Here's how it played out:
Day 1: My husband and Ashley arrived early and did a "stake out" in the parking lot. They saw the boys get out of the car and check in. When I first told Ashley the boys were going to be at camp, she told me she was going to run right up and hug them, but when the day arrived she was nervous and hesitant. Also, though the three siblings were at the same camp, they were in different groups with different schedules. On that first day, the older boy's group didn't overlap at all with Ashley's group, but she had some opportunities to interact with the younger brother at lunch and during play time after lunch. It became clear to her that he didn't have any idea who she was. (He was quite young when the family split up and has no clear memories of her.) She waited until they were playing soccer together and then slipped in a casual comment about him being her brother. "I'm your brother?" he said. "Yes, I'm Ashley." They hugged, and then went back to playing soccer.
Day 2: She had some more opportunities to interact with the younger brother but still no chance to speak to the older one. They waved at each other from a distance but that was all. I started to worry that they wouldn't have a chance to connect.
Day 3: Finally! Ashley got a chance to speak with the older of the two boys, who does hold memories of their time together. He asked about their other sister. Ashley couldn't give him specifics. She knows that Hannah has been adopted, and she has exchanged a few letters with her, but the only address we have is a post office box that is not in Hannah's actual town.
Day 4: Ashley reported speaking with both brothers, but didn't have much to say about the details of their conversations.
Day 5: Today, Ashley will be in a play (Willy Wonka) performed for the entire camp, and her brothers will be in the audience. I'm hoping she'll also get a chance to speak to them before the end of the day. I've asked her to communicate that we are open to getting together sometime if their grandmother/guardian is also willing. I'm hoping this week of togetherness at camp will open the door to future visitation, but we'll have to wait and see.Image copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos