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Our kidnapped SS was forcibly returned to us because of my husband and I'm at my limit

sarahSh's picture

I know I come off like an evil bitch but I'm emotionally worn out.


When my SS was 10, BM took him to her home country for a "holiday" and refused to let him come back unless my DH agreed to change the custody agreement to make her country SS's primary residence. This happened literally three days after our wedding. 


My DH tried to fight it for years but he couldn't do much from our country. They never came to an agreement.


So while SS missed him initially, maintaining a relationship over just phone calls wasn't ideal. SS grew distant from DH and basically became a stranger to all of us.


But apparently BM brought SS over on the wrong visa and the only way he could stay in the country was if my DH signed some documents allowing him to gain citizenship. SS (17 years then) called him and begged him to sign them. He promised to visit him once he turned 18 and repair the relationship.


But my DH refused to do so.


And after a year of issues for BM, SS ended up being deported back to our country.


This was not how we expected to be reunited with my SS. And we feel gutted that he's having to deal with a lot of issues right now.


He can't drive and has to wait for while before he can take the test. His high school education isn't being recognized here and he can't go to the college in BMs country that he got accepted to. He now has to study and do the SAT exam.


And he's taking ALL of his anger out on us. He wants us to pay.


I get that he was a victim of his mother's shitty behavior. But so were we. I watched my poor DH cry countless times. He's been diagnosed with depression.


My SS moved into our basement and absolutely refuses to have any positive interaction with us. 


It's been four months and my SS has not gone to a single therapy session. Everyday my DH brings him his food and pleads with him to try and make the best of the situation.


We have two young children who are extremely confused by the situation. My relationship with my DH has suffered tremendously.


My DH recently bought SS's girlfriend a ticket to come visit as a peace offering. And he's hopeful that it will help thaw the relationship.


I'm uncomfortable to even be in my own home. And a part of me wishes my husband had just signed those documents.


Am I being unreasonable?



tog redux's picture

That's a tough situation, but your DH needs to sign those documents and let SS be where he wants to be.  Forcing him to live with you won't help build a relationship. 

sarahSh's picture

It's too late now. My SS is banned from returning to his mother's country for 10 years. Then he can try applying for a visa again.


tog redux's picture

Ah, okay. Then at 18, he's free to go live where he wants.  He can't stay with you unless he goes to school or works. 

Do you think he's depressed? If so, my advice changes and you need to seek help with that. 

sarahSh's picture

I'm sure he's depressed. But he refuses to attend therapy. He lost his spot in the college in his mother's country and has to re study for the SATs.


And he can't work until he can start driving. Which we have other issues getting. It's a big mess which is entirely of my DHs making I feel. 


But I feel bad for saying that because I don't know if I wouldn't do the same for my child.

tog redux's picture

Well, I think unfortunately your DH did what her thought was best for him and not what was best for SS. After 7 years, forcing him back into your home was bound to fail. Why can't he work until he drives?

sarahSh's picture

Because both DH and I work and where we live, we need a car to get around. No public transport or walking. Not even Ubers.

CLove's picture

Your Dh should not have given in to the emtional terrorism. SS isnt a captive - hes being supported and he can go do his own thing, if he knuckels down. Parental Alienation is at work here and you have the trojan horse that BM set up to blow up on you all.

I dont think that you are unreasonable. SS is being unreasonable, but he is the one who has to swim against a tide.

And BM isnt in the picture.

Too bad you cannot ship the kid back there to his "better life".

sarahSh's picture

That's the problem too. I'm sure SS would love go off on his own and not ever see us again. But he's stuck here without a car, drivers license or a college admission. I'm angry at him but heartbroken for him at the same time 

CLove's picture

I would definitely try to get him back to where he had things set up, meaning the SS.

Trying for a relationship by buying a ticket for GF is like putting a drop of water on a forest fire. IMO. But I dont know enough.

But SS is acting up too. So on one hand it sucks for him and on the other he needs to buck up and help make things better for himself.

lieutenant_dad's picture

You're not being unreasonable, but youre ire needs to be blasted at your DH and not SS. I can't blame SS for being upset - your DH had the opportunity to give SS a start at life, and he didn't do it. DH needs to figure out how to fix the problem he created.

