The Fast and the Furious movies may not have a great grasp of physics – but they pretty much nail the concept of Family.
Biology has little to do with the connections we feel with the people we love.
So, when someone makes a mean remark about your new non-biological child, how do you react?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Affectionate-Okra93 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for telling my brother not to come to my adoption shower after a joke he made?”
OP began with good news.
“I’m currently in stage five of the adoption process which is the moving-in stage, which means the child my husband and I are adopting has been coming for short stays and visits as we get to know each other and make the transition easier for them.”
“We are adopting a 3-year-old little boy.”
“Because of this we felt confident enough to finally celebrate and are planning an adoption shower where friends and family can come visit my husband and I, celebrate and bring gifts just like a regular baby shower.”
Everything was fine, until…
“My brother who has two biological children made a joke that the boy was surely a little old for a shower thrown in his honour and said it was a little weird.”
“I will point out he and his wife had a baby shower for each of their children”
“My husband and I got upset over this as we felt like a major moment in our lives were being overlooked and looked down on as not as important or the same as what my brother and his wife went through.”
Then OP explained the issue.
“I ended up telling him not to come to the adoption shower then as I didn’t want to waste his time with anything weird”
“He has gotten offended with this and thinks we’re overreacting to something that was meant as a joke, my parents and other brother are trying to cajole me on his behalf framing it as a joke that fell badly and saying how we shouldn’t be alienating family this close to having a child”
Having explained the issue, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some thought OP was owed an explanation on how this was funny.
“NTA, but your brother sure is.”
“Ask him, and the entire family, to explain his joke.”
“Is the joke that the kid is too old to be cared for?”
“Is the joke that the kid is being adopted? Is the joke that three-year-olds don’t need kid stuff?”
“What, exactly, is funny about the joke?”
“Because it sure just seems like your brother is sh*tting on you for adopting a non-infant, and claiming that an adopted three-year-old doesn’t need the same kind of care and material stuff that a bio infant would.”
“First member of your family to successfully explain why it was funny gets to come to the shower.”
“Everybody else can stay home and think about whether they intend to actually support you in this crucial moment of your life or not.” ~ imothro
“Saying it’s ‘weird’ is not a joke.”
“He was saying it’s wrong or so outside of the ordinary custom that you should be embarrassed.”
“That He’s embarrassed or just doesn’t want to get nephew a gift.”
“That only babies need stuff.”
“Etc. Absolutely nothing funny about this.”
“I personally would have THAT conversation over and over and over with him with the goal of working out all the inappropriate jokes right now so he doesn’t ‘accidentally ‘ tell those jokes to nephew and traumatize him by making him believe he’s not a welcome part of the family.”
“I’d spell it out so damn hard for him that it actually became engraved on his forehead!!”
“Ask him what exact jokes he was planning to tell about adopted kids being ‘weird ‘ or not the same as real kids etc.”
“Over and over with tears and what not to really let him get it out of his system before your son comes home and is potentially exposed to this toxic BS” ~ SnooFoxes4362
“I’ve certainly made jokes that missed the mark.”
“If they offend someone I care about I apologize profusely and usually try to let them know where I fucked up.”
“This ‘joke’ revealed layers of problematic thinking.”
“I wouldn’t want someone who just thinks I should just get over it at my shower or other life events either.”
“What if similar ‘jokes’ get made to OP’s child’s face? Is every uncommon event going to be pointed to as ‘weird'”? ~ PossumJenkinsSoles
“‘This child and your parenthood is less deserving of the typicalities of those things than my children are or my parenthood is’ is not a good joke.”
“Maybe he should tell better jokes if he wants them to land.”
“As an adopted child who is very used to these jokes: NTA”
“Eta: i get that the joke was ‘this child is already born’ but it is important that you are presumably first time parents and baby showers are always for parents to help them enter parenthood.”
“The precedent of ‘this is different because you are adopted’ MUST NOT be set by anyone but you and your partner, though, and anyone who presumes to is out of line.” ~ wafflesthewonderhurs
The rest of the family did not escape scrutiny.
“It would be really nice if your family could turn around and tell your brother to apologize for his absolutely tasteless and terrible joke, instead of taking his side and making excuses for him and putting the action on you to forgive him.”
“Instead, someone should ask him what is wrong with him for making a comment like that about his future nephew.”
“There is no excuse.”
“It was a jerky thing to say regardless of how it was intended. Tell them to advocate for you and not his stupidity.”
“Best of luck with your growing family OP.” ~ FiftyJumps
“I’m side-eyeing the push from the rest of the family to forgive and reinstate his invite.”
“Like, are they just overly forgiving because ‘family’ or are they trying to figure out if OP will back down because he just said the thing they’re all thinking?” ~ calliatom
Others were waiting for an apology.
“Has he said the magic words yet? ‘I’m sorry'”?
“People who say something offensive and then get all surprised Pikachu when you don’t just smile and take it are the worst.”
“If the person you say something to does not find your statement funny, doubling (and tripling down by having family get involved) only shows that it *wasn’t* a joke and that they *did* mean it offensively and now they’re just trying to turn it around on you and make you look like the bad guy.”
“Congratulations on your new son!!!” ~ rbrancher2
“NTA if he had apologised for the ‘joke’ then sure I’d say it would be a reach to not invite him, but he acted as if he were the offended party which is going in a whole different direction.”
“Good on you.” ~ CanIgetanamethatsnot
There were also personal stories.
“We adopted our guy when he was 2.5.”
“We had a shower planned but unfortunately we live in a part of the US that burns seasonally so we had to cancel, but he was so excited for the tiny welcome party we were able to put together.”
“Your kid deserves to be welcomed and celebrated and showered with gifts and love.”
“I think kids that are joining a new family NEED it, especially if they’re coming from a background where they might have felt like an unwelcome burden.”
“If your brother can’t get on board with that, then he doesn’t have to participate. Do not compromise on demanding respect for your child!” ~ Missworldmissheard
There were even those pushing for reconciliation.
“NTA I think though if you have had a previously good relationship with him you could maybe meet for a coffee or something and let him know how his remark hurt you and your husband.”
“How your adoption of this beautiful little boy felt diminished by his remarks.”
“See if he will at least sincerely apologize then go from there.”
“If this is just one in a lifetime of remarks or ugly behavior by him he may not be worth the trouble.”
“Congratulations on this amazing moment in your life. Much love to you your husband and your son.”
“It has to be incredibly exciting. Love ❤️” ~ Psychological_Tap187
“You’re NTA and your brothers comment was inappropriate, but I do think you’re overreacting.”
“Asking for an apology and for him to be more thoughtful about how he speaks about adoption in the future so as not to hurt your son or make him feel less than would have been more appropriate level of response.”
“If he reacted badly to that then sure ban him from the party, but that seems an extreme first step here.”
“Especially if you’re wanting your son to have normal family relationships, eg with his cousins, instead of being at the center of a weird rift.” ~ Dizzy_Barber_2281
Family is all about the people who take protecting you, loving you, and valuing you as their top priority.
Anyone who doesn’t have your interests as a core concern isn’t family.