Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Extended Family

I am the only girl in my family and I have 3 brothers. My mom was the oldest of 4 kids in her family, and they never really got along. My dad was one of 5 kids, and he always seemed to get along well with his brothers and sister. The cousins I grew up with are the cousins on my dad's side. As kids, we would get together several times a year. We were kind of in the middle of all the cousins - one group lived about an hour north of us and another group lived about an hour south.

As we were growing up, it was really important to my mom that my brothers and I would get along and love each other and enjoy being together. She wanted us to enjoy each other's companionship as kids, but also that it would carry over and that we'd enjoy each other as adults as well. Quite honestly, we really do. I love my brothers. I love my brother's wife. Happy, happy. I love my immediate family. (Are my brothers always my immediate family, or is immediate family only the people who live in your house? I never really knew the official designation on that one.)

So I have a bunch of cousins, all about my age. They're all late 20s-early 30s. I don't really know how to categorize how I feel about my cousins; it's kind of weird. When we were kids, we enjoyed playing together 3-4 times a year. Anyway, my cousins are fine. This is where it's kind of weird to describe the relationship I have with my cousins. They're fine. I don't dislike them, but I'm kind of neutral on them. Now, as adults, we've all sort of moved away to whatever different places we live. Maybe we see them once a year. So yeah, they're fine, I'm happy to see them when I see them, but we're not like the BFF cousins that some people are.

At any rate, of these cousins, only one is married. They were married 5 years ago. (See where this is going yet???) I can't really remember when I saw them last. Maybe 2 years ago. Anyway.

So I just got this e-mail from my dad. Forwarded from my cousin who sent a mass e-mail pregnancy announcement that his wife is pregnant. But he didn't have the e-mail addresses for the cousins, so could all the aunts and uncles please pass along the news. So my dad e-mailed all 4 of us. No comment, no note, just passed it along. (Now that I think about that, I wonder what my dad is thinking. The whole ripple effect of IF...)

I have 2 observations on this pregnancy announcement.

1) When people I dearly love get pregnant, I think it's the greatest news I've ever heard. When my closest friends have told me (even by e-mail) that they're pregnant, I am truly, genuinely thrilled for them. When people I'm kind of neutral on are pregnant, I'm not really sure how to react. It's happy news; I hope everything goes well for them. But that's pretty much as much brain space as I would like to give this. "Wow. Great, good for you! That's happy news and I hope everything goes well." And that's the extent of the brain space on this. But there's the gut-punch and the heart space. I'm pretty much a selfish jerk, but I WANT MY TURN!!!

2) My older brother is a much better, kinder person than I am. (Or a better faker.) He and his wife are also adopting. (This falls into the category of being truly, genuinely thrilled for other people. I already love my little niecephew (like that word I just made up?!)) so much. So they're walking this IF/adoption road. They get it. Which just makes our adoption that much more extraordinary. Upon receiving this e-mail from my dad, my brother replied back to all of us and said, "What awesome news for A&J! So exciting!"

That was not what I was thinking. Not the e-mail I would have sent, which is why I have not yet replied. My brother is a better person, or a better faker. Either way.

Am I a terrible person for not wanting to reply to this e-mail to congratulate my cousin on their functioning body parts? Am I a terrible person for not wanting to e-mail all my brothers right now to say that I'm thrilled that my cousins' bodies work? I mean, it is good. I'm glad for them that their bodies work. And, of course, I have no evidence of how well their bodies work. I've not asked them, nor will I. I have no idea what it took for them to achieve this pregnancy, so it's possible that they don't particularly feel like their bodies do work.

Meh. Who knows. I guess I'll send my cousin an e-mail congratulating them on their news. It is good news.

Someday I'll have good news too. I hate that that's my takeaway from everyone else's good news.


  1. dude, it is OKAY to feel this way. i know i still do. and you're right, you'll have news some day, too ;)

  2. Well, I for one don't think your a bad person for reacting this way, you're an infertile person and that's how it feels to you. I figure we can only be held responsible for how we act and you acted just fine. If it were me, I'd send a nice but fairly neutral email of congratulations.

    Dawn Davenport
    Host of Creating a Family: Talk about Infertility and Adoption
    Creating a Family, a non-profit providing education and resources for Infertility and Adoption

  3. Hi I am a new follower and I just wanted to say that I am the same way. I am happy for my closest friends and family but when it comes to other's it's hard to explain the feelings. If you do or don't send the email reply just know that you are not alone in what you are feeling and going thru :) J