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Wednesday, 15 August 2007

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Crapola, woman, what a family!

I'd keep it short, sweet, and simple. Smile with a lot of teeth and always have somewhere else to go so you can't be cornered by the nosies. (AKA the 'Oh, look! It's Aunt Myrtle!' ploy)

Oh, and have a BIG drink.

I think your first instincts are great. People will only learn if they want to. Be ready to teach if they fit into that category. If they don't want to learn, save your teaching energy.

I would like to think of you cultivating a kindly (but slightly condescending) smile, such as one you might give to an earnest child who has sweet intentions but no grasp of the situation at hand, and explaining that some very smart people have helped Millie and Mr Millie look through all the options, so there's no need for them to worry, but thanks. Then calling them gorgeous, saying, "Come here!" and giving them a bear hug followed by a wistful sigh and a rub against the cheek.

Bea

Dude, the grandchildren with the different last names don't get college funds?

Um, I don't think I have anything constructive to say after that...

As much as my first reaction is to scream "F you" right in their faces, I know that won't work. Fun, but not productive.

I'd say as little as possible. My in-laws don't even know how we got pg with Max and we sure as hell didn't tell them anything else.

I'd keep it "need to know" with them because they are big mean doody heads. Tell them whatever when there's something to tell, but no need catching crap before then.

Oh man. They sound like a total nightmare. I'm sorry that on top of the lame Renaissance Fair you have to deal with that.
I think I would lay it all out for them in a this-is-final, flat voice that brooks no argument. But maybe not at the reunion? Too many people to gang up on you. I'd just keep breezy and light and say, "We'll let you know when we know!" if anyone asks you about family plans.
I hope they surprise when you do break the news to them...

that's a toughy... on the one hand, they suck big green donkey dicks and who wants to deal with that? on the other hand, i'm the type of person who is all about laying everything out (not volunteering it necessarily, but if asked) and being very clear about boundaries. i'm the person who would say something very clear like, 'it's unfortunate you don't feel you can love a non genetically related child as much as a genetically related one because it means you will be missing out on your grandchild as well as the most important part of your son's life. but i'm sure you thought of that when you made your opinion known and are comfortable with living with the consequences... or else you wouldn't have said what you said, right?'

i'm all about confronting the IL's with their bad behavior b/c i figure at a minimum, they will NEVER be able to claim ignorance. and it also makes me feel like less of their doormat. while they still act like a-holes a lot of the time, i have seem some small improvements in their behavior, even it's just them biting their tongue more, over the last several years... and those are tiny victories for me.

i say all of this b/c i don't know which way to point you. i guess i would say go with whatever strategy both you and the Mister can agree to and that will do the least harm to the relationship b/t with the 2 of you b/c that's the only important thing here.

Why do people have to suck so much?

I like just getting a blank look on my face and walking away...leave them wondering.

I think you do what works for you. Not for them. Your life. Not their life.

If this were me? I would say nothing. I'd wait until there was an actual situation in which I was going to be coming through the door with a child who belonged to me, and then I'd deal with telling them the information that would accurately convey the impending arrival, but not the circumstances (unless it was the adoption of a baby). I'd want to be the one to explain things to my own child before someone who had such big issues with lineage, etc. stirred the pot. It comes down to the fundamental thought that you cannot untell someone something. Once the bell is rung, everyone and a few you don't count on, hears it.

Isn't family great?

I think your initial suggestion to calmly lay it out for them if the questions get asked is the right one. Sadly,given their behaviour with their other grandchildren, I don't think you're going to be able to magically convert them, and perhaps letting go of any aspirations to do so will help make it a bearable situation?

Once the child/ren are here, would pointing out to them, along the lines of "if you aren't going to behave well towards our children we simply won't bring them to see you, which means you won't see us either" help?

I agree w/Thalia. I still remember having a polite argument w/my mother-in-law about adoption (she was wishing her one childless daughter would just have any old kid before she went into menopause, because to her mind pregnancy and childbirth are the most important experiences a woman can have. I'll spare you the details, but I think it helped lay the groundwork for what we have now (a child genetically related to me and not Wolfgang). Point is, I think you have to lay groundwork and set precedents where you can. Once you have the babes, you will be emotionally raw and physically exhausted. Not time for articulate boundary laying then...

