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'AITA for not letting my sister see her kids after she left them alone for two weeks?' UPDATED

'AITA for not letting my sister see her kids after she left them alone for two weeks?' UPDATED

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"AITA for not letting my sister see her kids?"

I (28f) obtained custody of my sister's (35f) kids (9m,4f,2f), back in 2018, after she left them alone for two weeks to go on a "trip" (read. bender). Of course this was a huge transition for the kiddos, they had to be moved schools and daycares, and of course couldn't see their mom anymore. Now, the kids are doing better and definitely lead happier lives.

Recently, though, my sister was released from prison, and wants to see the kids again. She called me, begging to have a visit with them, and telling me that I could give them back because she was out of prison now.

I've had a talk with the 9 year old, and he says that he doesn't want to see his mom yet, and that he still hates her for leaving him alone. The girls have no memories of her, and the smallest one was only three months old the last time she saw her. I do feel like I could have helped them foster a better relationship with her, but I don't want to force the oldest into meeting her when he absolutely doesn't want to.

Still, my close family has told me that the oldest doesn't know what he's talking about, and it's my fault the little ones don't remember their mother because I didn't take them to see her when she was in prison. They also told me that it's my responsibility to force them to meet her, even when they don't want to, because that's what's best for them and they shouldn't grow up without their mother.

So, AITA?

Edit- I have spoken to a professional about this, specifically the oldest's therapist. They have advised that it should be up to him. I just want to know if I'm being a jerk to my sister. Also, I have adopted the kids, and have full custody of them.

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:

TNTmom4 said:

NTA Listen to your nephew and therapist. Your sister sounds like she hasn’t learned her lesson. Still only thinking about herself. As your family is remember it is this enabling behavior to some existent that made it enabled your sister current life choices and put her kids in your custody.

Tell everyone pushing for the kids to see their mom that for once the KIDS wants/needs come first NOT your sister. For them to get their priorities straight.

[deleted] said:

NTA. A professional has spoken and that should be good enough for everyone

omartoor said:

NTA. Protect. Them. If your sister is out ... tell her to get her life together. After a period of stability ... maybe, just maybe she can see them. But not unless she’s established and settled herself over a long period of time. Otherwise, the kids would be setup for another disappointment if not total setback to their mental health.

KrazyKatz3 said:

NTA. They could possibly form a new relationship when the oldest is ready. If your sister is patient she could have a good relationship with her kids. Tell her that.

Verdict: NTA.

She later shared this update on the situation:

So I wasn't expecting to make an update post, because I honestly wasn't expecting there to be an update to this. Unfortunately, I'm wrong. I gave my oldest two weeks to really think about whether he wanted to talk to my sister or not. I figured that the decision he made at first might have been made out of anger, so I wanted to give him time to make such an important decision.

Ultimately, he decided that he did actually want to talk to her. I have to admit I was a little bit surprised, but we set up a zoom call between them anyway (of course with me supervising). Right before the zoom call he admitted to me that he wanted to talk to her, "Just to see if she'll say sorry,". She did not say sorry.

Actually she opened the call with, "Hello! It's been so long! I guess you're ready come home with me now?", and then she noticed that I was sitting there with him, and almost immediately launched into accusations about "alienation" and how I "have to give the kids back now or she'll call the police and say I kidnapped them,". My oldest was very obviously disgusted.

He asked her if she was going to apologize to him, and she actually had the audacity to ask what she had to apologize for. At that point, he just shut off the zoom call. I asked him if he was okay, but he spent the rest of the afternoon in his room by himself.

That night he told me that he never wanted to talk to her again, ever. I told him that never is a long time, but that we weren't going to make him talk to her if he didn't want to, and we were never, ever going to give him back to her. He told me that never is a long time. We told him that in this case, it meant never.

I'm still shocked. I don't know what happened to my sister. She was my best friend as a kid. She was almost my second mother. She was sweet and caring and nice, I just don't know how all that changed so fast. Or maybe it didn't change that fast and I just never noticed until it was too late and I was driving four hours away at midnight to pick up three little kids, one of which I didn't even know existed.

Before now, I honestly never considered myself as their parent, even after I legally adopted them. More like I was just taking care of them long term. But now I realize that those kids are my kids. And they're going to be my kids for the rest of my (and hopefully their) lives. Thank you for all of your help, guys.

Sources: Reddit
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