Learning to deal with feelings of isolation is a simple fact of life for most foster children and their siblings. But thanks to one woman's dedication to stay in touch with her older sister, she is now empowering hundreds of others kids to do the same.
Meet two sets of siblings that have struggled to stay connected and how one week at a unique camp is making a difference in their lives.
It was Matt and Mike's first time at Camp To Belong. The two were separated when Mike was just six months old. Since then they have always lived apart.
Matt lives in New Jersey while Mike lives in Las Vegas.
Now for the first time they are spending an entire week together learning how to live, love and trust each other.
Mike said, "We don't get to see each other a lot. This is the longest we've ever spent together."
Despite being the older brother, Matt is the quiet one. Mike is a bit more outgoing. But when they get together the appreciation they have towards each other comes naturally, grateful for the short time they have together at camp.
Matt said, "That we have each other by our sides, just to talk to each other, goof around with each other, be annoyed."
Matt and Mike's struggle to stay connected despite the distance is something every child at Camp To Belong understands.
It was also a bittersweet trip for 15-year-old Regina and her 14-year-old brother Jeremy. While they enjoy the time with their three younger brothers, they will soon be saying goodbye.
Regina said, "This week is special to me because I'm probably not going to be able to see my little brothers after camp because they are moving back to New Orleans."
They're afraid for the week to end because they are unsure of when they will all be together again. It's a situation Regina can't control; yet she is learning how to cope and express her feelings.
Regina read a poem, "Sometimes you may feel like it's more than distance keeping you apart. Even sometimes you may feel alone. But if you hold on, pick up a phone, your relationship will be stronger. Sometimes all that matters is love."
It is obvious Regina has taken on a mother role, as she puts the final touches on this surprise sibling birthday party.
For many of these kids, it's the only time they will ever get a chance to celebrate a birthday with their brother or sister.
Jeremy said, "I hope to take back the love that we have with each other here at camp -- the moments, the special moments -- the chance for a birthday party.
There were so many memories being made on that night, a rare opportunity for these kids to simply enjoy their time together.
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