Oh yeah, my MIL came around fully, but she's nowhere near the pieces of work your inlaws are...

xoxo
JennaM

Not that you're not emotionally raw and physically exhausted now, dearie...

My family is pretty liberal and they have been very accepting of our decision to start a family through adoption. They just assume we chose that route because of I have MS. Unfortunately that is not true, my hubby is infertile.

September 1st marks a year that we have been waiting. We have decided to try DI. At this point dh does not want to tell everyone (I do), but he does want to tell our child when he/she is old enough to understand procreation. We will work on that, I know it's because he feels insecure. Anyway, we have been planting the seed slowly with relatives. I've said things like, we have been working w/various doctors. I was really worried about my MS and the affect being pregnant would have on my body. We have told my parents we are purusing DI, but we would never tell my in-laws. They are very closed minded. Not because of the genetic issue...religion. We are going to use that urban legend about couples who are told they won't be able to have children get pregnant (it a miracle!). We are still pursuing adoption.

Having family accept the choices you choose is very difficult. I admire you for choosing to be honest with people you know will not approve of your decision.

I have a similar situation with one SIL. So far I just cry when I get home after every visit.

I am sorry they are so dense. I am sorry they can't celebrate whatever path works for you.

I hope someone can give you advice, I can only offer empathy.

I think you should be loud and proud that you are adopting. What ever "vibe" you give your family will follow you and your children for the rest of your lives. We adopted and thank god our families were delighted for us but you will see once you have that baby that it does not matter where they came from, just that they are home now. Please Please Please stay strong and positive and excited that you are adopting and how wonderful that you will have a new member of the family. If anyone gives you one bit of grief or a wisper or a sidlong glance you face it head on and reiterate how proud and excited you and the mister are. Oh, and fuck'em if they cant take it. You will be SO HAPPY once you have your kid(s) that you will protect them if anyone so much as looks at them wrong - believe me. Can you tell I feel strongly about this!!! Good Luck and dont take any shit from anyone - everyone who wants a family deserves to have one. Remember that! Maggie

I probably wouldn't get too specific with them at a huge family function. If it were me, I'd probably say something like "We're still working on it. One way or another, we WILL be parents."

Back in the day, I was too angry to say anything when people started to say stupid things. I just poured myself another glass of wine and cried when I got home. I'm not sure how productive that was....

Your plan to start sowing some seeds but not go much further sounds like a good one. You've explored all the angles and been dealing with all the questions for quite some time now. Your in-laws are newbies, and from what you've experienced so far, they're frame of reference isn't all that favourable either.

Honestly, my assvice to you is to let your husband figure out how to deal with his crazy family. You, as resident fixer, have been dealing with this stuff for a long time. It is important for hubby to take on his family and leave you out of it. It should be a boundary area for you. They are crazy enough. Don't get drawn into their crazy.

This is the approach I take with my hubby's extremely crazy family.

Before I started reading the comments I was ready to blurt out : "Ooooh Ooooh! Need to know basis! Need to know basis!" And then I nodded when I read: "Lay a little groundwork now, you'll be too raw later"--but the little guy in the Pink Section of The Chron in me was jumping up and down on his chair when Liana said--"Leave it to The Mister!" I know you don't like to throw him to the lions, though, so I guess I would say--"It will happen when it happens, however it happens, and we are excited about it--my parents just can't wait to be grandparents [again]" (however you want to express yourself, plus throwing up the other GP's makes for a little competition--they might not want to be the only judgemental jerks in that case-but I won't bet you on it from what you have written...), then pivot to a new topic. How you think Hilly will make The Best President Ever. Something mild like that. (Or whatever version of that which would set off your IL's) I love pivoting to the new topic. Makes me feel way in control. But the secret is to do it quick before they know what happened.

I am so totally livid for you. My first inclination was to say that none of it is their business, and then I hate to say my second inclination was the same. Personally I would say "I don't want to discuss this - it's a personal situation." Frankly, I wish you could disassociate yourselves from these fuckheads - sounds like they'll treat your kids as poorly as they treat you.

