At first I thought this idea was kind of odd...I mean...we already have siblings...and I was part of a sibling...how hard can it be???? But bringing in a set of siblings into your home is different. One of the things that drew us to the idea of siblings in the first place, was that they would always have a buddy. Not just a play mate, but someone who has been through the same experience as themselves. I hope and pray that some day they find comfort in knowing that are not alone in this world.
I love when I look at one of the boys and I can see their brother in them. Somehow a look or a mannerisms that just resembles the other one. It is such a special thing. I love it.
We have been on the look out for making sure they boys come to us for their needs and not going to each other. That is one of the concerns of the sibling relationship. It had been reported that our older son was very protective and cautious of the little one. Taking care of him was very familiar to him. Though it is a sweet thing, we needed to make sure that the boys come to US to care for their needs. It is so important for them to see Chuck and I as the care givers. All part of the purposeful bonding and attaching that must take place.
I wanted to share a few ideas of what we have done to work on breaking the strong dependence of each other and try to get the boys to depend and turn to us.
- Bath time - I don't bath them together and I don't give them the soap, rinse cup or wash cloth. They both want to do it all on their own and instead I need them to see me as the care giver.
- Sleeping - Even though we will have the boys sleep in the same room, they are currently sleeping in different rooms. One with each of us.
- Comfort and meeting needs - I don't let our older one take care of the little guy. I get what ever he needs and keep using the phrase "let mama do it". At first we saw this as a big problem, but we have seen him back off a lot and take the roll of brother and not care giver.
- Separating the boys - just like for sleeping, I have them sit on different sides of the table, and ride in different rows in the car.
This whole idea may seem odd to some of you. Like I am trying to break their special bond. I am not, in fact I love that they have a closeness of being brothers from the same mother. (Interestingly, that is one of the first questions people ask "Are they biological brothers?" and though I don't feel like I owe anyone an explanation, I do answer and share "Yes, they are biological siblings.") But instead, we want them to see each other as brothers. That is their role in their relationship. Brother...sibling...friend...playmate. At times I see a little glimpse of an exclusive club that only the 2 of them belong to. At first we had our concerns this closeness would not allow bonding with us, but since we have intentionally worked on it, we have seen things change. At first, Tyson Fikadu would run to Tatum Abush with every little cry and try to take care of it. We have seen his role change to the appropriate big brother role.
Just the other day, we were out playing in the yard and Tate tripped on a little pile of dirt. He fell and got a mouthful of dirt and cried and allowed me (the mama) to comfort him and dust the dirt off as I held him. At the same time, Tyce ran to the garage, found a little child's size rake and went after that dirt pile, knocking it down and getting rid of it. When he was done working on it, he said "There you go baby". Some how it seemed more like something a big brother would do, he wanted to help out. You can still see how much they care for each other and we are thrilled to see that. Brotherhood. One of the reasons we wanted to bring home siblings in the first place.
Dear Sweet Peas,
I love to see how you have a special love and connection to each other. I am so glad we followed God's leading. I pray you will always have a close relationship to each other.