Friday, February 25, 2011

A Moral Dilemma

I have a slight moral dilemma. The outcome is really rather irrelevant except in the matter of how I view myself, but I'd like to put it out there for your thoughts, if you all don't mind.

See, there is another couple that The Hubs and I have been friends with for a while. In fact, the HE of this couple (let's call him T so as to cause no confusion) and I go way back to when we were both members of the same youth group at the church The Hubs and I (as well as this couple) stopped attending in January 2010. We first met about 14 years ago. While I was in England with The Hubs, T met M and they dated for a long while. In February 2009, The Hubs and I attended their wedding.

We have considered them to be very good friends. We've been on double dates with them to the movies, we've been out to meals with them, we've even planned phantom when-we-win-the-lottery-we-don't-play vacations with them. While I wouldn't call them our best friends (neither The Hubs nor I tend to develop best friendships - The Hubs because he's more of a loner and me because....well, I'm not sure why, but it hasn't happened since I left high school despite my efforts), they were probably the closest thing to it. Which is why their lack of support during this whole IF nightmare has been really disappointing.

The whole time we've been trying, they've often given us the lame-ass "when it's right, it'll happen", "God knows what he's doing....just be patient and accept his timing", "maybe the Lord has other plans for you" advice. You know....the kind that isn't really helpful. And, in their case, I was willing to forgive them. After all, they haven't suffered through it personally and, as we all know, until you go through it yourself, it doesn't seem to be a real problem.

The problem came when The Hubs and I were going through the adoption-that-never-was fiasco. We were so excited when we thought we were going to be bringing The Pengu home! Being such good friends, they were some of the first people we shared the news with. We thought they'd be so excited for us or at least be praying/hoping for it to work out for us. That's why I was so confused and hurt at their lackluster response. Their "oh, that's nice" reaction seemed too reminiscent of a casual acquaintance and not that of trusted friends. When I later learned from a mutual friend that they had been saying behind our backs that they did not feel adoption was "natural", that if we couldn't have children on our own then "it wasn't God's plan" for us to be parents and they didn't think the Lord "wanted people to adopt", I felt real anger in addition to my hurt. My question was, what did they really want to happen to the children who were born to parents who wanted to give them up???

Needless to say, The Hubs and I quickly cooled our friendship with them following that. And later when the adoption fell through and their response was "it was probably for the best. Now you can get back to trying to have REAL babies", I cut off nearly all personal contact with them.

Flash forward several months. T's mother works in the same hospital I do. In November (I think), she approached me to tell me the happy news! T and M were expecting a baby! Of course, they hadn't been trying so it was incredibly unexpected, but the family had been "Waiting So Long" (I'll pause here to remind you The Hubs and I have been trying for 7 1/2 years and T and M have only been married for 2 years) for the pair to have a baby that they were really excited!

Okay. I'll throw my hands up and be the first to admit I felt hurt, defeated and pissed off! But, I kept on my false happy face for her and exclaimed how brilliant that was and how excited I was for them. Then I moved on and went back to my office. Later that day, one of the girls that works in her department and is friendly with me told me what she had had to say when I left. She had said that I really should be more happy for T and M because they had this wonderful news and that it wasn't their fault that God saw that The Hubs and I weren't fit to be parents right now. She went on to state that we were unsettled and not in a stable situation. We didn't have steady jobs (I've been at my job for almost 3 years and The Hubs has been at his for nearly a year - yes, The Hubs did get laid off and was out of work for a while prior to his current job, but many other people have also been in similar situations and I don't see this level of abuse being hurled in their direction) and we didn't have a home (we don't own our home, but we do rent it from my mother - we certainly aren't living in the streets!). She stated that "until we were settled and stable like T and M, the Lord wouldn't choose to put a child in our custody" and that she had "real doubts" that we would ever have a child due to this fact.

I would like to ask for a round of applause and a huge pat on the back that I didn't hunt her down and beat the living crap out of her. But I fancied keeping my job for a while longer and I knew that anyone she said this to would hear it as it really was - utter horse manure!

