Monday, January 5, 2015

Growing Family Bonds

I often wonder if the hardest part of parenting an adopted child isn't about the child at all, but dealing with our extended family tree. I've talked about an incident we had with my family. We still occasionally have issues, but things have improved over the past year and my family is willing to accept our decisions as what is best for Buddy.

Hubby sat down with his family proactively to try to avoid similar problems. We thought this was both the smart and considerate thing to do.

We may have been wrong.

Over the past few weeks we have noticed Hubby's parents withdrawing, but we have been so busy with birthday and holiday preparations that we put it on the back burner. At both Hubby's and Buddy's birthdays they seemed distant. Hubby called and emailed them a few times before Christmas but didn't get any response. We were pretty sure that there was a storm brewing.

Hubby's mother's birthday is right before Christmas. We went over for cake and presents that night and everything seemed a bit off. As we were getting ready to go, Hubby's Mom gave Buddy a hug. I heard her whisper to him "Now when I tell you I love you, you tell me I love you back"...

I let it go.

Every year, on Christmas Eve, we go to Hubby's parent's house for a traditional supper with the Hubby's extended family. Buddy overindulged on snacks and wasn't feeling well, so I took him to lay down. When we left the dinning room, Hubby's mother tore into him saying she felt cut out of our family.

Hubby didn't know what to say. He didn't think this was true, but also didn't like that his mother was feeling upset. Buddy still felt ill and wanted to go home, so we retreated for the night.

On Christmas day, after opening presents at home, we headed off to visit both sets of grandparents. The evening culminated at my mother's house with a turduken (chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey) dinner. Everything seemed ok, but it clearly wasn't. After a few hours, Hubby's parents were making a hasty exit with his mother upset and in tears.

So, now what? Who knows. Hubby says it is best to give her a few days to "decompress" and then he will try to figure out what the issue is. I have my suspicions.

Maybe I'm wrong, and I hope so.

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