Saturday, December 27, 2014

No, we will not be adopting

Over Thanksgiving my mom came to our house to stay for most of the week so we could spend some time together.  As the oldest of four kids, I seldom got alone time with my mom as a child, so it was really special when I did.  Even as an adult I haven't got to spend much quality alone time with her, partly because I've not lived at their house in almost 15 years and not in the same state in eight years, but also because no matter how many times I invited her to do things, she rarely took me up on the offer.  Today we have an amicable relationship, but I wouldn't characterize it as close, and I don't trust her.

She only knows about our infertility because we had planned to go to my parent's house the day we met with the doctor and received the diagnosis.  I called her to say that we would be a bit late (because not going at all would have created more drama than I could have handled), I had been crying, she picked up on it, and she pestered me until I finally told her just to shut her up.  I would have told her eventually but what I really needed at that time was to process it myself.  I asked her to keep it between us, so naturally she shared it with at least two of my sisters and god only knows who else.  I don't necessarily mind that these people know, but I do mind the manner in which they found out.  It was my story to share on my terms.

Over the summer we spent a couple of days at my parent's house.  At that time she brought IVF up and told us that it was something we could consider because she knows some lady who did it successfully, blah, blah, blah.  We told her that it wasn't an option that we wanted to pursue.  She pushed more.  Finally my husband told her that our family planning choices were ours to make and that we didn't need any outside pressure so he would appreciate it if she dropped it.  It hurt her feelings (because she likes to be the center of attention and get her way) but she did drop it.  Until Thanksgiving, that is.

My mom and I were alone in the car together and she brought up adoption.  She started the conversation with "your dad and I have been talking and we think you should adopt." (Translation: I've been thinking about this but wanted it to sound better so I threw your dad into the mix.)  Then she proceeded to tell me about all the people she knew who have adopted, including my best friend who has successfully adopted through the foster care system in the state where she lives.  According to her, adoption takes the pressure off of couples and a lot of them go on to conceive a baby.  Finally I managed to get out that adoption was a great way to build a family for a lot of people, but it wasn't something that we were open to considering for reasons personal to hubs and me and that it wasn't open for discussion and that I hoped she would respect our privacy and not talk about it anymore unless hubs or I brought it up.

I still don't think she fully gets it.  I know that she cares. I know that she feels bad for us.  I know she's just trying to help.  But her method of helping is actually pretty hurtful.  I just wish that she would understand that no we aren't trying IVF (among other things, there is a low probability that it would work anyway), no we don't need help paying for IVF (because money wasn't even in the top 5 reasons why we didn't want to do it-had we wanted to do it we would have figured out a way to pay for it), that there is no need to look into a gestational surrogate (because everything seemed to indicate that I would have no trouble carrying a baby), no we're not interested in adoption (we looked into it and decided it wasn't for us), no I'm not interested in hearing about what sexual positions you've heard are optimal for conceiving (because talking to my mother about sex is just as awkward at 33 as it was at 13, we tried everything you can imagine and more, and it's all junk science anyway), yes I know that I would have made an excellent mother and that hubs would have been an excellent dad, and yes I know that you are disappointed that you will never get to have grandkids from us.  I also wish that she would understand that she has no role in any decisions that we make.

So why did I decide to talk about conversations that happened over the summer and at Thanksgiving tonight?  Because I've been thinking about my mom's reaction to our infertility all afternoon.  Earlier she called just to tell me about all of the cool things that she bought for my niece that will be born in February.  Just more evidence that she just doesn't get it.  I'm doing everything I can to hold it together both pregnancies as it is and she goes and tells me about all the cute stuff that she bought.  Apparently I'm being selfish because I don't want to hear about it.  Whatever.  At least we got through Christmas without her bringing up our business.

Just needed to get that off of my chest.  I guess you could say that I have a lot of emotional baggage when it comes to my mother, but that started long before infertility.


  1. My mom did that as well - talking about all the cute pink stuff that she bought for my nieces. It is not selfish that we don't want to hear about it. It is self-preservation.

    Regarding adoption: there is a long list why we did not decide for that path. But one of the reasons is that I am 100 % sure that my parents wouldn't love my adopted children as much as they love my brother's children.

    Writing and getting stuff off your chest is good.

    Wishing you a lovely Sunday.

    1. I think that she tries, I really do, but I don't think she has any way of relating to our situation so she really doesn't understand that sometimes things she says are hurtful.

      I don't know how my parents would have reacted to adopted children. I think adopted children would have probably been treated differently too.

  2. It's so hard when they don't get it. I said once to my mother, "I know you meant to be helpful, but that doesn't really help at all." You sound a bit like me - that it's easier not to engage, but not to be pushed around either. I like the way you just stated the facts. And all the talk about the cute stuff she's buying? Yes, I'd say "I'm not the one you should be telling this too." She's not telling you for your benefit, or for your sister's benefit, she's telling you because it feels good to her to list what she's bought. She's the one being selfish, not you.

    1. It got better yesterday....she called to bitch about my sister's mother-in-law (a genuine piece of work, and not in a good way) and the baby shower that they are apparently planning. I knew nothing about it until yesterday. My mom started going on about what she would need me to do for it, I told her that I was busy that weekend and wouldn't be able to make it, she pointed out that she hadn't even told me the date, and I informed her that it didn't matter what the date was because I wasn't going to come. I'm sure she's upset with me and I don't care. My "phone battery died" before she had the chance to launch into a full on guilt trip.