The 10-year-old girl skips into the room and smiles to the little boy, who’s sitting on her grandmother’s lap. The children have never met before, but it is clear that they like each other as soon as their eyes meet. They seem curious and playful. She has grown up as an only child with her grandparents, while the boy comes from one of the centers for children who have been removed from their parents. One day, hopefully soon, they will become a family.
I fetch the boy and his childcare worker in the morning to take them to the family for his very first home visit. The childcare worker is responsible for the supervision when we arrive, and I work in the car, but once in a while I take a look to see how it goes.
The boy has nothing against being picked up by his new big sister. He looks at her with his big, beautiful eyes, perhaps wondering who she is. She shows him around the yard and inside the house. They play with bubbles. The girl seems so proud; she has finally someone to call her sibling. She has her very own brother now. The whole family plays with a red plastic ball that noticeably needs more air. The boy becomes scared, when the family’s kitten suddenly walks in through the open door, and runs to his future foster mother for comfort. He does not even look at the childcare worker. I smile and feel joy deep in my heart. This will be great!
The childcare worker shows me a short film from her cell phone, taken when the two children happily play together, and tells me how the boy normally keeps himself in the background and does not interact so much with other children and adults. But, we have observed a complete other side of him. This is how he is for real, when he does not have to compete with all the other children in his age, back at the centre. This family will do him good, he will thrive!
After a few hours, it’s time to go, but the boy will soon visit the family again and the girl will learn to get more and more into her role as a sister.