Over the weekend we have told all of our immediate family about our plans to pursue adoption. On Friday we told my Dad when we went out to the cinema with him. On Saturday we were meant to be seeing my Mum but ended up speaking to her on the phone and today we have seen Patchwork's Mum and brothers and phoned my sister.
I was probably most worried about speaking to my Dad. I thought he would be the one that would take the news that we are unlikely to have a biological child the hardest. Although he has a grandson from my sister, I think there is a part of him that hoped/expected that I would give him a grandson to carry on the family line directly. Telling him was far easier than I thought it would be, and he took the news very well - asking about what the process would involve and how he could help, and how much he admired us for being willing to take on a child who is likely to have difficulties. I have the same first name as him, his father and my great-grandfather
and both of us have always assumed this would be a tradition that I would
carry on with my son one day. It's probably just another stage of me accepting that we are unlikely to have biological children, but I have to admit the thought that I will have no say over the name of my future child is quite a strange thing to accept.
We had planned to see my Mum on Saturday - a visit that had been planned even before we sent off the first set of paperwork to our local authority. However, she had to change her plans so we spoke to her over the phone instead. As much as I love my Mum, she sometimes appears to have a unique view of the world, and doesn't seem to understand that the things she says can upset people. For example, my previous marriage was to a woman from Eastern Europe and my Mum and her got on reasonably well. Over dinner one evening, the conversation turned to immigration and my Mum proceeded to tell us how bad it was that women from Eastern Europe (even going so far as to specify the country my ex is from) were able to marry British men and come over here and get work, become British citizens etc. When we pointed out that we were in that situation, her response was "Well I don't mean you two obviously" and genuinely couldn't understand why her comments had upset us both so much.
When I told her that we were planning to adopt and the reasons behind the decision, she made some comments rather unkind comments about Patchwork not being able to lose weight. I know she didn't mean them to be unkind, but that doesn't make it easier to deal with. Fortunately, she also made a suggestion that was so silly, Patchwork and I were able to laugh about it all. My mum asked if we had considered fostering - I explained to her that we wanted to have our own children, and that with fostering there would always be the feeling that it was a temporary arrangement, that we were looking after someone elses children for a limited period of time rather than being a family. Her response - "Isn't it better to foster so that you can give the child back if there are any problems?" !!!! I'm not sure if it's me or my sister she wanted to give back to the proverbial stork!
We told Patchwork's mum, her partner and her two brothers over lunch today and I felt it went very smoothly. I think her brothers were a little bit shocked by the situation, and possibly a bit embarrased listening to their sister talking about infertility problems. Her mum and partner were very supportive and asked lots of questions about what would be happening and what they could do to help.
I knew that my sister would be very excited by the news, and although we only had a short conversation on the phone (she had to put my nephew to bed) she was very positive about everything.