I (27F) have a 5 year old foster daughter named May. She has been with me for around 8 months now, and I love her to pieces. Im considering adopting her, even.
My sister (31F) Kate recently suffered a miscarriage, and it took a real toll on her marriage. She is getting divorced from her husband, and has been staying with me because she can't bear to live with him right now. Kate, however, has been a horrible guest to May. Every time May asks her for something, or talks to her Kate will burst into tears, or yell at her.
Kate is a great sister to me, and I understand that she's grieving, but that doesn't mean she can lash out at May for simply existing. I've told her off multiple times for yelling at May, but it all came to a head when I confronted her this morning.
May had asked Kate if she could move so she could get to the snack cabinet. Kate snapped at her to 'wait for a damn second, brat'. I overheard from the living room and made Kate move out of the way and told her to apologize to May.
Kate burst into tears, saying that she just couldn't take having May here as a reminder of what she's lost. I told her she is a grown adult, and should know better than to bully a child for her own problems.
I told May to go to her room real quick, and Kate and I got into a huge argument, and I ended up telling her if she couldn't take seeing my foster daughter, she could find somewhere else to stay. She left to our parents house and told them everything. I've been getting massages from her all day now.
She tells me I am a horrible sister, and said that she was grieving and asked how I could 'put someone else's kid over her's'. Which I think is a disgusting thing to send to anyone, personally I think she's being insensitive to me and my daughters relationship.
According to my mom, she's been crying for hours, and won't stop talking about how I'm such a monster for not thinking of her feelings. AITA? I just don't think she has a right to yell at my kid because she lost her's.
I aged out of foster care, and I tell you, I wish a single one of my parents ever stood up for me. Thanks, OP, for helping heal my neglected and terrified inner child. This was the right thing to do.
I hope your foster daughter got hugs and kind words from you after your sister left. And lots of hot chocolate!
interumza OP responds:
Oooooo the hot chocolate thing gives me a really good idea. May saw these hot chocolate bombs in the store (I think they're little chocolate balls filled with marshmallows?) and really wanted them. Thank you for the inspiration for Sunday! (Bonding day!)
If your parents agree with you, they must understand that you can never let your sister be around May. Why can't she stay with your parents? She's their kid, after all.
interumza OP responds:
She is staying with them, I'm saying they wouldn't let her near their home if she had a way to support herself. My parents are conflicted, they don't want her to be homeless, but they're also horrified by what she said to May.
My mom has been keeping me up to date on what Kate's been doing, but she's on my side, and my dad agrees with me too.
Speaking as a social worker with years of experience in CPS...You'd be wrong if you let it continue. As a foster parent, you have a responsibility that (for lack of a better way to put it) other people have control over, and your responsibility includes protecting May from people who treat her that way.
Whatever landed her in foster care has done enough damage and she, more than most children, needs to know she is safe. There's more happening than this one incident, right? Don't let your sister stay there. Your case manager may get concerned. Good luck!
I'm also a social worker -- not with CPS but I've worked with hundreds of kids in placement. I completely agree with everything you are saying. By the time kids are in foster care they've likely experienced more trauma than most of us can imagine.
You,.as a foster parent, are now responsible for working to ensure her physical and emotional safety. Please don't let your sister back into your home.
NTA - I’ve been through the system, and agree with the social workers here.