It worked out for everyone to have some serious sibling time this afternoon. We dropped off Crocodile with the foster mom who has his sisters. Then we went to the park for a play date with Cricket, then headed back and picked up Crocodile when we were done.
It's always very good, but always a bit bittersweet. Things that bring a smile to my face bring a pang of loss in my heart. She still acts like she's Rhinoceros's big sister, even though she's younger. She still asks for me to pick her up. She said she was sleepy and cuddled with me for awhile, and after she pinched her finger, she cried and cuddled some more. She still wears an intense, serious face much of the time, but when she grins, it's so bright. She asked if I could come to Granny's house and spend the night with her.
And I don't know why, but this conversation cracked me up:
"So what do you do at (pre)school?"
"I color and I glue."
"Oh, are you cutting up paper, too? I know you're really good at that."
"No, the teacher don't let me have the scissors. No no no."
Gina* told me they had just had a play date on Friday with Cricket's younger brother as well, who still lives in a separate home. The case is moving toward adoption, and they are having more frequent sibling visits to make a case that adopting in separate homes is the best for these kids. I can't say what's right or wrong. Sometimes splitting sibling groups makes me wonder if we should even be fostering, knowing we're a part of the problem when we say, "No, we will only take one." It has come up many times, and it will again. I feel guilt, but we also know what we can provide, and what we are afraid we can't provide with more kids or older kids, at least at this point. But if no one fostered besides families who could do the best for every single case, how few families would be available? What we can do is better than nothing, at least I pray it is.
We can only do our part, nurture those sibling relationships, and leave it in God's hands.
*Cricket's half-sister's grandma, her foster mom as fictive kin