Things were left there for a while. I haven't seen T since all this happened and when I see M, I usually turn in the opposite direction before she has a chance to get close to me and I pretend I didn't see her. I don't answer their calls (those stopped shortly after the incident with T's mom) and, although they are both still on my Facebook, we don't comment on each other's statuses, photos or comments.

Last week, The Hubs told me some news he had heard. The company that T works for is going out of business. They will be open until the end of March, then T will be out of a job. Today my mom gave me some more news. She and M work at the same place (in fact, my mom is one of her bosses - that's what happens when you live in a small town, everyone is connected) and she gave me the news. M was fired from her job two days ago due to violating a company policy.

Now, my first reaction (who the hell am I kidding, my ongoing reaction) is to feel slightly vindicated and to suggest to the lot of them to not cast stones when you live in a glass house. I want to say to T's mom "who's the unstable, unsettled couple now?" But, deep down, I also feel really concerned for them. Yes, they've said and done some stupid things that hurt my feelings and ruined our friendship, but they have a child on the way. There are virtually no jobs in the area in which we live. How are they going to survive? What about the house they purchased 2 1/2 years ago? Who will pay the rent?

I feel concern and pain for them, but I also feel like a wrong has somehow been righted. I feel real guilt at feeling the small sense of glee that I have in my heart at knowing they might be realizing how their blind judgement made The Hubs and I feel, but at the same time, that glee is still present.

Am I a horrible person? Should I reach out to them now, or just let the past be the past? I'm not sure I can ever forgive them for the comments that have been made and we'll certainly never be as close as we were, but should I even bother? Or should I simply be praying/hoping for the best for them and let sleeping dogs lie? I trust all of your judgement and I could really use your advice. I think it would be helpful to have some intelligent, outside-the-situation input. Thanks in advance for anything you have to say!

13 comments:

J said...

What a wench, I am so proud of you for not hurting her. I would have smacked her...probably not but damn near might have. I honestly would not reach out to them. They are not good friends nor are they nice people. I've endured this with a friend and it is a constant battle, in the end, I stopped talking to her. My friend who I posted her blog, I was hurt by her words. Yes, she supports me now but for so long she didn't but I thought she did. People can't understand the beauty of adoption because God hasn't filled their hearts with that kind of love.

Ms B. Thrift said...

Hmm toughie i suppose the more graceful answer is to not feel glee but. still, there lack of compassion and judgemental approach has put them right in the firing line.
i fail to understand the "gods way" attitude to infertility, really upsets me, surely an all enxompassing God wouldn't create so much pain, Im sure he tries his best to bring hope, love & strength where he can, and tries to help. That's like saying its Gods will that children are abused or murdered or become sick, neither accurate nor acceptable to profess. Not sure how is handle this,in my mind the relationship has deteriorated to a point where its hard to face them so hard to contact. them , maybe just enquire through third partiea how they're doing

Christy and Kevin said...

They and the mother are jackasses and what goes around comes around. Sorry, but that is how I feel. I suffered losses and IF before having my kiddo's and let me tell you. God DOES want us to be parents!!!!!! You are a very graceful woman because I would have SNAPPED when I heard what the mother said.

Rebecca Bradley said...

As a not overly religious person all these comments bemused me. Seriously, God wants orphaned, abandoned children to be left on the street?

Anyway, back to what do you do now. I'd just let sleeping dogs lie. You made a decision that they weren't people you could be friends with and while what is happening to them is really difficult and they will obviously need support from people, that support will come from family and other friends they have.

Don't give yourself a hard time about it.

junebug said...

Congrats on not beating the mother down. I'm afraid my hubby would have been posting bail for me.