Yes, BM was wrong. IMO, the courts were wrong. But after spending nearly half his life in another country, your DH had to have realized that not signing those papers didn't hurt anyone except SS. Sure, it stuck it to BM, but the person paying the price for EVERYONE'S problems is SS.

Buying the GF a plane ticket isn't the answer. Using that money to hire an immigration attorney to help SS is. And if I were you, I'd be telling my DH to fix the mess her created or he can find a new places to live with his son because you and your children shouldn't have to deal with it in your home.

sarahSh's picture

My SS can't even got back to his mother's country if he wanted to. He's been banned from entry for 10 years.

I'm feeling very resentful and hopeless.


lieutenant_dad's picture

I don't blame you. On the scale of eff ups, your DH made a major one. What was his reasoning at the time for not signing the paperwork? Did he know this would happen? 

sarahSh's picture

I guess he was fed up with just being dropped by SS and the awful stuff his ex put him through. And maybe he thought it would be some happy reunification but clearly that wasn't the case.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Does your DH recognize what he has done? SS had completed, or nearly completed, high school and was set to go to college. He had a GF and family in that country. His entire life, and everything he was building toward a future, is in that country. Your DH's short-sightedness has crippled SS's future in a lot of ways, and some apologies and visit from a GF won't fix that.

I'm saying all this because I feel like major your DH doesn't understand the gravity of this. In 10 years, members of his family he was close to may die, and SS won't see them. His friends will get married and have kids, and he won't see them. He won't see his mother unless she visits. 

Your DH needs to talk to an immigration attorney, a local embassy, immigrant groups - anyone from that country to help identify any avenues he can to get his son either back or on track to go back if he so chooses. And he needs to do whatever he can to help SS get established in your country.

Your DH made an incredibly dumb decision that is going to impact all of you for a very long time.

sarahSh's picture

Neither me or my DH actually expected the 10 year ban. We did talk to a lawyer and that was never brought up. 


I think my DH thought that this would allow him to meet his son in person before making decisions on what to do while having the two if them in family therapy.


Of course now he regrets everything and it's played out completely differently. But it's too late for regret at this point. And while I know he didn't expect this, I can't help but resent his decision that has like you said, negatively affected everyone, especially my SS.

tog redux's picture

Since he's understandably angry at your DH, is there someone else he can live with? Grandparents? Maybe from there he can get on track to move forward with life. 

Can he visit BM's country? Is it far away?

Dogmom1321's picture

Wow. Just wow. Goes to show that the only thing PAS ruins is the kids' future. Extremely crappy on DH part though. At some point, he needed to accept the situation BM put him in and signed the papers. 

It's time for HIM to parent and right all of the wrongs he has made. He had a spot in college in this other country? Now he can't even graduate HS since he's with DH? He royally f'ed up this kid's life. 

ESMOD's picture

Your husband needs to hire an attorney and figure out what he can do to fix this kid's life.

A 10 year ban.. for a minor?  Was he running drugs? 

Seriously, if his mother is in that country legally, I fail to see why her son could not be there also... 

As others have said.. your husband made a massive mistake by not signing paperwork when it would have smoothed things over.

There is no doubt that If I was that kid I would be seething in the basement too.

Tried out's picture

on doors, windows, bathroom stalls, anything to get around this 10 year ban. I would demand to speak to every single person's supervisor if it took me all the way to the head of Immigration in DC.

And I would be doing the same for his high school credits. Did they look at his transcript, see the quality of his work? Again, go over whoever's head you already spoke to and then to his/hers, etc, all the way to the state board of education and onto to the federal government. The worst that can come of this is they all say no. And it would be good for this child/victim to know you're fighting to make things whole for him.

tog redux's picture

Even in the US, if you overstay your visa by more than a certain period of time, you can get a 10-year ban from ever even visiting the country again.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

But even a minor whose mother is here? I figured we (US) were worse than other places about immigration, but i guess not.

tog redux's picture

She may not have been able to petition for him to get citizenship because she didn't have legal custody of him.  My DH is a naturalized citizen so we went through the process.  He could not have petitioned for SS to get his green card without BM's consent because she was the custodial parent.  And since BM in OP's case took the kid and fled, that was probably the document she needed DH to sign, allowing her to petition for him to have citizenship or giving her custody to allow her to do so.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

That really sucks. It also sounds like the SS is 18 now so he probably is stuck following the 10-year ban. Great job, OP's DH. You won and your prize is a miserable 18-year-old who hates you for screwing up his life. 

