The friend of a new parent never wants to be the one to call out a parenting decision. Confrontation over such a sensitive issue can turn tense pretty quickly.
But sometimes the friend of the new parent simply can’t let something go, the circumstances simply demand that a critique be voiced.
One Redditor recently encountered that non-negotiable feeling, and endured all the dynamics that came afterward.
They posted their experience on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), who eventually deleted their username, indicated the thrust of the issue with the post’s title.
“AITA for calling my friend out on changing her adopted daughter’s name”
OP began with a rundown of some key details of the adoption.
“An old high school friend of mine, Maya, recently finalized her adoption of a Pakistani-American child [7-year-old female] and reached out to me as I’m of a similar background to ask for help connecting with the girl as she’s been withdrawn and generally refusing to connect with her new family.”
“I offered to meet up for a socially distanced visit in the park and she agreed.”
Immediately, something seemed off.
“The girl opened up to me very quickly and introduced herself to me by a common Pakistani name, let’s say Zainab.”
“This surprised me because my friend had been referring to her as Jessica in all our previous conversations.”
“I asked Zainab about how she feels about being adopted and she basically said my friend was always bothering her, she missed her grandma and she didn’t like her new brother.”
The child then noted one other grievance.
“She then said she doesn’t like the new name her new mom uses for her.”
“I saw this in person because she would adamantly refuse to answer to my friend whenever she would call her Jessica.”
For OP, that was cause for concern.
“I took my friend aside to express my concerns and ask why she changed the name.”
“Her reasoning was Zainab’s original name was too difficult to pronounce, didn’t match her new surname and she wanted a ‘fresh start’ for all of them as a family.
OP had plenty to say in response.
“I called her out on this, saying this wasn’t a dog she’d picked up, this was a human child who had 7 years of history with her name and was clearly against the change.”
“Furthermore I pointed out changing her ethnic name to an anglo one for convenience made no sense when her own last name is a complicated Polish one and arguably harder to pronounce.”
“I basically ended the conversation saying she was going about this all wrong by alienating her new daughter and whitewashing her heritage.”
“I suggested she reach out to adoptee support groups to talk to about transracial adoption.”
Those suggestions, however, fell on deaf ears.
“Well, after this Maya blew up, accusing me of calling her a racist and trying to create problems in her and Zainab’s relationship.”
“She dragged her daughter away and hasn’t responded to any of my messages since. She has been vaguebooking about this though.”