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To not want to take my children to Australia?

(256 Posts)
Andro Fri 04-Jan-13 19:48:42

I never thought I'd say this, but I really need the views of someone not connected to my situation.

Background: My DH and I are the adoptive parents of his sister's children (DS 9 and DD 5), we took them on after their parents were killed in a accident and the adoption was finalised just over a year ago. I couldn't love them more!

Problem: My in-laws live in Australia and are demanding that we take our DC to visit in the summer holidays, I've said no and now we are heading for war.

DS has a serious phobia of flying; not long before is DP died they were on a flight that had to make an emergency landing, he was bumped around pretty badly and he now has some serious problems. We didn't realise how bad his fear was (I don't think he knew either tbh) until we tried to take a flight to Ireland, the panic attack he had was so bad he had to be taken to hospital by ambulance, sedated until his vital signs stabilized and spent a few days there for observation. DS is now having treatment for his phobia, he is making progress but it's slow going and his therapist agrees that any flight right now would be counter-productive. My in-laws know all this, it has been explained to them in detail and both have acknowledged that over 24h of flight time for a phobic child is, and I quote "less than ideal".

Let battle commence: They have suggested that I should drug DS for the duration of the journey...I just about hit the roof! I have no problem with an adult choosing to take medication in order to travel, but to suggest I do that to a child? I don't even know if a doctor would agree to but in truth I don't care! My DH is in a lousy situation, he really wants to support me but is being emotionally blackmailed by his parents. I feel sorry for him really because his Mother really does know which buttons to press. She had tried everything from 'we haven't seen them since the funeral and we miss them terribly, we might not see them again if you don't bring them over' to 'it's not as if they're her (my) blood family, why should she have any say?' and just about everything in-between. DH is trying to hold strong but his Mother is getting to him and it's causing some heated discussions between us.

Summary: AIBU to refuse to consider drugging my DS in order to take him on a long haul flight?

(sorry for the mammoth post)

OddBoots Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:25

Cross posts - could you all book a holiday cottage/hotel somewhere nearish the airport that you could drive/get a train to?

GoldPlatedNineDoors Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:38

Well, they sound very very selfish! These childrens parents died here, have sever flight phobia and are living in a world that has been tirned upside down recently.

They come to you or they miss out on seeing their DGs.


PumpkinPositive Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:41

Tell them to come here. Simples.

And whilst they sound completely barmy, I'd try to give them some rope. Their grief must be intense.

catgirl1976geesealaying Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:45

It must be awful for them losing a child and having GCs so far away but they need to put the needs of your DS before thier own

It's a bit odd they can't come as it would be too traumatic for them (adults) but they don't think the trauma to your DS (a child) is a good enough reason not to travel

I feel for them, but they are being unreasonable

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:47

x post, normally I'd be sympathetic but in this case, no child that distressed by flying trumps not wanting to visit for that reason

could you meet for a holiday in a different part of the uK if they flew over, or ferry to france and holiday with them there? then they wouldn't have to visit the site but would be the ones doing the flying??

ChasedByBees Fri 04-Jan-13 19:58:47

You have adopted them: they are your children. Don't let that argument ever be used, it's not only insulting but it would be hurtful and harmful for the DC to hear that view.

Oh and you are so NBU.

HomeEcoGnomist Fri 04-Jan-13 19:59:13

Is it even possible to drug someone for the duration of a 24 hour flight?
There does not seem to be any reasonable response to this other than DH man up, tell the inlaws it's not happening and make plans for the GPs to come over, if they want

Kitsilano Fri 04-Jan-13 19:59:59

Holy crap - that's awful! Tell them to come to you, definitely.

StanleyLambchop Fri 04-Jan-13 20:00:07

So they are putting their own (understandable) upset over the trauma of their Grandson. He is just a child, his needs must come first. He can't get on a plane at the moment. End of.

theboutiquemummy Fri 04-Jan-13 20:00:53

Wow Andro what a nightmare the blackmail is bullying and I should imagine everything is still very raw after the accident but in another word sod that its their grandsons mental health surely his needs should come first.

If they want to see the Kids then they will have to travel and if its a money problem them perhaps you can contribute something.

Stand your ground speak to your DH and agree to put on a united front if he allows his mother to do this to him it will always happen and its shouldn't be about winning or losing but about whats best for the children all of them.

Believe it or not you are being good parents by trying to find a solution when everyone is still grieving

Hands over a mug of tea and virtual hug

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 20:00:55

They are being utterly stupid and selfish and not thinking of their grandchildren by saying they won't come

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 20:00:57

If they don't want to stay near you, email them some links of hotels at the other end of the country that they could pay for you all to stay at for a holiday.

