A 34-year-old woman adopted a 9-year-old daughter from India after a lengthy 4-year adoption process. She didn’t feel the need or get the chance to tell her neighbours about this big life change, and to her surprise, one of them was not happy about this.
The woman had lived together with her two children for years until the adoption was completed a few months ago. Up until this point, relations with neighbours were friendly but infrequent: “We wave hello whenever we see them and know each other’s names but that’s really it”, she explained. “They have an 8-year-old child who doesn’t interact much with my kids.”
The neighbour to her left noticed the new child in the woman’s household and initially assumed the daughter was a friend visiting. After two weeks, however, the neighbour sparked up a conversation and inquired about the child.
Telling The Neighbour
In response to the neighbour’s questions, the woman explained that the girl was her new daughter who she had adopted recently. The neighbour’s reaction was very positive: “She smiled and said her daughter would like to meet her sometime and I said that was great”, recounted the woman.
The Subsequent Messages
The neighbour started messaging the woman with questions about the adoption. The questions started off as seeming friendly but grew increasingly accusative. This included questions like “Why didn’t you tell me you were fundraising? Did you think I wouldn’t help?” and Why didn’t you tell my daughter? Did you not want them to play together?”
These questions quickly became straight-up accusations. The neighbour accused the woman of not informing her or her daughter intentionally, insinuating that this was an attempt to prevent their children from playing together.
The woman explained that her daughter would love to play with her neighbour’s daughter and that there had been no intention to hide anything. She attempted to clarify her perspective, but her attempts were only met with further resistance.
Neighbor’s Facebook Post
Later that day, the neighbour posted a somewhat cryptic message on their neighbourhood’s online community group, hinting at a conflict with unspecified “nasty neighbours.” The post advised kindness in neighbourly interactions, and encouraged more frank communications by stating “If you don’t like me or my kid, just tell me”.
A Puzzling Reaction
The woman was puzzled and frustrated by the unexpected situation: “I was never under the impression that she wanted to have more of a neighbourly relationship”, stated the woman.
A Moment Of Reflection
However, the woman soon began pondering whether she should have disclosed it earlier, considering her neighbour’s extreme reaction.
Seeking Second Opinions
Conscious that she may have made a mistake, the woman headed to an online community forum to gain a second perspective. Many respondents were quick to defend the woman, with one writing: “You adopting a child is none of your neighbour’s business, especially since you guys aren’t friends.”
Projecting Her Anger
Another respondent shared that the woman’s story was all too familiar to them: “It sounds like she has issues with other neighbours which she pinned on you. I feel your pain, I actually sold my last house because my neighbours were so intrusive and weirdly competitive with my kids.”
Adjusting To Changes
Some readers were shocked at how the neighbour was treating not only the woman, but the daughter too: “Let the kid decompress and adjust to the new family, new country, and new life before throwing her around other kids.”
Despite the neighbour’s online post encouraging more neighbourly behaviour, most commenters agreed that the neighbour should take advice from her own book, and the woman should be cautious of her. “You didn’t before, but NOW you should start keeping your distance. This is bizarre.”
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