Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The ‘Rents

First, thank you for all of your comments about my Hubs and how we are working through this infertility stuff. I received such great advice and insights from your comments – you guys are going to help me through this, I know it!!! So good to have you in my life!!!! On to the ‘rents:

In the past couple of days, I’ve talked to four of the seven parents in my life. Yes it’s true, I have seven parents. There’s Dad (the guy that raised me) and Step-Mom (awesome, amazing woman), Mom (the woman that raised me) and Step-Dad (ok guy – he’s good to my mom, and pretty much ignores me, and we’re both fine with that situation), Birth Father (I talk to about 6 times a year for the last couple years but haven’t seen since I was 4 when I was adopted) and his wife (have never met or talked to her), and Birth Mother (haven’t talked to in a few years, haven’t seen since I was 4, but we exchange Christmas cards and pictures).

So now that we have my family tree straight, I talked to four parents lately, which is very rare for me. I talk with my Dad and Step-Mom very occasionally, but when I do, it’s really nice. I don’t think I’ve talked with them since January. But they’re both incredibly good to me, and so sweet when I talk with them on the phone. Dad has been cleaning stuff out, and he just sent me a package with tons of documents and pictures. There were some pictures that my Birth Father had sent my Dad, and lots of notes from both my Birth Father and my Birth Grandmother to my Dad, thanking him for the pictures of me that he had sent to them, and commenting on the news about my school studies, or other stuff in my life. It was really nice to receive, so I called my Dad to thank him for sending the package to me. I told him how much I appreciate it, and he was really nice. We chatted for a bit, and he was asking about what was going on. I told him for the first time that we are going through fertility treatments. He handled it really well, asked a couple vague questions, said he hoped it worked for me, that he was sure it was really tough, and then handed the phone to my Step-Mom. She hadn’t overheard my conversation with Dad, so I told her as well, and she was amazing. Just started gushing about how excited she was that we were doing this, and how she was going to pray and light candles for me, and I could call her anytime to talk or scream or whatever I needed. She truly is an amazing woman, and I’m so happy my dad decided to marry her and bring her in my life.

Then I called my Birth Father. We rarely talk, maybe every couple months, and it has been awhile. It is usually so very awkward when we talk. He is an artsy creative musical grown-up hippie kind of guy, and I’m an accountant. We have nothing in common. I grew up taking piano lessons, and got somewhat good at it, but I never really liked it. But he keeps grasping at this musical connection and urging me to buy a piano and take it up again. He’s always asking which composers I like and such, and I just fumble my way through the conversation. I feel really bad, because I want to have a relationship with him, and we’ve generally moved past the “I’m sorry I couldn’t take care of you – I was an alcoholic” and the awkward response of “It’s ok, it was a good life” conversation, but now we’re trying to develop a relationship. So hard. Anyway, I called him to tell him about the package Dad sent me, and to ask about my grandmother, his mother. So that was nice. It was a pretty short conversation, and he talked all about my grandmother – she lived for 97 years! I’m sad I didn’t start talking to my birth father until the last few years. When he tried to start talking with me originally during my early 20’s, I wasn’t really ready to talk to him, but my grandmother was still alive, and I could have seen her again. She took care of me for a bit before I was adopted…

So then last night I called my Mom. I’ve talked before about how we’ve always struggled, but things are kind of better. She’s trying to be supportive, and nice. But I still have to call her – she won’t call me, and I have to carry the conversation a lot of the times. But she warmed up last night and we talked for awhile. I’ve told her from the start of the fertility treatments what I was doing, and she was actually very nice and supportive during the last IUI, so I wanted to tell her I’m about to start another one so she would be involved. We got on the conversation of what we will do next if this IUI doesn’t work, and I told her about IVF. I told her a little about what it involved, and she asked about the cost, and I told her. Then she told me what she thought about it. And I’ll give her credit that she wasn’t going to tell me what she really thought, because she said she didn’t want me to think it was against me. Or that she wouldn’t support my decision. But I encouraged her to share her opinion, because I was curious. And I’ve come to the conclusion a LONG time ago that her opinion doesn’t really matter in my life, as I don’t need her approval. (but it sure would be nice… can’t believe I actually admitted that)