MummytoKatie Fri 04-Jan-13 20:01:47

UANBU. In laws are mad! Aside from anything else when is the drugging going to start? It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that he would panic attack at the airport. Or the road when he realises he is getting to the airport. Or when he saw you packing for a holiday.

And what about coming back? If he's in Australia then he'll know he has to fly home so it's not going to be a lovely family holiday.

Can you and your husband talk to the therapist on the psychological impact on your son of drugging him (presumably a complete loss of trust) and your GP on the physiological impact (nothing very good either - must increase the risk of DVT etc).

In the end your husband is going to have to choose between his child's welfare and his parents wishes. It may be easier for him with medical backing.

Why don't the ILs come to the UK. If they are not "fit to fly" then can't they be drugged or something. grin

badguider Fri 04-Jan-13 20:02:30

If you live near where their dd died then get them to meet you somewhere else in the UK - a holiday cottage in cornwall if you live in london, or wales if you live in the south or scotland... anywhere you can drive to they can fly to.

It's utterly ridiculous to expect a traumatised child of 9 who is phobic of flying to spend 24hrs in planes and airports!!!!!!

PumpkinPositive Fri 04-Jan-13 20:02:33

Is it even possible to drug someone for the duration of a 24 hour flight?

Oh yes. It's great. grin

saffronwblue Fri 04-Jan-13 20:02:42

YANBU. You are the mother now and you are putting your DS's needs ahead of adults. Of course there must be so much pain and grief around for everyone but the trauma for your inlaws of seeing the accident site is outweighed by your DS's needs.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 04-Jan-13 20:03:33

Firstly, don't let her get away with any of this shit about the dc not being your blood relations and therefore nothing to do with you. You have adopted them - they are your dc, just the same as they would be if you'd given birth to them. You are legally, physically, emotionally and financially responsible for them. She is not. I would be making that very clear and if she wanted to see them grow up she would not be allowed to spout any of that shite.

Secondly, stand your ground. You are doing the right thing. Their GPs relations are not putting the dc first and are being selfish.

I would tell then that they either come over and visit (not stay in your house, either) or they don't see the children. End of. No discussion or negotiation.

Your dh does need to be more active in this. I know it's hard when his mother knows what buttons to push, but you have made a huge commitment here and he must support you as these children's mother, the same as if you were the biological parent and not allow any tolerance to his mother when she starts with questioning your right to make decisions.

monsterchild Fri 04-Jan-13 20:04:00

I think they should come to you. they can take some drugs if they feel too traumatized. at least they will understand why they are taking them!

EnjoyResponsibly Fri 04-Jan-13 20:04:15

Grief aside (and I'm not indifferent, they must be heartbroken) they sound as bonkers as conkers.

Stand firm. You're his mother, you have his best interests in mind. When his treatment permits, maybe then. Until then drug a child. REALLY?

MerylStrop Fri 04-Jan-13 20:04:29

They'd be less upset than their DGC taking the journey. Why don't you all book a holiday somewhere else in the UK and meet them there?

I would say that it would be great, in the LONG term to have a plan to go to Aus. When your DS is ready. And only then.

GoingtobeRuth Fri 04-Jan-13 20:05:40

It is just all about them, isn't it.
In the nicest possible way your DH needs to basically tell them to suck it up and come to see the children. You are absolutely right to want to stop causing potential permanent damage to their grandson by subjecting him to a flight, drugged or not. Are they really serious that that you should lie to him, drug him to unconsciousness and then expect him to be fine about it when he is a 24hour flight away from home? I would expect the airline to contact the police/SS if you were to try and take a drugged child out of the country and I cannot imagine that your GP would sanction 24 hours of sedation unsupervised either!

You have all of my sympathy, this is a horrible one to deal with but you are not unreasonable in any way at all. And you are now mother to these children, your word goes

Andro Fri 04-Jan-13 20:05:41

Thank you all so much!

StanleyLambchop - DH was very, very clear that the comment was beyond unacceptable, told his DM that I deserve more respect from her both as his wife AND as the legal mother to the children, then insisted that she apologize to me for it.

cakebar - the family is not from OZ. The in-laws have lived there for 10 years, they emigrated whilst my DH was in his last year of university. Before the accident, they used to come over at least once a year, sometimes twice.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 04-Jan-13 20:06:21

Do they not know that planes go both ways?

SantasENormaSnob Fri 04-Jan-13 20:06:58

The selfish fuckers should come to you.

Their comment re you not being blood is disgusting. I wouldn't let that go tbh.

MerylStrop Fri 04-Jan-13 20:08:05

Good for your DH

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