Livingoutloud's picture

10 years ban is typical consequence for staying on the wrong visa or expired visa. That's true for the US too.

But he can argue that he was a minor and didn't know what kind of visa he had 

Winterglow's picture

Yep, and a good lawyer who specializes in immigration issues should be able to stomp on that fairly easily. Please OP, find an immigration lawyer, for everybody's sake.

Livingoutloud's picture

US recognizes high school diploma from anywhere in the world. It's nonsense that it's not recognized.

He could also start with community college and they won't care about his SAT score. He could just take SAT and any score would do. No need to study for it at all. Just register and take it. 

It doesn't take long to start driving. I immigrated in my 30s and I spoke no English and never drove in my life. I got my license within maybe a month and a half at most. 

All this story how he can't go to school or drive or work is just isn't the case. He can work on the weekend or at night when you two are off. He can go to community college, online if he cannot get there. He can get drivers license fast. 

Tried out's picture

graduated? She speaks of him being accepted at a college, not attending one. Public high schools can refuse credits from  non-accredited schools. If that's how they're viewing his credits from another country they need to get his transcript and syllabi from his courses and demand they be compared to graduation requirements in his state. He might need to take some additional high school classes to meet local requirements for graduation. Or he could get his GED.

Livingoutloud's picture

If he graduated, his diploma will be accepted. "Accredited School" doesn't mean anything as it's from a different country. US graduation requirements are on the low side and I have never ever heard of a foreign diploma not accepted. I am very familiar with the system. She also never said he must take more classes. She said he has to take SAT. I sm sure he can just take it without studying. Not the end of the world 

sarahSh's picture

sorry maybe i wrote it unclearly. My SS does not have a high school diploma. He wasn't able to get the certificate from his school from his mother's country because he had to stop going due to the legal issues.

Hes studying to get the GED and then do the SAT. But you're right. He can do community college once he gets the GED and SAT isn't needed. I'm not sure why that isn't being discussed as an option.

justmakingthebest's picture

I agree with Livingoutloud. Almost all community colleges and tech schools recognize international degrees. He can also just take his GED to speed up the process. After a year at a community college he can go where he wants. 

Yes, this is a hard and awful transition for him but he also needs to be in counseling to recognize that his dad and you are as much of a victim as he is. His mother committed a major crime and now he is paying for it (you husband has been paying for it for years). 

Another option is to let him go. I certainly wouldn't blame you. He isn't a little kid that can be turned back around. Damage is done here that likely won't be undone for years. BM has made sure that there would never be hope for him to have a relationship with his father. 

notarelative's picture

BM started this and has made her child's life a mess. BM had to know there would be consequences for her actions. She could have sent SS back at 17 and avoided the formal deportation and subsequent ten year ban. Reality most likely is that, if DH had signed the papers, his son would have never come back to even to visit.

SS won't go to therapy. That may be, but DH needs to go for himself. He needs help to figure out how to get SS out of the basement. (I'd start, if it were I, by not bringing him meals.) DH needs to call the local community college and find out how to get his son enrolled. Even if it will take a while to enroll in a program, SS can take classes. 

And while I am sure SS misses the girlfriend, I'm not sure bringing her here was a good idea. DH needs to talk to his son about s#x and birth control. SS becoming a father (to a child living in BM's country) would only add to the nightmare.

Rags's picture

Your DH did nothing wrong.  BM kidnapped the kid and every bit of this is on that criminal biotch.  Time for SS to have every sordid fact about his POS BM.

justmakingthebest's picture

It wouldn't matter what was said. In SS's eyes his mom was doing the best she could to keep them together. Dad is the jerk who wouldn't let them live their lives. It will always be all his fault.