I saw a blog post today on The Adoption Social that touched a nerve and made me want to write a shirt post on something I was not going to comment on. The post, one about friends occasionally getting caught up and not realising what they are saying re babies, but I was particularly taken by this bit
“I didn’t send her flowers when baby was born but then she didn’t send me anything when my child came home. In fact nobody did apart from one acquaintance, not even a friend, just a business acquaintance. Petty on my behalf? Maybe.”
First off, loads of people sent us cards and gifts when we brought our daughter home. But the above comment did demonstrate that it is not universal and it can be funny how this seems to work.
Take my situation at work. To quote The Hold Steady, I’m stuck between stations at work in that I work for one group of people, but I’m also part of a wider group too. When it came time to welcome my child into our family one group had a collection and gave me a card, the other did not. There was lots of genuine joy and excitement for me within the group that did not, but a whip around and a card seemed not to have occurred to anyone. I’ll admit I was mildly upset at this. Weeks before we had had a card circulated for someone’s birthday, and before that a card and collection for someone going off and maternity leave. Since then we’ve had another one for maternity and a card and collection for someone getting married. I’ve been happy to contribute to all, but like the person above it does annoy me that my situation didn’t seem to warrant the same treatment. I didn’t give a monkey’s about a gift, but the lack of a card was one of those things that made me reassess how I am thought of within that group of people.
To be fair, I’m sure some of those people would be horrified that I thought that, but by the same token none seemed to think a card might be nice idea for someone adopting, whereas it is second nature for anyone having a ‘natural birth’. Conversely, I was very touched by the totally unexpected card for the other group of people, whose already high estimation rose further.