Sunday night my husband and I went to his parents house for dinner. Things had wound down a bit after dinner, and James and I found ourselves in the dining room visiting with his mother. Funny enough we were talking about adoption--we had been talking about genetics, and what the likelihood is of any of our children having blue eyes or red hair, which is harder for me to know, given my incomplete genetic history.
At some point during the conversation, James gave me a LOOK. I knew what he was thinking--I've been waiting for a "good moment" for over a year, and that look said, "this is it!"
Using the excuse of the rowdy dogs in the other room, James got up and closed the dining room door, giving us a little more privacy. Awkwardly, I began. "Since we're talking adoption..." My mother-in-law gets a suspicious look on her face. "There's been something I've wanted to tell you for awhile--"
And without any further prompting, she bursts out, "You had a baby you gave up for adoption, didn't you?"
MIL says that she knew, somehow (something that my James claims that she says about all sorts of things, so who knows). But we were able to talk about it for a while. She asked questions. I was able to have a dialogue about it. James talked about meeting Ian this summer. And as we talked, my sense of relief grew and grew.
It's not that I wanted to keep Ian a secret. It's not that I haven't wanted to tell my mother-in-law. But the fear of it has held me back all this time. The longer I waited, the harder it became, actually. I knew that I would need to have this conversation eventually. After all, our children are going to know about Ian. At some point, one of our children would start talking about Ian, and somebody would start asking questions. So much better to already have it out there!
Incidentally, MIL's response was perfect. Asking questions, being interested, and the sincere acceptance. All of it was better than I could have hoped for. What an incredible relief.