I was raised mostly by my uncle and aunt. My older sister developed a serious illness when I was 6 and my parents decided that they couldn’t care for both of us I guess, so they kind of unceremoniously dumped me at my grandparents and my uncle took me in.
Like, didn’t even explain to me what was going on, just “you’re going to go visit gran for awhile” and never picked me back up. My grandparents and uncle explained it later, and they were pretty livid at my parents. I’ve seen my parents maybe 5 times since then and not at all for the last 9 years.
I decided to stop having contact with them when I was 12 and since I was the only one reaching out all communication broke down. It turned out ok, I love my aunt and uncle and it turns out they can’t have kids so they’ve always said I’m their miracle kid, I was just misrouted by the stork at first.
I was formally adopted by them when I turned 18, I wish it had been earlier but there were some red tape things that would have made that really expensive and difficult. I’m 21 now.
My sister passed away between thanksgiving and Christmas and I made a trip back from school for the funeral, but I stayed in the back and left before my bio parents could talk to me. They called my uncle to try to talk to me, but I said I didn’t want to so he told them that I wasn’t available at the moment.
They finally caught up to me over Christmas when I went to midnight mass with my gran, and approached me and tried to give me a hug. I did recognize them, but I pretended not to and just backed off and said “Sorry, do I know you?” They said “We’re your parents!” and I said “My parents are at home.” and went and sat down with my gran.
They sat behind us and I could just feel the stare, and on the way out they were like “You really don’t recognize us?” And I said “Oh, are you my dad’s brother? I think I remember you from when I was little.”
My gran thinks they deserved it trying to come back to me like nothing happened, but they wrote me a long letter about how hurt they are and how I should understand that they were trying to do the right thing and how they’ll always be my parents and I can’t change that.
Other family members think I was too harsh as they’re grieving, but I don’t think they should get a pass just because they remembered me now that my sister is gone.
Here's what people had to say to OP:
Let me see if I have this straight…Your older sister needed more of your bio parents’ time and attention, so they took you to ‘visit’ gran and never came back. Your uncle and (guessing) his wife basically raised you from childhood.
Flash forward to now…your sister has died, and now all of a sudden, your bio parents want a relationship? Yeah…NTA. But just curious - had they made any attempt at contacting you from the time they left you with gran, and now?
throwaway_9572847 OP responded:
Early on they would call now and then but they stopped calling after awhile and then I stopped reaching out
NTA. 'Are you my Dad's brother' was pure class.
And it's technically correct with the adoption :P
Yes! “Can’t change that we’re your parents.” Um… these adoption papers say differently!
This post just made me sad all around. OP was abandoned and his parents deserve whatever OP dishes out. That said, I still have empathy for them since they just lost a kid.
They lost my sympathy when their first extensive contact after nearly a decade without speaking to their abandoned child was a long letter about how much the child they abandoned hurt them by not doing what they wanted. Not apologizing for abandoning them, just demanding the child make them feel better.
It's the polar opposite of what a parent should be doing, especially ones with that much sh**ty behavior to make up for.
NTA. Well handled. Let’s be honest, you acknowledging them at all is more than they deserve.
You played it super cool but I’m sure that was still really difficult for you. I’m sorry they put you in that position. I hope you feel reassured that you did the right thing by that sorry excuse for a letter. They’re still making it about themselves instead of you. Bleeeuch.