Sibling rivalry is a given, but growing up together is not. That's the case for foster children, often separated, but hoping to stay together in a permanent home. That's the focus of this story about Dylan and Cassondra.
Watching them race on a video game at CiCi's Pizza in Tyler, it's easy to see that 12 year old Dylan and his 11 year old sister, Cassondra, are competitive. "It's really pretty funny. They're just a typical brother and sister. They argue and pick at each other, but you can tell they are very bonded and very close and they need to be placed together," says Patty Osborn with Child Protective Services.
"Families shouldn't be separated," says Dylan with a solemn face. His sister says, "I love my brother. We were split up for 3 months one time. It was hard."
These siblings were removed from their home almost two years ago and placed in foster care. "It's been rough," says Dylan. Cassondra adds, "The hardest part is being away from my parents."
Despite hard times, Dylan and Cassondra are doing pretty well and have no health problems. "Dylan is a real personable, outgoing, friendly young man and doing really well in school," says Osborn.
"I do o.k. I sometimes get A's and B's," says Dylan humbly. He does better than o.k. This 7th grader consistently makes the honor roll. His favorite past time is reading. "I have read all of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. I read quite a bit."
Cassondra is also very outgoing, but more cautious. "I think anything that's new or different she wants to stand back and see if it's going to work well and then go forward," says Osborn.
This 6th grader, with beautiful blue eyes, enjoys swimming, playing the clarinet and gymnastics. She will need some extra attention with school and encouragement for her self esteem.
Finding a family is critical for Dylan and Cassondra as they inch closer to their teenager years. They need a stable, nurturing home where they know they'll be safe.
Osborn explains, "I think they're going to have a little trouble trusting and so the parents are going to have to understand that and not expect too much too soon. It's going to take time. Time is going to be their friend in an adoption. They just need to go slow. Dylan and Cassondra are just good kids and they deserve a good home, a forever family."
If you'd like to know more about Dylan and Cassondra, call our Gift of Love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-KIDS-275.
Gillian Sheridan, reporting.