James has always been a kid who takes time to process things. He’s my thinker, and although at times he has asked some hard questions, I have always loved this “processing” side of him.
When we told James he was going to be a “big brother” at the age of 2, he didn’t fully know what that meant but as time progressed, would ask questions and learned to navigate his way through adoption excitement and adoption loss. One day he was with baby sister at the hospital, and the next day he was asking, “Why couldn’t we bring baby sister home?”
This past summer, being a “big brother” for him has meant processing through the fact that he has 2 sisters who don’t live with him. When someone asks him if he has any brothers or sisters he openly responds, “I have two sisters but they don’t live with me.” Questions such as “Who is my real father?” and “What was I like when I first met my birth mom and knew it was her?” have surfaced (which is another post in and of itself). He is processing things and beginning to understand just how unique his life is as he comes to understand what it really means to be adopted.
Although we’ve had many conversations with James about the possibility of adopting, today was the day to tell him that in fact, he might actually get to be a big brother to a little person who would come live with us. I can’t tell you much, but I will tell you it is a little girl who is 4 years old. She was born a different month, but is around the same age as the little girl we almost brought home 4 years ago this September.
Now keep in mind, James, being a boy and an only child at that, has always talked about wanting to have a brother. Besides, we’ve all seen those videos of boys who, at the big reveal, find out a sister is coming and are mortified. In time they adjust. James actually plays really well with girls, but currently is loving the time he spends with all of the boys in our neighbourhood.
We began by mentioning our social worker’s name and how we had visited with her. Then we proceeded to tell him that she believes she has found someone who would be a good fit for our family.
“How old are they?” was James’ first question.
“Four,” we replied, to which he immediately had a facial expression that demonstrated he was processing this information. As we continue to talk, the “big moment” comes in which I had pretty much predicted what James might say.
“James it’s a little girl around the same age as your sister Charlie.” As Ben rattles off a few things she likes, mentioning the color pink as one of them, James says, “We’re painting a room pink?” with a look of shock. Inside I am trying to refrain from laughing, as we explain nothing is certain at this point and there are a number of steps that would occur should things move forward.
James: processing….processing…processing…We probably sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher saying, “wah wah wah wah GIRL wah wah wah PINK wah wah wah….”
Then in a moment of final realization he says as if thinking in wonder to himself, “Augh…so if this happens I’m going to have three sisters?!” and he falls over on the couch. At this point Ben and I burst out laughing and respond with, “That’s right. It’s a big brother’s job to look our for his sisters so God must figure you’ll do such a great job you can handle another one.” I’m not about to tell him about how his Uncle Brent and I use to torment each other…although he has heard a few stories.
James: processing…processing…processing…”Can I go play with Ruby outside?”
And with that he went out to hold his newfound friend, sing to her, and find solace. For 6 years he has been the “only,” and I have noticed that even with having a new dog home as my attentions are divided, he is working his way through these changes. We weren’t suppose to bring the pup home for another week, but things changed a few days ago. Originally I thought it might add extra stress happening before we planned it, but now I see it has brought extra comfort for all of us. Call it coincidence, but I see God in the details.
Quite frankly, we are all “processing,” and with that, processing that 4 years to the day we lost a daughter, we will be reviewing more information to determine the high probability of gaining a daughter.
So the adventures in “Canneyland” continue…