Obie is fourteen, my younger kids' brother, a ward of the government and more than a bit of a mess.
And he has reappeared in our lives once again.
He is in a halfway house for teens and we saw him two nights ago for an hour and we are still dealing with the effect that has on Buddy and Monkey.
This is where I plaintively squeak about how sometimes open adoption is hard work.
And now, now is when I give myself a good shake and talk about how much harder a closed adoption would be on my kids.
We do need to figure some stuff out though.
From a selfish point of view, having kids who lie awake at night worrying about if their brother is doing drugs or worse, is not conducive to my sleeping and that is not good at all.
If I weren't so directly involved, or didn't have a heart, it might be interesting to watch the odd interactions between the three of them.
For instance, we opted to take them to a playground for their visit because we know that they will start to rough house almost immediately.
Taking them, as a group, into a restaurant or even a donut shop is an exercise in frustration for all of us - they do not, perhaps they cannot, handle more than about ten minutes before they are jiggling and poking each other, climbing on each other...
and yeah, I do enforce my very strict rules about appropriate behaviour but that does not make for a comfortable and happy time.
Obie doesn't talk to Buddy or Monkey.
When Buddy has tried, Obie gets physical or switches all his attention to Monkey, who is still young enough to think playing non stop is great.
Which means that we are left with two very wound up kids and it takes days to unwind them.
So how to make it work?
Right now, I am thinking that Cabana Boy and I take Obie out on his own and talk to him about it and with him set up some very basic rules for visits.
It might work.
It might also trigger something in him and he will run again.
We are feeling our way along here and I just don't know.