Last week we planned a get-together with Ozzie’s biological sister, Zoey.
Tyler and Ozzie, our two adopted sons, both have biological siblings that were adopted by other families. While part of the foster care system a judge felt they should be separated and placed in different homes from their biological siblings. There were a variety of reasons for this, and while I understand the judges’ reasoning, the loss for both my boys is heartbreaking. They both desperately miss their biological siblings and would give anything to live together under the same roof. While I can’t facilitate that I can make sure that I facilitate their connection to their siblings through regular phone calls, letters, gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and regular visits.
Tyler has four bio-siblings that were all adopted into four separate homes. Some of those adoptive families are open and encouraging of regular contact while some are a bit more cautious and nervous about what effect sibling contact will have on their child and family.
Tyler is closest to his brother Sean. Sean’s mom is very open to contact and works to facilitate regular visits between Sean and Tyler.
Tyler has less contact with his other three siblings and it breaks his heart.
Ozzie has one biological sister. Zoey is a year younger than him and lives 45 minutes away. We have a wonderful relationship with Zoey’s adoptive mom who works hard to make sure we get the two of them together monthly for visits.
We take turns each month. One month she will pick up Ozzie and take him out for the day with Zoey and then the next month I will pick up Zoey. Usually this outing revolves around some sort of activity. Their relationship is complex and I find they do best when they are participating together in a more structured activity then when they are left alone to their own devices.
This month was my month to take the kids out. We wanted to make sure we fit in a visit for Ozzie before we left on our road trip and he wouldn’t see Zoey for six weeks. With circumstances being what they are (with Toby out of town) I decided that we would take everyone on our outing rather than leave Tyler alone with Grace. Things have just been too volatile for me to be comfortable leaving Tyler in Gracie’s care. So we all headed out to pick up Zoey.
We decided to take her to the wave pool. This was a calculated decision. In addition to the fact I knew it would be an activity that all would enjoy, I knew it would be an activity that would provide a physical outlet for some of the manic and anxious energy that comes with these get-togethers. I also knew that by keeping Tyler occupied in the deeper waters Ozzie would be able to have Zoey’s undivided attention in the shallow end, thus avoiding the “third wheel” issue that sometimes comes when all three of them play together.
It was a perfect day for the wave pool. It was sunny and hot. We obviously weren’t the only ones that felt that way because the wave pool was a busy, happening place!
Tyler spent most of the day jumping in the deep end with Grace.
While Ozzie spent most of the day riding waves and playing with Zoey.
They had a great time together and everyone did really well.
We stayed for about 5 hours and then it was time to get Zoey home.
The “good-bye” at the end of a sibling visit is always tough for my boys. This “good-bye” was particularly hard for Ozzie, knowing it would be two months until he saw his sister again, but when I pointed out the fact that he would be able to send Zoey postcards from all sorts of cool places along our journey he cheered up immensely.
It was a good day.