On Sunday my sister and I went to get our seasonal and H1N1 flu shots. There was a clinic at the local civic centre, so I figured that would be a good place to go. We used her wheelchair, think toddler - well very tall toddler, so much easier to push her where we are going rather than pulling and waiting!
As we got out of the car, she was asking if we were going shopping ("bank, going to go bank?" to be exact - as kids we had to go to the bank to start our shopping...) I kept saying, "No, we're getting our needles." But as I rolled her past the swimming pool towards the civic centre she turned in the chair, looked at me and asked, "Book?" We were right in front of the the very nondescript office tower looking public library. I don't know the last time she was in the library, maybe well over 20 years ago. Who knows what goes on inside her head? She never stops amazing me, there are memories, and knowledge in her head I have no means of accessing.
I constantly wondered what she'll make of her niece/nephew. A social worker at a workshop on preparing for adoption suggested creating a social story for her with a picture of me standing at the empty crib, an airplane, and then the picture of me with my little one. The group home staff would go over it every day to help her understand.
I spent a lot of time last winter trying to make my sister jealous. Not to be mean, but to learn how she'd react. I would go swimming with her and her group home housemates. My sister doesn't need any support in the water, instead she floats away with a noodle. I would support and pull around one of the others. My sister was never jealous. Instead she'd interact and try to engage the 'friend' I'd swum with. A good sign, eh?!
What worries me is the leaving of both my sister and the my new little one. I hate Sunday evenings when I bring my sister back to her group home. I cried all the way home for the first six months after she moved into the group home. The staff takes great care of my sister and she loves living there, but it feels wrong for her not to be at home with my brother and I. The longest my sister and I have been apart is 7 weeks, but at that time my parents were alive and she lived at home. The idea of traveling for 3 months and not being able to explain, argh! And the idea of going somewhere for two trips isn't any easier, as then I'll be leaving my little one. No one ever said this adoption stuff was easy, did they!