Friday, April 18, 2014

My Girls

My girls.

They have come so far in 9 months.

When we told Kate we were going to adopt a little girl from China, she was over the moon about the idea that she would have a sister.  She was so excited and so sweet while we waited for Vivian.  I had a lot of hope for their relationship, but I also wondered what the reality of having Vivian here would mean for Kate.

I worried.

I worried because for six years (SIX YEARS!) Kate was the princess.  Our first and only girl.  On Rob's side of the family, the ONLY girl for a long time.  I worried that once Vivian arrived Kate would NOT be so excited about the person she would have to share the spotlight with.  I worried it would be hard for Kate.

And it was.

Kate heard she was getting an almost 3 year old sister and she had grand ideas of how they would play dolls and house and share a room and on and on with all these ideas she had in her head of how it would be.  She could NOT wait.

Then she got her sister.  And her sister was scared.  And quiet.  And didn't understand our language.  And had NO idea how to play, or pretend.  She only wanted me 99% of the time and Kate was crushed.  And sad.  And frustrated.

I kept trying to reassure her that one day Vivian would want to play with her.  One day Vivian would prefer her to me.   But I heard a lot of comments those first few weeks like, "She doesn't love me", and "She only wants you", etc.  Kate acted out and Rob and I knew she was reacting to all the changes in her life.  There were tears and tantrums and all the things we saw with our other two kids when a new sibling was brought home.

It was hard.

The thing is, Kate never gave up.  She never turned on Vivian.  She just kept trying.  And slowly but surely,  we started to see their relationship bloom.  Vivian started to become more interested in Kate.  She started to trust Kate.  She became less worried about being attached to me at every moment.  Kate's efforts started to pay off. 

And now, they are like sisters.  It has been the coolest thing to watch happen.

Now, Vivian waits all day for Kate to come home from school.  If it is not a school night, they beg to sleep together.  When Kate walks in the door from school, Vivian does not leave her side.  They even share a chair for snack time every day b/c Vivi wants to be RIGHT next to Kate.

What I want Kate to know one day is that this is all because of her.  Because she kept on trying.  Because she took a back seat.  Because she gave Vivian all she had and showed her grace as she struggled to adjust to our family.

Because of Kate, Vivian is learning how to be a sister. Because of her, Vivian knows about playing dolls, and school and house.  Because of Kate, Vivian has learned the joy of playing and dancing and pretending and twirling in "twirly dresses."

And more importantly, Vivian has learned about love. Kate has shown her such a great example of love.  The kind of love that is patient, and kind. 

The kind of love that does not envy.  That is not easily angered. 

The kind of love that always  protects, always trusts, always hopes

and never fails.

Please, please do not take this post to mean that I am saying that every day is as picture perfect at these pictures.  OH NO!  It is not.  We still have, among wonderful moments like above, moments like this (can't even remember what she was upset about here)

I am just saying that the girls have come so far and I want Kate to know how proud Rob and I are of her. I want her to know how much we love her and the way she has handled the addition of her sister. 

I hope these two will always be there for each other.  I hope as they grow up they will hold onto the special bond that they have.  I hope they will continue to find joy together.

I hope they can provide a safe place for each other.  And mostly I hope that they will be not only sisters, but friends.


  1. Oh this brought tears to my eyes! Beautiful! We are the process of starting our home study to add a little girl to our family. This gives us such hope! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for posting! I needed to read this as I am where you were a few months ago. Thank you! Looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. Kelly

  3. Oh those little legs of Vivian's....too cute!!! Love how sweet Kate is with her. I'm still waiting for Madeline to act like a big sister lol:). It is amazing how these precious girls begin to "relax" into their families, many answered prayers!!! Love your pics!!

  4. Maureen, Love this. Praying and hoping the same for Mia and Cora. Have a Happy Easter. Traveling to China very soon!!!!!

  5. I think we will have a similar situation with our boys. Our son just turned 5 and he is somewhat excited about getting a little brother (it's still a little surreal to him since we don't have a referral yet). I'm sure he will have all sorts of ideas about what they will do together, and we're not sure how he will handle no longer being the "baby" of the family.

  6. This is such a sweet post - brought tears to my eyes! I worry about something similar with my daughter and our future adopted daughter - they could possibly be as close as just a year apart in age, and I worry about my sweet girl feeling like she was somehow not enough for us or not the daughter that we wanted her to be, and that's why we adopted another little girl so soon. I worry about her feeling like her little sister always gets all of the attention, etc. I pray they'll always be close, which is part of why we did start the adoption process just before Tab's first birthday. This post is reassuring and reminds me of the perspective that it's really not about what I do, but about God's grace and love and them learning to show it to each other.

  7. So sweet! Don't you just love those moments when they play so wonderfully together!

  8. This is so beautiful! We have a daughter waiting for her sister from China (as well as two boys also waiting). I am going to have her read this. Thank you.

  9. Awwwww this is so sweet to hear!! You've got me all teared up!!! :)

  10. Random question, but where did you find the doll Vivian is twirling around? I have been looking for a cute Asian doll, but most of them are kind of scary. someday681 at gmail

  11. Such amazing pictures. I honestly think there needs to be more breakouts/training/seminars/articles/etc./etc./etc. about helping siblings attach. We had some issues here with that - one with an attachment we had to pull back and one that needed a lot of encouragement.

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