When this woman is concerned that she might upset her family dynamic by taking in a family member's white child, she aks Reddit:
I’m 47. My husband is 50. We have 3 children (28F, 26M, and 24M). They all live independently, our two oldest are married with kids of their own. We have a good relationship with them, regular contact and are very involved with our grandkids. We’re black (this is relevant to the situation unfortunately).
Three months ago I was made aware that my white half sister who I hadn’t spoken to in years had passed away. She was much younger than me and we were never close due to her living with her dad.
Our mom died over a decade ago. She has a one year old daughter, Jane, whose father is not in the picture. We were the only living family willing to take the baby in. It was an easy decision but not an easy adjustment.
Jane is white, not mixed. Her mom (my white half sister, shared the same white mom). I have a black dad. Jane's parents are both white.
Our sons did not have an issue with it and supported the decision. Our daughter, on the other hand, was very indifferent and refused to even see my niece. She dropped her daughter (7) off at our house for the weekend and was angry when she came home with one of my niece’s white dolls.
She told us that it was bad for her self image to be playing with dolls that didn’t resemble her. I tried to explain that the kids play with dolls with all different colors. A one year old could not care less what shade her barbies are.
It all seemed baseless and out of nowhere considering our granddaughter adores the baby and helping care for her and playing ‘mom’ for a bit. We still spend alone time with her too doing her favorite activities.
It turned into a larger argument when she started ranting about how seeing us care for a white child made our granddaughter feel jealous and less important.
Apparently it also hurts my daughter to see us put so much time into raising a white baby (again, she put emphasis on Jane’s race) when we failed our own children so much growing up.
I tried to ask what we did wrong because we truly did our best to raise our kids well and provide them all they needed. She started crying about how she felt betrayed and seeing us dote on Jane while she never received that motherly love growing up hurt her.
I told her that if she wanted to talk about what her childhood might have lacked then she needed to leave an innocent child and that child’s color out of it.
She was cold about us taking in Jane from the beginning and it’s manifesting as genuine anger and resentment now. When I brought that up she cut off the conversation immediately and refused to speak about it.
A few days went by after and she reached out to me letting me know that we would not be allowed to see our granddaughter until we put our "real family's" needs and well-being first.
I told her that the baby is family and she went dead silent again. I love Jane like she's my own. My husband does as well. My sons see her as another neice/nephew. My daughter is the only one with any problem. AITAH? How do I even rectify this situation without turning the entire family upside down?
NTA, how can your daughter not see that caring for a child that has lost her mother and has an absent father is much different than being a grandparent to a child who has her parents around caring for her? Race shouldn't be an issue here, but your daughter is making it one in a situation that has nothing to do with it.
Yes, it may hurt that your daughter is taking issue with this, but she needs a bop on the side of the head with a reality stick. You may need to let her go with her inappropriate removal of her child from your life for a while until she pulls her head out of her behind, starts to miss you, and be more reasonable about the situation.
When she does pull it out, it's very easy to explain to your granddaughter why your half sister's child has very different circumstances to her own. I am sure the grandchild will have an easier time understanding that than your daughter has.
NTA. You are awesome. Carry on being awesome. I can see your goal is to have a harmonious family. I think your daughter and granddaughter may need some one on one special time.
For some reason, your daughter is jealous of the attention your niece is getting. Maybe shes sad her daughter is missing out on special time with you. Reckon you can work through this with her. I know you love her and want this to work out and it will.. you got this.