So I believe I'm mentioned this before but possibly not. DH's cousin is having a rough time of it recently. He just turned 20 years old. He is struggling in school (which is nothing new) and has not been successful at finding a job (which I dont think he is trying very hard at). He plays computer games ALOT and he is spoiled (no job but still drives a truck... where is the $ for gas & payments coming from?)
I have many of the same concerns as DH's parents do for their nephew. He isn't making progress towards his goals. He blames his parents for a lot and apparently voices this on FB (the only quote I could find on his FB about his parents ("I really like how my parents are shooting my weekends to hell on a regular basis. This shit is really getting old guys. Cut the shit already." ). I agree its disrespectful however I dont think he is the first young man transitioning from being a child to an adult has said/thought- there just is FB now.
Crapping on this nephew is not a new hobby. In middle school he never played sports and DH parents thought this was a problem and demonstrated he was "lazy." He has never been good in school because he has a learning disability (as does DH's brother but he played sports so he had some redeeming qualities).
So why am I talking about this on my blog? DH's cousin also happens to be adopted. He was adopted at birth. It was a semi-open adoption however the agency he was adopted with has since closed and no communication was ever passed between the birthmother and his aunt/uncle prior to the agency closing.
In the past discussions of our adoption would often segway into conversations about what problems this cousin was presently having. Was he going to graduate h.s.? Did he have a job? Was he lazy? This weekend my MIL finally went the other way... I walked into the conversation between my SIL and my MIL in the kitchen. My MIL was hashing out how she worries for her sister because of her nephews threatening FB posts (I have never seen one... unless she is misinterpreting some of his gaming quotes? I have no idea where she is getting this from). She was talking about how the stress her nephew is causing her sister may cause her cancer to come back (its been in remission for a VERY long time- I think before her son was born- I could be wrong). She then said "I wonder if its because he is adopted." (it was a statement not a question). I was steamed!! I took a moment to ask myself if she REALLY had said what I thought she said. I then stated very calmly "You know they (his parents) waited a VERY long time for him and he is an only child. I would think thats why he is spoiled not because he is adopted. I don't see what that has to do with it." I wanted to say "ARE YOU ******* KIDDING ME!??" but I didn't. I dont swear (at least not in public). My SIL then said she knew of only children that were not spoiled- no one said anything further about adoption. (I wanted to counter that I knew kids that were adopted and not spoiled as well but didn't go there).
After the conversation was over I spent some time alone with the dog. I didn't cry but I had to work hard to make sure that didn't happen. I finally had DH take the dog outside and I followed him out to tell him a brief sample of the conversation. I asked that he talk to his mother.
I do not think the issues have anything to do with his cousin being adopted. IF however he is going through identity issues because of the adoption then I think its important that his family help him get help to figure it out. If the issue is that he is studying something in school he isn't interested again I think its the families responsibility to help him figure it out. IF the issue is that he is still living with his parents and is spoiled again its the families responsibility to help him by giving him expectations. If its a combination of these factors again I think he needs help but gossiping in the kitchen on Christmas Eve is not a way to help. At another point when I suggested that DH speak with his cousin about what he needs to do to become a police officer (since thats what DH is and his cousin wants to be) my MIL told me that DH should NOT do that because it could be "dangerous." (not sure how?)
Initially I thought I was dreaming the association between our discussions about our adoption and DH's cousins poor behavior. About a year ago I called DH's attention to my "paranoia" and DH confirmed that it wasn't paranoia but it appeared to be a real pattern. My dear MIL has gone too far and now solidified this association and it hurts. It hurts my feelings but like I said to DH tonight its not my feelings I'm worried about its my child. Children are not stupid. If MIL expects our children to be ill-behaved and problematic because they are adopted they will know it. I wont stand for it and I have no problem protecting my children from her if thats what it takes.
DH plans to talk about her association between his cousins ill behavior and adoption. Hopefully she is receptive and can change her perspective. I'm not holding my breath.