My husband and I had extra embryos after our twins were born via IVF. We donated them to his sister, and she had Charlie. We never expected Charlie to be anything but our beloved nephew, but then my sister-in-law died of an unexpected brain aneurysm last year. Charlie was only 3. My husband and I took custody.
I can’t tell you how this tragedy has warped our family in ways that we are still finding out. Charlie is adapting beautifully, but my mother-in-law isn’t. She gets very upset if Charlie calls me Momma or my husband Daddy. Or if our twins call Charlie their brother instead of cousin. She has accused me of trying to erase her daughter more than once.
My husband and I have every intention of telling Charlie about his mother and his origins, but he is 4 years old. My family is urging me to come home with the kids, that distance is the best thing I can do here, and that my mother-in-law needs to deal with her grief, not take it out on us. What should I do?
— Mother Maybe