She thinks that any fertility treatments are against Mother Nature and God, that if God wanted me to have kids, that I would get pregnant naturally. That maybe God has a plan for me that doesn’t involve kids. I should just accept whatever happens naturally, because when I put my choice into something that is supposed to be natural, then it may have unintended consequences from going against God. Then I asked her about herself. She couldn’t get pregnant and therefore, she adopted me. That was her choice, and she didn’t go with what God gave her. She thought that was a good point, and instead of going with what God gives me, I should maybe adopt. I love how she can just change her mind based on whatever makes her look good. Plus she couldn’t imagine spending $15K on IVF, so I should adopt, which in her mind is much less expensive. I told her an approximate amount for adoption – don’t really know how much it is, but I seem to remember hearing something around $40K, and she was horrified. I reminded her that she adopted in 1979, and prices may have changed… The conversation actually went very well, she said again that she will support me in my decisions, and it was very pleasant. It was just interesting, considering how clueless she is, and how she doesn’t think about what she says.

Overall, my conversations went pretty well with all the parents. I need to figure out how to have a relationship with my birth father – he wants to see me – scares me just to think about it. And I need to talk to my dad and step-mom more often – they’re really great people, and it always makes me smile to talk to them. And my mom? I don’t know. I think we’re figuring out how to have a positive relationship, and I just need to accept that she may have different opinions, which of course is ok. And I need to accept that she just doesn’t make much sense, which is ok too!

On another note, AF still hasn’t shown her nasty face…


  1. Wow. That's a lot of complicated relationships to try to maintain. I have four parents but I only interact with two of them and it's hard enough! :) I'm glad that your dad and step-mom are SO supportive and I'm glad that your mom seems to be trying to come around a bit. And, I hope you can figure out a relationship with your birth father that works best for both of you!

    And, I hope AF gets a move on (or moves away...)

  2. girlfriend - you seem to have a LOT on your plate right now. don't do anything that doesn't feel 100% right to you ... that's a whole lotta parental units to keep up with and maintain relationships with. that's great that you're making a concerted effort with all of them. i hope everything works out the way you want in terms of the relationships, without too many headaches on your part :o)

    a few of us were talking about religion and ivf on another post and one of the girls put it best - God gave us free will. and he made ART available --> it's all good :o)

    we're all in this tOgethEr!!! *hugs*

  3. Seven parents?! So many relationships to try to keep

    I'm glad your step mom is so supportive and sympathetic towards you. As for your Mom, well I guess she's trying to be there for you, but, ugh, I hate that line of thinking.

    Hope Af shows so you get going!

  4. thats quite a family tree :) I can't imagine trying to keep all that straight, my head was spinning just reading that! I think its hard getting the opinions/judgments about IVF from just 2 parents, 7 must be a challenge! I hear the "god" opinion a lot, I have come to the conclusion that god wants us all to have children if we so choose, but we have a medical condition that is not allowing this to happen. Same as any other medical condition, I don't think god wants anyone to have Diabetes and we don't think its against god to offer medication and better their quality of life. A lot of the medical conditions we are dealing with are environment induced, bad air, bad food ext. Not anything "god" did to us because he thought we would be bad parents!

  5. Wow what an interesting family you do have! We all have our "issues" with families so I couldn't even begin to thin what it would be like to have and maintain relationships with 7 moms and dads. You seem to be doing an amazing job at that!!! Your dad and step mom sound really supportive kind of people, the sort of people that you need to have around during IF treatments. Knowing that someone is praying for you is all you need. When I did IVF my mom didn't want to know the details but she always prayed for me and she still does now for a healthy pregnancy and baby. I find comfort in this fact and I am sure it helped... About the things your mom said, like you said, they are her opinions not yours and I get the impression you know how to handle her comments. Thanks for sharing your amazing family with us!! Where is AF???? I think I will need to do another dance for you!!!

  6. Is it possible your mom's comments were just her way of projecting her feelings of being a bad mom on to you? I mean she is saying you should stick with what god dealt you...maybe she is really saying that to herself.

    I am glad you don't take too much stock in what she says. Follow your heart. You don't want to look back later and wonder "What if?"

    I guess the plus side of having 7 parents is that within all those people, you're bound to find someone who is supportive, right? :)


  7. I thought my husband had a complicated family tree with three sets of grandparents and multiple step-aunts, uncles, and cousins, but it's different when it's your actual parents that are complicated. That's a lot of relationships to maintain! But it seems like you're doing a great job at making the effort to connect. And it's really tough that your mom doesn't support what you're doing 100%, but great that you're learning to accept that without getting upset with her. I guess she is entitled to that opinion. Who knows, maybe one day she'll come around to accepting that God might have different ways of working in different people's situations, and what was right for her isn't necessarily the right answer for everyone on the adoption vs. fertility treatments issue.