Do you have a childhood memory of going off with siblings to explore the world? Perhaps you looked forward to the day when you were old enough to ride bikes to the corner store for soda and candy without parents! Unfortunately, this common childhood ritual is not so common for approximately half of the children in foster care placed in separate homes from their siblings.
Because they do not share the same home, children may be shy, unsure, or even reserved when visiting with their siblings. After all, they are experiencing entirely different home environments. With each Sib-Link® visit, children get to know each other again. But after all of the change and loss, some simply may not be up for a new relationship challenge.
John was resistant to getting to know his sisters. He refused to communicate during visits, only whispering secretive conversations to his brother with whom he lives in a group home. He covered his face when they took group family pictures at the end of a visit.
To the delight of our Sib-Link® team, all this completely changed at a recent birthday visit. John stepped into the car with a big smile, ready to have fun. He came to life, wholeheartedly joining in the birthday fun, and speaking directly to his sisters. His smile was one of the best gifts his sister received on her special day. John even smiled for pictures… after his sister bribed him with a balloon from her party!
As Elise Durham, Area Manager for Sib-Link in Spartanburg, glowingly remarked, “I didn’t know he had dimples!”
The birthday celebration was the last sibling visit before the girls became officially adopted by their foster families this month. Luckily, the adoptive parents are committed to continuing to support these sibling visits.
Maybe someday, the boys and the girls will ride bikes together outside. But, until then, they were able to ride bikes together at Dave & Busters with the Sib-Link® team!
(Names of children are changed to protect privacy. The stories are real.)
Our Sib-Link® visits provide opportunities for separated siblings to get to know each other again – to create a shared history and a healing reservoir for the rest of their lives.
When a sibling has a birthday, we make it something to remember!