SAN DIEGO — Most siblings have spent a lot of time together during the pandemic, but it’s the opposite story for three sisters and a brother in San Diego.
Harmany, who’s 9 years old, Hope, age 7, Ezequiel, who just turned 6, and Emma, who is only 3, are living apart in foster care, and due to pandemic restrictions, they’ve had very few in-person visits over the past year.
While many of us have gotten used to talking to people through Zoom, it's not the way young siblings should have to grow up and communicate.
I had an opportunity to meet the kids via Zoom, and loved seeing them giggle and joke around. They've learned to make the best of their time together through a screen.
While social workers try to keep siblings together, sometimes it's not possible, and the pandemic has meant playdates are few and far between.
“We haven't seen each other in a really long time, and I would really like to see Hope once again,” said Harmony, the oldest sister. “I really miss Hope. She's really pretty, she's kind, too, and I really miss her and love her,” Harmany added.
Hope wanted her brother and sisters to know this: “They're beautiful and handsome, and I really miss Ezequiel and I really love him.”
Ezequiel misses her, too.
“I like Hope because she's really nice and respectful,” said the 6-year-old.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, they're hoping to spend more time together.
“I would really like to play with her and talk about what has been happening. And I would really like to go to the park and walking with her at school,” Harmony said.
“I can't wait to go to SeaWorld with her,” Hope said.
SeaWorld San Diego is one the kids’ favorite places to visit, and their Court Appointed Special Advocate, Carolina Finch, is looking forward to taking the kids out again now that pandemic restrictions are lifting.
“I'm really looking forward to being able to take all of them out. They do have so much fun together, they just love, love being together and spending time together,” Finch said.
What these four siblings need more than playdates, however, is permanency.
“They all need to be together, in one loving home. They are the most wonderful sibling group that I think anybody could ever have," remarked Finch.
“Harmony is just amazing and she helps to take care of her little brother and sisters. Hope and Ezequiel just love each other, and Emma just loves to follow her brothers and sisters around wherever they go,” Finch said.
Protective Services Worker Veronica Castro is hoping the kids find a family willing to support their cultural heritage.
“I would like the children to be placed in a forever home that will be able to embrace both of their cultural backgrounds. The children do speak Spanish and are familiar with that side of their family orientation, and family connection is very important as well,” Castro remarked.
“I tell you, more than anything in the whole world, what these kids want and need is a home,” said Finch.
To learn more about becoming a Foster or Adoptive Resource Family with the County of San Diego, click here.