"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An unlikely set of twins

This post is dedicated to the two year olds...my virtual twins.  Ethan and Liana are 3 months and 2 days apart in age, which makes them "virtual twins".  I'm not sure where this term came from but the first time I read it from someone who had adopted a child close in age to another of their children, I thought, why, oh why would they do that?!  Yeah, I know you've thought the same thing about us.  Admit it!  Why...?  I don't know.  Honestly, it was never our plan but it clearly was God's plan.  When we met with our social worker the first time, we had to pin down the age range for a child that we would like to adopt.  We did not want to disrupt the birth order, that was very important to us but since we began this adoption when Ethan was only 16 months old, we knew we had to be open to a child fairly close to his age so we said that the oldest child we would adopt would have to be born in September of 2010.  Ethan is a June 2010 baby and our thinking was that if we adopted a September baby, he would still get to feel like the "big brother" because, although they would only be 3 months apart, they would end up a year apart in school.  Well, wouldn't you know it, when we got the call that Holt had a referral for us, the child was born in September of 2010.  And not late in September, September 3rd.  They wanted to know if that would be okay with us and we said, "YES!"  You can only imagine how little we cared how close they were in age when we saw Liana's pictures.  Is love at first sight possible?  Yes, when it comes to your babies! 

So, here we are now with our adorable and mischievous two year olds and life...can be crazy but what is funnier, sillier and more adorable than a two year old?!  Now times it by two and you can imagine my life!  2 x the trouble, 2 x the fun.  Whenever anyone asks how we're doing and how things are going with Liana, my thoughts always goes straight to the two of them, so I guess it is like twins in a way.  One of the hardest adjustments since adopting Liana is the relationship between Ethan and Liana and their relationships, separately and together, with us.  It's a complicated thing.  I knew that it would be tough and hard on Ethan but I didn't know just how hard and I didn't realize how angry Ethan would be.  When we were in China, Ethan went through a lot.  I've talked about this before but it was a hard trip for him.  With his head injury on our Gotcha day and just the constant go, go, go plus adding a new little sister.  Not always fun.  But since coming home, he has relaxed a lot.  Some of it was instant.  It was a relief for him to be back in Texas, in his own home, in his own bed and with a more normal routine.  His anger seemed to dissolve right away.  Of course, that didn't mean that he loved his little sister yet.  Now he had to adjust to her being in "his" home and playing with his toys and, of course, having to share "his" mommy and daddy and big sister.  This was not what he dreamed of when he talked about "I make happy LiLi".  But, let's be honest, do our siblings ever live up to what we dream they will be when there's a new baby coming into the family?  No really, do they?  I wouldn't know, being the youngest in my family. :-P 

On the first day with Liana, I got a great picture of Ethan with this hopeful, excited look on his face.  Wow, I have a new sister!  This is great!  That look quickly disappeared as an almost constant scowl appeared.  We still see the scowl...a lot...but things are getting better.  I see them starting to bond and I see it more all the time.  They play mostly near each other but sometimes they play together.  Ethan will say, "I touch LiLi for a little while?" and rub her head.  I've seen her do the same to him.  She was sitting in his wagon one day and I heard him say, "Come on Li-wanna (that's how he says her name)" and he just walked off with her in the wagon, full of giggles and a look of apprehension on her face.  He has come into her room when I was first getting her up in the morning, grabbed her foot and said, "Good morning, Li-wanna!"  I've seen her lean her head onto him for a hug, just out of the blue. Just today, he went into the fridge for his sippy of milk and came back with her bottle, handing it over and saying, "Here you go!"   And then later, Liana tried to share a book with Ethan (sometimes she actually shares and sometimes she whips it away at the last minute :-) and Ethan said, "No, but thank you."  These are all good signs.  The best is when he does something that makes her laugh.  They both are so pleased with each other when that happens.  When I got them out of their chairs after breakfast one morning, Liana stood up against a wall and so Ethan did too, saying that they were spies.  Although I know she had no idea what he was talking about, they both got such a kick out of it that they kept on doing it, looking pleased with themselves and giggling the whole time.  Cute, little moments like this make me feel like things are getting better.  They're two, so I'm not expecting any heart to heart conversations to happen anytime soon but I'm excited to see them growing as brother and sister and as friends.  I hope that they can get to be great buddies for each other as they grow up.

Look how excited Ethan was on Gotcha Day!

Going for a ride in their matching car seats

Cooking in the playroom

"Let's go, Li-wanna!"


Don't ask me why there's a rat in our sandbox.  *shrug*

Our little tech savvy tots during Ella's dance class

The morning sillies

Sharing a car cart...notice how no one is sitting in the car? :-/

Bubble babies

Cruising in the backyard

Such fun in swings!

Double the stroller, double the fun...and Mommy's workout!


  1. This entry was so fun to read! It's SO heartwarming to see how far Ethan and Liana's relationship has come in such a short time! There is absolutely nothing cuter or more endearing than a toddler, and dare I as a grandmother say it, these two have got to be two of the world's cutest!! They are so funny!! It's wonderful to see them growing closer and interacting like what they are--siblings! I am so glad the Lord endowed you with a really good sense of humor, Sarah! You really need it. Sorry this is so long, but I just enjoyed this, and the pictures SO MUCH!!!

  2. I like the chatty, friendly, wonderful way that you write these, Sarah. makes me feel like this is a letter just for me and no one else. And the pictures are, as always, priceless! makes me happy to be your dad and the grandpa of your kids. Love you all!! Dad