We have contact with PJ's siblings planned soon. It will be my first contact with her siblings since PJ has been with me and it will be 9 months since PJ has seen one of her siblings and a year since she has seen the other one. The plan is for us all to meet up together one day twice a year.
That is the plan.
It has proved difficult already playing diaries to arrange meeting up.
I am anticipating that there might be a knock on effect after sibling contact for PJ as she readjusts to seeing them, as the realities of her siblings all living apart and a long far away from each other kicks in and as the aftermath of having sibling contact takes it's toll.
I have mixed feelings but will give it my best shot.
"It will be a bit like seeing your cousins twice a year, " I have been told.
Except they are not cousins.
They are siblings.
Siblings who have been uprooted and torn apart and re-grouped into new families as a result of all that has happened.
I will be there to pick up the pieces, of course. I will be there to help unravel and re-ravel. I will be there to have fun and to enjoy and to reminisce. I will be there to help PJ find her balance once again. I will be there through the possible unsettled nights and tears and tantrums and other behaviours that PJ might regress too after contact.
The regression may not happen.
PJ might love the day and take it as it comes and not have a reaction after contact.
It is all unknown.
My experience of contact has been through various work contexts where children have been unsettled just before contact and then on the day of contact and then after contact. They have questioned, processed and articulated very clearly their wishes and feelings and also reacted through their behaviours and emotions with the unspoken words with: anger, frustration, tears, aggression, withdrawing. I have journeyed with these children daily and supported and listened and tried to help them process and reconnect and re balance themselves.
I hope to use these skills if needed to be there for PJ.