When Lily came along, I was intrigued to see how Reagan would react to this new creation that requires total attention and time after so much of the last few years had been pretty much centered around her given the circumstances of the custodial process.
Leading up to Lily's birth, Reag was excited, worried, a little unsure, but mostly ecstatic to be having a baby sister!
During our pregnancy, we moved into a new house and the girls now share a room. Reagan was having some internal struggles during this time. She was being told that the baby was going to cry in the middle of the night and disrupt her sleep, was told the baby wasn't her sister until her dad and I were married, and then finally that they're only half-sisters.
Ok, technically, we all know they are half-sisters, but does it really do ANY good to make this little girl who struggles with her place to fit in, feel LESS connected to this baby?
She has a doll at her mom's that she calls her baby sister and she is fascinated by all things baby. Lily has had a pretty profound impact on her young life and I'm so grateful she's embracing the positive. ♥
A few weeks ago, we were on our way to Andrew's hockey game and I heard a piece of the backseat conversation between the kids. It was enough to catch my attention and ask what was said entirely. Reagan said to Andrew, (about Lily) "Well, she's YOUR whole sister, but only MY half sister." :(
Since that half sister issue had come up during our pregnancy, we had talked about it then, but clearly we needed to talk about it again.
I was really sad for this little girl who had been inundated with crap about how I was nothing to her for so long and now she doesn't even understand what HALF sister technically means, just that SHE isn't WHOLE. Because technically, Andrew, is only a half too. However, it was clear Reagan didn't understand anything more than she wasn't enough.
George and I asked her about what we've talked about before regarding family and asked her if she feels like Lily is only half a sister to her. She said no. So, we explained that if she wants to call Lily her "half sister" instead of just saying her "sister" that's her business, but it is hurtful.
Honestly, I was pissed. What purpose does it serve to make her feel she's only half? However, I can't control what is said in her time with her mother, rather just can do my best to make it alright for her.
Maybe Reagan just needed confirmation that she's an equal part of our family.
I'm so grateful that she's always talked with me about how she feels. Naturally, she's asked me a lot of questions about babies recently, but she talks a lot about how she feels about all of her life and I work really hard to make her feel complete between both her homes. It's not always easy. But, I've truly seen her become more secure over the last 5 months in a way she hadn't shown before.
This week, when Reagan was in her bed waiting for me to tuck her in after I finished changing Lily and put her to bed, she said, "I'm really glad I share a room with Lily." I had my back to her as I was changing the baby and said, "Oh yeah? I'm glad." And I am. So glad that she's able to begin to feel whole.
They are sisters.
From the 1st moment she walked into the hospital to meet Lily, Reagan was enamored...
She is such a loving big sister and was so excited to meet her!
It was really hard to get pictures of her because she just kept staring at the baby.
2 1/2 months later...still just as enamored.
Reading books to her baby sister...
Love is all that matters.