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Woman distances from sister over criticism of foster child's private schooling. AITA?

Woman distances from sister over criticism of foster child's private schooling. AITA?

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"AITA for refusing to help my sister with her kids after she said I was wasting money by putting my foster daughter in private school?"

aitarefusehelp

I have been fostering Maya (8) for about 7 months now. I work at a children's hospital and Maya came in around 10 months ago with some pretty horrific injuries. She was in the hospital for 2.5 months and had 3 surgeries and a lot of PT and OT.

She didn't have any family so I took care of her while she was there. I got her some clothes and toys, learned how to do her hair, watched frozen 50 times, stayed the night before/after surgeries or when she had a rough day, I cooked for her, introduced her to fruits and vegetables.

I ended up falling in love with this little girl and had to keep her. I was able to get licensed pretty quickly because of my job so when she came home from the hospital, she went straight to me.

The public school sent a teacher to the hospital then the house for a while, then when she was able to go to school she was put in the special ed class in a public school with a plan to eventually get her in mainstream classes.

There weren't exactly any problems with the public school or her class, it just wasn't a good fit. She wasn't making friends, wasn't making any improvements with their speech therapist, wasn't learning much even though her teachers tried and her school got her 5 hours/week of tutoring, and she'd hold my hand and take a nap the second we got home (she's not much of a napper).

I decided to look at private schools and found a Montessori inspired school around 45 minutes from my house. We took a tour, she did the assessment, and she got in. She started in March and she's doing great.

She's speaking more and more clearly, she's learning so much, and she even has 2 friends. The school is expensive though. After my financial aid I'm paying $1200/month for her tuition and when she starts going to aftercare it'll be another $450/month.

I was talking to my sister about Maya and this school and how she and her husband might want to consider it for their older daughter (2, the preschool starts at 3) and she asked why I'm sending a kid I might not get to keep to private school and that it would be a waste of money if she goes to a family member.

I told her not to worry about me "wasting" my money on Maya and that I'm happy to pay if it's helping her. She kept pushing and I told her that if this is how she feels about my kid I will have to distance myself from her and will not be helping with her kids anymore. Now she's calling me sensitive and claims that I'm abandoning my family. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

bravernaker

NTA at all. Your sister is, though. I have a foster kid and my partner and I routinely go above and beyond for this kid because he DESERVES it, just like little Maya deserves the standard of care you are providing.

Your sister’s mentality about relationships in foster situations is highly problematic, and she really should take a closer look at why she feels that way. And so what if Maya ends up getting placed with blood family?

Your impact on her is irreplaceable and this will be one of those things she can look back on and say wow I was really well loved by my foster parent. So much so that they were willing to do all this for me. I must be worth loving. You see how formative that is, your sister doesn’t. That’s really too bad.

OP, you’re not being “sensitive” - you have sensitivity towards someone attacking your child and your attachment and willingness to do what needs to be done. Don’t be gaslit. You keep rocking.

Edit: You’re not “abandoning” your family. You are setting expectations and drawing healthy boundaries to protect YOUR child. Yes I said YOUR child because Maya is your child, and your family refusing to see that is really them telling you that your attachments don’t matter to them unless they approve of the kind of attachment you’re having.

Question: have they been like this regarding partners, your dating life, friends, etc.?

The OP responded here:

aitarefusehelp

It's not likely that she will go to her bio family considering both of her parents are in prison and her other family members have been convicted of a felony, drug issues, had cps take their kids, or are unable to take her for some other reason that would make it very difficult to get custody of her.

I don't really date much and they don't know my friends so I'm not sure how they are with that part of my life.

Excellent-Count4009

NTA.

YOu need the distance, imagine how they treat your foster daughter when they are alone with her.

ConfusedAt63

NTA, But your sister is a cold person to think that you are wasting your money helping a disadvantaged kid get the help she needs. I don’t think you are wrong. She is dissing your parenting, your good heart, your generous wallet and is discriminating against a child who is not responsible for the situation. Sister or not, she doesn’t deserve any more of your help.

I_wanna_be_anemone

NTA giving Maya a foundation to build upon going forward is an incredible gift. At her new school she’s learning more than just the syllabus, she’s learning how to build confidence, make friends, learning how to make good choices and most importantly, she’s feeling secure enough to push her boundaries.

Even if Maya left in weeks, months, years, I hope those lessons will stay with her as a beacon among all the stuff that happened in her early life. Above all else, she has an adult who genuinely loves her without expecting anything in return, that type of kindness will stay with her the rest of her life. That is not a waste.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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