Sibling Relationships

The Adoption Talk Link-up subject today is sibling relationships. For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of motherhood is watching the love between Turkey-Man and Little-Flower. As the oldest of four kids, I know the value of brothers and sisters. Growing up we could fight like none other and yet together we were a force to be reckoned with. Most of my greatest memories growing up involve at least one, if not multiple siblings.

With adoption I hold very few pre-conceived notions as to how the long-term relationship will look for our two children. They each have arrived in our family with individual histories. As they grow they will have independent feelings about adoption that will need to be honored and validated no matter how the other may feel.

Liking control, once we adopted Turkey-Man, we wanted to emulate a similar circumstance for future children. Little-Flower’s basis for adoption and relationship to her biological family is similar to what Turkey-Man has. We felt it was best to not have them looking at the other’s adoption and questioning why theirs as not the same.

My hope is that with similar circumstances adoption will be a bonding experience, something that they know the other will understand like only one who is adopted can. However, I know that with their individual emotions about adoption it may also work against them if jealousy or significantly different feelings about adoption develop in their relationship.

Right now they are too young to predict how it will turn out. At four and almost two they act as any other siblings do. They are both each other’s biggest enemy and best friend.

Jealously and competition over Mama’s attention happens often. Arguments over who was playing with “the” toy (as if we don’t have 736,962 other toys!) erupt frequently.

But thenTurkey-Man often surprises me as to how often he looks out for Little-Flower. If he is getting something special, he often attempts to make sure she has the same. I have watched him give her something of his because she does not have her own.

She spends much of the day following him like a shadow. One of my best strategies in gaining Little-Flower’s cooperation is having Turkey-Man do it first. She idolizes him.

The best I can do as their mother is foster the closeness that exists and pray that as they get older they treasure the relationship with each other as I do with my siblings. As an adult the bonds I have with my brothers and sister are among my most valued friendships. I hope Turkey-Man and Little-Flower will enjoy the same!

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