Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not sure what to think...

I am sad, confused and hurt right now. I am trying to wrap my mind around a conversation I had with one of my good friends a little earlier today. I am sitting here baffled and angry and the only thing I can think of to possibly help a little bit is to blog. Let me give you a brief recap.

I have a friend, Susan. (I will call her Susan to protect her ignorance....I mean, identity). She has been very excited for our family as we grew through adoption. I have never heard her say anything anti-adoption or extremely ignorant until today.

She called to see how my day was. I told her that I have had a great day. I went on to tell her that we had Lil Princess dedicated at church this morning and 14 of our family members joined us to support us. Included that 14 were N and her mother. I thought it was great they were there.

Here is a general overview of how the conversation went from there...

Susan: Yeah, the whole idea of you having N around so much freaks me out.

Me: (a bit surprised and confused) Um, why?

Susan: Well, I don't know. It is just weird!

Me: What is weird, I guess I don't understand?

Susan: You invited her to go scrapbooking with you Friday night (she knew this from a previous conversation) and then she was there today. In my opinion, you should only invite family to something like a dedication.

Me: N IS family. She is Lil Princess' mom.

Susan: No! YOU are her mom, N is not her mom any more.

Me: Yes, N is her mom. We are both her mom. I am ok with that idea, why aren't you? Besides, what do you care anyway?

Susan: I care because YOU are her mom and I don't want N to hurt you later on. I don't see how anything good can come from her staying involved this much.

Me: *by this time I am shocked. I have talked about my relationship N with Susan many times and I have never heard her say anything like this before.* Well, I don't think I will hurt from this relationship. I have prayed, read books, prayed, read blogs, prayed, talked to adoptees, prayed, talked to first moms, and did I mention prayed? I think our relationship is healthy for all persons involved.

Susan: I don't I said, this whole thing just weirds me out. She is not Lil Princess' mom, you are and I hate to hear you share that title when you have worked so hard to get it.

Me: I didn't work hard! I did very little, actually. I am not sure we should talk about this anymore right now. I love N. She is my friend. I will continue to have her be a part of our lives because I believe that is the right thing to do for Lil Princess and because I like N. I enjoy seeing her.

Susan: Maybe I should just shut up now.

Me: You don't have to understand, I guess. I shouldn't assume you can ever understand, for that matter. Adoption is complex. It takes time to listen, learn, understand and realize that it isn't just about the adopting parents, but so much more. Since you have never been adopted, nor do you ever plan to adopt, you probably won't take enough interest to fully understand the importance of an open adoption. You just have to understand that I have spent time doing those things and I am not naive about the whole subject.

Susan: So, what are you doing this week?

Ok, so I hung up the phone and felt angry, hurt, confused, and sad all at the same time. I guess I just assumed she understood adoption, but obviously I was wrong. How could she, really? She worries about me, her friend. She doesn't worry about N. She doesn't understand why N feels a connection to Lil Princess even. What?!?!?! How could she NOT feel a connection...seriously?!?! Anyway, I just needed to vent. Ignorance is everywhere and I just learned that it hits closer to home than I realized before today.

So, now I have to shake this icky feeling off and pray for guidance on how to continue this friendship. I really care for this person and I can not hold ignorance against her. I can, however, hold it against her if she refuses to learn from what I am saying or just keep her mouth shut on the subject.

Any thoughts on what I should do/say?


PeWee said...

You can pray and continue to have conversations about it. I understand where Susan is coming from, I was there once myself before I DUG deep into adoption. Open adoption is so foreign to sooo many because it doesn't touch their lives. As adoptive parents we have to talk about it, we have to educate. BUT you don't have to always do it on another's terms, if a conversation is started you can say "not now."

I know with Lil Bug and her SB you have to have LOTS of convos about that with ignorant people, and now Lil Princess' adoption opens more convos with ignorant people. *sigh

Since you love and care about Susan and she's important to you, it will be worth it to continue to educate and answer her questions and not let her get away with ignorant and wrong statements.

N IS Lil Princess' Mom, YOU are Lil Princess Mom, whether Susan gets it or not doesn't change the facts.

BlessedWithDaughters said...

Your friend has a big learning curve ahead of her if she is going to have a hard time really *hearing* you about this. I think it would be worthwhile to find out if she's unwilling to talk further about it because she's uncomfortable with the topic itself, or if it's that she does't like that you're not accepting what she's saying (i.e. making it about herself rather than about you). If she's concerned for YOU, then maybe she can come around. If it's about herself and her opinions, then you have an uphill battle on your hands.

Rob's sister-in-law is an adoptee from a closed adoption. She gets very upset with me about our willingness for openness. To the point that I can't talk to her about it anymore. At all. It hurts, and it has damaged my relationship with her. But she's family and I love her, and she has her own reasons and fears that cause her difficulties in hearing me about my girls and their first moms.

Prayers for you and your friend. I hope that the relationship won't be irrepairable.


SJ said...

I think those who commented before me have said just about everything I could possibly say.

Thank you for standing up for the relationship you believe in. Really, it means a lot. Praying for you . . .

BouWho said...

It's great how you approached it. It's normal to be upset by the way she took it. I will be praying that Susan will learn to accept and respect your relationship with N.

nush said...

Gosh Ang, I can understand how it hurt to have that conversation with your good friend. I honestly revert back to the belief that God puts people, friends into our lives for different reasons and different seasons. Maybe your friend will see where your coming from at some point, or maybe she will never agree and the decisions you make concerning your children will cause your friendship to change and move in a different direction. Whatever the case, all you can do is stand firm in what you feel is the best thing for your girls and let the chips fall where they may. You have many wonderful friends who share your same views concerning your adoption. You have so much support from family, and a lot of your friends. Even though it hurts when close friendships change, we get through it, and God blesses us with new awesome friendships. I'm sorry you are feeling hurt and angry. you did an awesome job in educating her about your adoption and that is all you can do.
i love ya!!

LeeJo said...

Angie, it is true Christianity to risk hurt of yourself to reach out to another. Reaching out if there is no risk is not really reaching out. You are well past her comfort zone of care and concern. I am sorry for Susan for not understanding this. All I can say is to pray for her heart.

You, on the other hand, are a wonderful, beautiful person, don't take it too hard, just continue to show her what real love is.