I want to beat their heads in for you.

Sorry for the rant. I'm sure I'm no help.

that's not family it's tyranny!

um anyways....no assvice.
just a hearty 'good luck with that!'

I have no idea. Because they're crazy. And you can't reason with crazy. You can, however, keep your future kids away from crazy. Which is, I suspect, what you will do.

I sometimes wonder where D came from...he is nothing like his family (except for the usual "quirks"). Unfortunately, I can't give you any assvice, since we haven't even figured out "if" we will ever tell his family about the DE. Funny how "they" will be the weird ones in our scenario, and my family (including my dad, who I was initially worried about) who know every detail, couldn't love these kids more, and fall all over themselves to have "baby time" with them. Good luck, and just count your blessings that you MIL doesn't live 3 blocks away. Fucking realtor.

Oh lord. That's rough. I couldn't imagine if our families weren't down with our adoption. People are SO idiotic sometimes. I hope you don't end up having to distance yourself from his family but it may just come to that. Sad, but true. Not good for the kids to be exposed to such assiness.

My only assvice is to take a vacation after your "vacation." You deserve it!

I don't know if there is any "one" right way to deal with this. I mean, it's all just so perverse and effed up... for gawd sakes they are rejecting innocent little FAMILY members! (I know, preaching to the choir.)

How do you think they would react to actually knowing the "source" of the potential grandkid(s)? Is there anything that can realistically be said or purposefully not said about it? Would not telling them the whole story come back to bite you later? Is there any way you can (or would want to) keep the donor situation away from the 'rents, and just act like 'Of *course* this is OUR baby!' --? Is there any way you can pull that off?

It seems a Catch-22, no matter what you say or how you say it, it's likely to come back and bite you in the ass. And that totally sucks. Some people just always need to be right-- or at least *think* they are-- even if they are really, really wrong.

What I hope for the most is that you end up with real live tiny reasons despite dealing all this family CRAP! (I hope that makes sense.)

I would say nothing until it becomes an issue or let the Mister handle them. Do I sense some tension between you and the Mister? Does he have your back on this one? Because he should, before you start this process.

Unfortunately, if you tell them in advance, they may interpret that as actually being able to influence you. If you really don't care what they think, don't give them an opportunity until it's fait accompli. Then deal with it.

I am too late to offer an opinion, but it would have been to "put it all out there". If they learn something, great. If they say stupid things, walk away.

I am looking forward to reading how it all went.

The situation you and the mister are up against breaks my heart. It's like, it's not enough that you've battled infertility. Traveled to the far corners of the earth to try to have a child. Risked your life with an ectopic. All you want is a family of your own. And these people will hold it against you for doing it however you can? It just seems so cruel.

Perhaps it would be useful to remind them that until the advent of genetic testing, none of us could be assured of our parentage and thinking that one has an "unbroken lineage that goes back to the Mayflower" is a pipe dream considering how women have had dalliances on the side, marry while pregnant to someone who isn't the father, or have children as the product of crimes against women, incestuous or otherwise.

I think you have some great suggestions here for how to deal with them and I can't really add much to it. Maybe you'll need to find some "adoptive grandparents" for your children to bond to since the mister's are so hostile. It's just unfair for them to get the title "grandparents" when it's not in their heart to be as such. ((hugs))

As if I needed reminding, this post reminded me that dealing with family was my absolute least favor part (including the hysterscopy) of IVF. It sucked. I don't quite know what to say other than it's your inlaws who lose by this behavior. Not you. Not your husband. Not your children.

I don't know what to tell you, because I'd draw a hard line.

I wouldn't want my children to pick up on the sub-text at family get togethers that they are not approved of, cherished, and loved - if they can't see your potential children as precious and valuable then they are not true family.

On the other hand, how you bring your children into your family is entirely your business and the details do not need to be shared especially with such cave people.

Hey, Mil. We didn't even tell our families - only a very few close friends. We just didn't want the hassle. Don't know if we ever will...I guess it will be up to the kids when their older, but I will tell them I prefer they not tell them (although I don't know how just yet).

Families....gotta luv 'em!

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