Well, after the initial shock...
We all got inside, I gave more birthday congratulations to Gem, and then I said hi to Jewel. She is a pretty girl, with a lovely lively smile - just like Gem's! She met GG and LM and both liked her. We got chatting and Jewel asked me questions and I asked her a few questions too.
Her interests are quite similar to Gem's as well, especially excercise which is a biggie for them both. Gem prefers rock climbing, harnesses in trees, swimming, and martial arts - basically, she isn't big on team sports or anything involving a ball! Jewel seems however to like team things - she likes football, hockey, netball, dodgeball - but also running and swimming. She and Gem compared their swimming achievements. She obviously does well in school, lots of friends, confident, opinionated and happy - it was in stark contrast to Gem, who has spent her teenage years struggling with a few qualifications which she passed, and making a few friends, and trying to cope with her PTSD. It made me quite sad sitting there listening to them. What did make me smile was the way they kept stealing glances at each other, whilst trying to look at me and Gem's DH as well! They could barely take their eyes off each other -understandable, they only met yesterday for the first time!
We all had dinner - it tasted good, and it also felt good to be just sitting having quite a peaceful family meal- for once!! GG and LM know to behave when there are guests round though -they don't want to be in my bad books, and they also want Jewel to like them. Also more space between the two of them stopped little feet trying to kick at other little feet, and start an argument!
Jewel was chatty, and Gem was happy to listen unless asked questions - but there were obviously lots she wanted to ask her sister. Jewel wanted to know about Gem's favourite everythings, and about how she and her DH met and their wedding, and would she get to be an Auntie Jewel soon!!!
After tea LM started to get hyper again, so we all went out to the park for a bit - LM ran around like a maniac with GG, I talked with Gem's DH so Jewel and Gem got some private chatting time.
We decided that Gem's DH would stay with me and the littl'uns for a while and Gem and Jewel would go back to Gem's together, so they got more chatting time. I ran home quickly to get a photo album full of Gem pictures that she and Jewel could take to look at together
Then back at home us remaining lot played on the Wii, and relaxed. When Gem phoned, her DH went home, then LM got his bum off to bed. GG and I hugged and chatted. She knows all of her siblings -either she gets letters or meets in person. She will not know the gaping hole Gem has had that is left when you do not know if someone dear is dead or alive, healthy, safe, or ill etc.
I do worry about the situation a bit - both girls are young, Gem is emotionally near Jewels age -i.e. under 18, and this is moving fast, was through facebook etc - I worry because when reunion stories and tips are posted on forums by adult adoptees and first parents, they all advise to take it slowly, and this has not been a slow build up. I worry because Jewel's parents have no idea she is in contact. Whilst I understand why she hasn't told them, due to their obstinate belief that the past can be blotted out, their reaction is not gonna be great when they find out :o
But I am so happy for Gem (and for Jewel) I hope this will be a happy and long lasting reunion for the both of them. I sense a peace in Gem now that she knows about her sister -Jewel is alive, healthy and happy, which is way way beyond a relief. May the peace and happiness last :)