Seriously - they are not your friends! Friends do NOT say such horrible hurtful things to you or behind you. When real friends make some blunder you are able to share your hurt with them and they are immediately regretful and sorry. Real friends want only the best for you. I have lost friends throughout the years but I have learned that they are who they are. I can't make them be the friends I want them to be and I have to let them go. IF and adoption are both long, horrible, gut wrenching processes, we have no room for negative people walking with us on this journey. It is natural to feel all the feelings you have, I would just pray for them but keep clear of them.

Don't even get me started on the whole God and IF thing.

On the positive side, we live close now and we are totally supportive of your journey. Coffee on your next visit? I hear you have an opening for new friends.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

As a person of faith, I have serious problems with their theology, and suggest they read the Bible again. There are so many places that speak about the lonely being put in families, and how we are adopted by God as his children. Argh! I despise when people use God as the reason for their bigotry. (sorry for the rant)

I would probably not reach out to them, but I would continue to pray for them. There may come a time in the future when their eyes are openned to how hurtful they have been, and they may seek forgiveness, but until then I don't believe you have to subject yourself to their abuse.

AP said...

You were in the right and even a better person for feeling concerned about them!

Happy ICLW.
AP

Kristin said...

Honestly, it would be very hard not to feel a bit of glee about the situation. Because I know you and I can tell you feel the need to do something, you could reach out and simply say "I'm so sorry you're in this position. It must be hard to lose all that stability with a baby on the way." I think I would make sure I said that in front of his mom too. If you are feeling particularly irksome that day, you can add "But, I'm sure it will be ok because God must have a plan...after all, nothing happens without God having planned it."

{{{Hugs}}}

Jay said...

God does not want people to adopt?!?!? Are they mad?!?! Why do they think there are all these children who do not have parents willing (for whatever reason) to raise them??

Nothing offends me as much as bone deep stupidity, and this is a clear case of it.

I'm sorry for that innocent child on the way that they are out of jobs, but suffering either breaks you down completely or builds character, and these 2 boneheads sound like they are in dire need of the latter- lets hope that happens.

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

I am just lurking but had to respond. As an infertile woman I am offended. Infertility is a medical condition that has nothing to do with God`s desire for you to have or not to have children.

As an adoptive mom who had one failed adoption prior to 2 successful adoptions I am livid. Adoption had been a part of family building since the dawn of time. Adoption is an absolute miracle and builds beautiful families.

I think all of your feelings are normal. It is HORRIBLE that they are in such a tough situation right now, but I think any of us would feel a bit of poetic justice.

I do think they are a family full of mean spirited judging. No matter how your family building resolves they will probably still judge. They will judge your parenting style, the choices you make for your kids etc, etc.

I don`t think I would reach out to them. Too much water, each conversation would be avoiding the big elephant in the room. Each conversation would involve you thinking about what you want to say ( and probably them fearing what you are going to say, the words deep down they know they deserve)

I would keep them in my thoughts and leave it at that.

Lynn said...

Thank you all for your comments and support. I really appreciate you all!

Lisa said...

I think that T, M and that Mother should learn to keep their opinions to themselves, not be so narrow-minded and judgmental and take a good look at themselves. These people, whatever the origins of your relationship, are not supportive friends. You have a lot of generosity of spirit to be concerned about them in their current situation. I doubt that they would return the favor. It's so unfortunate that they couldn't put your happiness above their own moral high ground. Wonderful, loving families can be achieved in all sorts of ways and money, while helpful, is not the be all and end all of parenting.

Lisa (ICLW #112)
P.S. I'm speaking about fertility support today at the Fertility Focus Telesummit, which is free. I would love you to listen in to my talk and the other 11 speakers this week, either live or to the recordings afterward. You can register through my blog: www.yourgreatlife.typepad.com. Please help spread the word to anyone who is infertile and trying to conceive, or make decisions about treatment.

Wonder Woman said...

WOW. I ALWAYS say that if you hold your peace the Lord will fight your battles. And there it is. You didnt have to say a single word in anger to them.

Personally i dont think you need to reach out to them, because they may actually take it as you gloating, but maybe you dont have to go so far out of your way to avoid them anymore.

BTW helo from ICLW #143

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