to tell her she was a grandma, when Ds was about 6 months old.. she wrote back to say she was delighted and has been sending our son gifts in the post since she knew, which made my heart soar.

DH's BM also said he had 2 half siblings, a brother and a sister, with a link to their Facebook accounts so we could add them as friends. DH and I both added them and were chatting, very happy to be in touch etc.

However DH is very shy, crap at replying to messages, and can back away from any situations that are too 'much' for him (If that makes sense). I think it all got a bit much as he stopped talking to his DB and DS, as he wanted time to 'think things through' (I think they were asking him to meet up and meet our DS)
Throughout this, I have still kept the Facebook chatty happy lighthearted messages going with both of his siblings, sending photos of our DS and asking how they are etc. Anytime they have asked personal things about DH or asked to meet up (or anything heavy) I have redirected it back to DH as I feel it should be his decision.

Sorry for the long intro but here's the crux.

For DH's bday a couple of weeks ago we got a letter from DH's BM, saying although "Lomega is great" it is easier for girls to express emotion, and that further contact has to be initiated by DH in future.
I am a bit hurt/confused, and although I'm very happy to back off and keep my nose out, I didn't think anything was wrong/pushed/too heavy, from any party? I have certainly not pushed for contact or been forceful or sneaky or anything like that, DH chose to contact his BM to tell her about our child, and I'm supportive of that, and have merely been delighted to talk to DH's other relatives who are equally pleased to be auntie/uncle.

Did I do something wrong? I am not adopted myself and Dh is my first partner I've ever been with that has been adopted so I'm just not familiar at all with the feelings/actions etc it entails. So sorry if I sound dumb.

OP posts:
Smellyoulateralligator · 07/07/2015 00:08

Hi lomega - it sounds like you are doing everything from a place of concern for your DH, and it's great you've been so supportive.

Do you think his siblings have picked up on the fact that he wants to take gongs slower and are keen for the relationship to progress at you DH's pace?

It sounds to me that they don't want to jeapordise any future relationship by taking the lead on things.

It doesn't sound like you've done anything wrong really, but it might not be a bad thing to let your DH deal with them in his own time and his own pace.

Smellyoulateralligator · 07/07/2015 00:08

things not gongs

mintysmum · 10/07/2015 22:33

It's really hard to look in on a situation and see what's going on but I wonder if they are feeling upset/hurt that their suggestions to meet up with your DH have not been taken up. I am NOT saying this is justified, not at all and that's totally your DHs choice. But it sounds like they were open to the contact in the first place, then suggesting meeting up which is taking it up a level and might have taken a degree of emotional strength to make that suggestion. If your DH went quiet at that stage they may be feeling hurt.
So it could be nothing negative about you, but having contact with their birth sibling through a partner may feel quite frustrating to them.
I have different levels of contact with two birth siblings but no contact (except one phone call) with their partners and I would find it odd to unless we become part of a wider family in time, for now as we're quite new to each other partners wouldn't really be involved.
Maybe your DH isn't really feeling he can connect with his birth siblings in which case perhaps it's better to leave it. But he may change in that view in time, these things evolve and I think you have to sit back and allow it to develop naturally, or not.
I imagine that was quite hurtful to read though, but it really isn't directed at you personally.

Fizrim · 10/07/2015 22:48

From your OP, it sounds as if your husband didn't contact his BM for a few years, so she may not be too surprised that he has stopped contacting his half siblings - perhaps she thinks he will contact them again like he did with her?

I don't think it's anything you should take personally, but I can also see with a young child of your own that you would want your DH to keep the lines of communication open. But it is up to him. I hope it works out for you all.

Tangerineandturquoise · 11/07/2015 11:13

Lomega who is keeping up the contact you or your DH?
Maybe he doesn't want the full time sibling relationship you are creating by treating them as if they are the family he grew up with with frequent day to day ineraction-maybe he does want a bit of distance but as you say isn't very good at expressing that- in which case you aren't filling in the gaps as such but creating something both sides sense he doesn't want.
He couldn't control his relationships in infancy, or through a lot of his childhood but he can try to control this relationship and you should let him.
He said he wanted to back off a bit so let him.

Tangerineandturquoise · 11/07/2015 11:17

Sorry that reads more harshly than I intended it to- what I am trying to say is let him dictate the pace of this. It is probably the only bit of control he has ever had he needs to work out how to use it Smile

Kewcumber · 11/07/2015 23:01

No you aren;t doing anything wrong in a ususal family what you are doing is probably quite typical. But this is not a "usual" family with a typical anything.

If I have read correctly your DH's BM has asked you to back off not your DH.

Like Minty I think, she may be upset that you are providing this kind of contact and not him. She may even have convinced herself that if you weren't doing it he would.

You feel hurt because you seem to think its about you. It really isn't about you one bit. Just back off and let them have whatever relationship they settle into naturally on their own.

Italiangreyhound · 11/07/2015 23:55

lomega I am sorry this is hard. I agree with everyone's comments. And especially it is not about you. So although you have not done anything wrong at all, you now know that your DH's BM would rather let him do the contacting if there is any to be done.

I think that those of us looking in (I am mum to a boy by adoption) can kind of feel all that ends well is well, if people can find each other and build a relationship later in life it is good. And maybe it is good. But it is not the same as growing up together and if you dh is not very talkative he may find it hard to express how he really feels.

Please be there primarily for your dh, for what he needs not what anyone thinks would be good. I know that is what you want to do and with a quiet husband myself I know it can be hard to know what is going on inside their heads! Let him lead. It is his story and it is not a happy ever after ending, especially if the brother and sister have grown up with his BM, this may have made it very hard for him to take in. Things may change, there may be more contact, or less, but whatever happens let your dh lead and remember you are doing all this for him, you are a good wife and I am sure he really appreciates it all, but he needs the autonomy, as Tangerine says He couldn't control his relationships in infancy, or through a lot of his childhood but he can try to control this relationship...

That is something I need to remember when I make mental plans for my little boy meeting his birth parents when older, he just may not wan to.

Bless you.

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