Thanksgiving 2005Posted: December 5, 2012
This past Sunday, we had “Thanksgiving” dinner with my husband’s family. His youngest brother and his wife are usually the hosts for things on this side of the family, as they have the biggest home to fit everyone. This year they had Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law’s family in the Chicago area. Having this dinner a week later was so very nice.
No rushing from one house to the next. No feeling guilty for not eating at the second dinner. The entire evening was nice. I even spoke to my husband’s niece and his sister. Time can heal wounds, at least a little bit.
When my husband and I first started our process to adopt from foster care, it was in the fall of 2005. The year prior his mother had passed away right after the holiday, so that first Thanksgiving holiday after her death was a difficult for all of us. We had decided to tell his family about our intentions to adopt at dinner. It seemed like perfect timing. We would have everyone all together at one time, and we could tell them all. At that point we had gone to our informational meeting, completed background checks, and were about to start PS-MAPP classes the following week.
When we told my family, it was literally like telling them that we were expecting in a traditional sense. My parents were thrilled for us, my sister and brother-in-law were excited, and they wanted to learn everything they could about the process, what they could do to help, etc. I remember my Mom taking me aside, and telling me that she was so happy for us because she always knew that I would some day want to be a mother again.
His family was cold.
No one congratulated us.
No one said a single thing that was positive.
In fact, someone asked if my husband was too old. Someone asked why we needed more kids. Weren’t foster kids going to be messed up? Someone stated that we had four daughters, and they were either grown or almost grown, so why would we do this to ourselves and start all over again? Why did we need/want more children?
It was awful.
The conversation eventually dried up, and it was weird awkward silence for the rest of the night.
They took this joyful moment for us and, for lack of a better term, just pissed all over it.
We both knew that had my husband’s mom been alive, she would have been thrilled for us. There is little doubt in either of our minds that Mea would have been her girl. She loved all the grandkids and great-grandkids, but we both know there would have been an unbelievable bond between the two of them. They would have been two peas in a pod. So similarly tempered, both comedians, they would have loved each other so much. I wish that my mother-in-law could have lived long enough to meet my beautiful girl.
Sometimes, I just think how amazing it is how things can change after time. This year, at this later than normal Thanksgiving dinner, the kids played. Mea was doted on by both of her uncles, her cousins and her aunts. The youngest in the family, besides our grandkids, she gets lots of attention from everyone.
I am glad that they have all come around. I am glad that they all love her.
I am happy with myself for not taking that initial reaction from them to heart. It would have been hard to get to the point that we are at now with all of them.