sibling saga

March 13, 2012 adopting out of birth order, Laine 3 Comments

I am sure that many of you can relate to sibling sagas. I prefer the term saga than rivalry. But it’s basically the same thing: siblings who struggle to get along with each other (and that is putting it very mildly when you’re living it, let me tell ya)!

When we brought home our Kevin at age 2 in 2010, he was the BABY. With all capitals, mind you. And add on top of BABY, he has a very serious heart defect, so he was BABY multiplied. You get the picture.

For twenty months, Kevin was the youngest of 8.

Then his world was rocked.

His throne was usurped.

We brought home another BABY who is 2 years younger than Kevin. And at the same time, we brought home another ‘big’ brother who is 5 months Kevin’s senior.

Crickett, Kevin, and Keith on our adoption trip

And we did this without Kevin’s permission 🙂

Actually, the baby sister, Crickett, has been the least of Kevin’s worries (and of course…that was the issue I was most worried about…Kevin losing his baby position).

In fact, it has been the ‘almost the same age’ brother, Keith, that has been the sweet pebble causing the ripples in Kevin’s smooth little pond.

Mind you, Keith and Crickett have adjusted beautifully into our family. There have been no attachment issues, thank you Lord. They have been a complete JOY and have transitioned amazingly well.

For the first time ever, we are learning to deal with a sibling saga. And the particular sibling behind most of the fusses is not one of our newly adopted children. No, he’s a four year old, 31 pound bundle of FIREWORKS.

Forced to be brothers and notice Kevin’s forced smile!

Oh the jealousy. The rivalry. The fighting between Kevin and Keith. If Kevin says something, Keith has to say it too. If Keith says something, Kevin has to say it too. If Keith wants that toy, Kevin wants it too. If Keith doesn’t play with Kevin, Kevin gets mad. So Keith plays with Kevin, and Kevin gets mad anyway.

These two toy robots they’re holding were the brunt of many battles at Christmas

I have heard people talk about “love/hate” relationships. And now I am getting an up and personal, front row seat to one of those. Except I can’t just watch this drama, I get the starring role of MEDIATOR.

After Keith and Crickett had been home about one month, and I had been on my knees in tears over what to do about Kevin and Keith’s endless battles, (I tried EVERYTHING), God gave me insight and wisdom.

“Just remind Kevin that he will ALWAYS be in your family. Remind him that you will ALWAYS be his mom and dad. Remind Kevin that he is ALWAYS loved. And persevere. And thank Me for these battles, because it is through them that Kevin and Keith will learn peace with each other.”

So I did. Again and again. I thanked God for every time I had to intervene in their “playing”. And I told Kevin as much as possible the truths that God reminded me to tell.

And I saw Kevin processing every little word I said.

But that’s not all I saw.

I began to see progress. More laughing and sharing. Less screaming and fighting.

Glimmers of hope when they hold hands during reading time.

Glimpses of good things to come when I see Keith slowing down so Kevin can catch up.

And then after I tucked them in one night (in their SEPARATE bedrooms, by the way, things aren’t THAT good yet :)), I saw something very simple but it shouted to me of a coming peace in our boys:

Their riding toys parked side by side. No older siblings had done it. They were left right where Keith and Kevin parked them. TOGETHER.

Our boys. Four years old and Five years old… Forced to be brothers… Forever… And after only 3 months, I am already seeing their “love/hate” turn into “love/love”.

Thank you Lord!

3 responses to “sibling saga”

  1. Aus says:

    Nice catch – and great story. It’s what sibling saga (which is also a GREAT term) is all about – learning to love!

    hugs – aus and co.

  2. Eileen says:

    You’re doing FANTASTIC if you’re seeing love/love in only 3 months! My two youngest went through some bumps in the road, and they still have days when I say, “You two stay COMPLETELY away from each other!” but mostly, they get along great.

  3. Jenna says:

    I had never read anyone writing about this previous to us bringing our son (Cooper, also from New Day) home. The sibling stuff was the HARDEST part of our transition. The constant repeating. The demand for constant equality (even when it makes ABSOLUTELY NO sense). The bickering and yelling. The pushing and shoving. (My two are also almost exactly a year apart.) WOW….this post made me feel normal. We saw great improvement at about the 4 month mark. TONS by 6 months. And at the one year mark, we were at the full-fledged normal sibling stuff mark (with the occasional flare ups of the not-so-typical stuff). Thanks for sharing honestly. I totally understand what it is like to look over, see your two kids playing together and seeing it as a miracle.

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