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Am I doing the right thing?
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77elizabeth posted:
I have been dealing with depression for over 20 years. I always feel I am doing the wrong thing. We found out about 12 years ago that my husband has an older sister. It turns out his mom got pregnant when she was a teen and gave the baby up for adoption. When we found out about D. she produced the adoption paper work and the birth ceratificate. My husband asked his mom if it was true and she said yes.

We have had a relationship with D. but my mother in law will not even meet her. D. has now lost her parents. She has had a great life. Her parents set up a trust for her. She is not looking for money but she wants a family. She is not married.

We have made sure if she comes to visit we tell my mother in law so she will not stop by.This is getting really stupid. D. wants no harm to her birth mother but a chance to meet her and see someone who looks like her.

We have decided that D is going to start being with us on the holidays and and being included in family functions. We have a great time when we are around her.

We have talked to my mother in law about meeting her. She admitted that she has thought about it alot but feels she gave her up and that should be that. My mother in laws mom was a real prissy ass so we really think that she laid alot of guilt on her for getting pregnant

We are still talking to my mother in law about her. I showed her a picture and they look so so much alike. They have the same hobbies and enjoy the same things.

I hate to see D. feeling like she has been shut out and dealing with her depression over this, so we continue to talk my mother in law into meeting her. We told her what happened 56 years ago happened and it is time to move forward and be a family.

Question for anyone out there. Do you think I am doing the wrong thing? I want to see D happy. She is a nice person. My mother in law has always been a nasty person. We do not want to hurt her but I just cant shake the feeling that I am once again doing the wrong thing.

Sorry for being so long.
Elizabeth
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marysings responded:
Dear Elizabeth,

I've read your post very carefully. Please allow me to look at this situation from your mother-in-law's position.

When she gave up D at the time of her birth, she felt a part of herself die. I believe that she did an unselfish thing when she allowed D to go to a couple that didn't have any other children. Your MIL wanted the best for this tiny baby and at that time she knew she could not provide D with everything she might need. While giving up the baby broke her heart, she knew she would have to carry that secret in her heart for the rest of her life.

We can only imagine the anguish of carrying a baby that she knew would never be hers, watching her tummy get larger and larger, and developing a relationship with this little creature inside of her. Being pregnant is a grand emotional time in the life of a woman. Every movement by the baby is treasured and as the birth of the baby comes closer the mother dreams of holding that baby, counting the toes and fingers, kissing the soft cheeks and fingertips, telling her how beautiful she is, smoothing the baby's hair, and ultimately bonding for life.

What happened in your MIL's life to have to give up her baby must have been soul-crushing. No doubt that after giving birth to D there was very little, if any, bonding between mother and daughter.

So the baby is given to someone else. The next several weeks the mother is healing physically but tortured at night when sleep evades her and she wonders if she has done the right thing. It would be years before the mother could think of the baby girl without that lump in her throat and the hurt in her heart.

You wonder why the mother is adamantly opposed to seeing her daughter? Let me see if I can answer that statement ...
The guilt and shame of giving up her baby has never left her heart and soul.

Over the years, when the mother was married and having other children, she never forgot what she had to do years earlier. Over the years the guilt, the shame, the sadness nearly destroyed her. She became embittered and 'cold' to her family around her. She drew into herself so no one would ever hurt her again. She did what she knew to protect herself. Right or wrong, her heart became hardened because of what she went through many years ago. She lost the will to nurture, lost the desire to love ... becoming "nasty" to those around her.

D has grown up and "found" her birth mother. She wants to establish a relationship with a family that she might feel that she was cheated from being with. D has endeared herself to a brother she never had. She is craving a family that she can point to and say "I belong to them".

By now the mother's broken and worn heart is not capable of opening up to this daughter she had to walk away from. No one realizes the pain and anguish or the guilt and shame that she has carried for too long.

To protect herself from that kind of heartache again, she vows to never allow herself to love D. The only way to accomplish that is to stay away from D.

Elizather, the answer you are searching for can only be decided by your husband and you. I hope what I have written will help you make a wise decision.

With the utmost sincerity,
Mary

(Did I have to give up a baby? No, thankfully. I am just a mother and grandmother with a huge heart of love for those who have.)
I'm strong willed and I tell it like it is. I make mistakes, I'm sometimes out of control, but I love and give with all my heart. Have patience with me as I heal.


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