The adoptions of our three youngest children would not have gone as smoothly if we didn’t have our oldest, Holden, on board.
With the adoption of Josi, Holden proudly told everyone he knew, or didn’t, that he was going to have a little sister and, – could they believe this? She was born in China! He had her referral picture in his pocket, ready to show and tell as soon as he had the person’s attention.
Upon arriving home he ripped Josi out of my arms and, holding her securely, he paraded around the waiting area, among everyone one who met our plane (pre-911). His face was suffused with joy, pride, and love. Holden and Josi’s connection was instantaneous. She trusted him immediately.
Aubry was our next arrival. Holden again opened his heart, which was good because Josi acted like the typical sibling – believing that her place in the family was going to be usurped. Not until I had her “help” me put up the other crib did she realize that that wasn’t the case. I knew I had Josi’s acceptance when she began to put gifts of her stuffed animals into Aubry’s crib. One of the items was as huge stuffed snake. “Snakey” became the item Aubry attached to as soon as she arrived home, sucking her thumb ecstatically while holding him on her face. Holden again tore this baby out of my arms at the airport and paraded around with her. He also asked to help with Aubry’s care – diapering, feeding, rocking, and reading to her.
Greyson was our final child. Mark and I had been to visit Greyson months earlier. We decided that Holden would travel down to Guatemala with us to bring Greyson home. We took Holden to visit Tikal so that he could experience and appreciate his brother’s rich heritage. With Greyson, we traveled to Antigua so that Holden could mingle with the open and vibrant Guatemalan people. It was the chance for Holden to see more of the process of how we were becoming a family. Little did we realize that he would see different aspects of the adoption process. Greyson’s immediate transition was difficult at best. Holden witnessed his brother’s pain in transitioning and had to deal with the fact that Greyson wanted no one but me.
Holden is made of good stuff. Through thoughtful reaching out and patience, he was able to win his baby brother over in a matter of days. Greyson would allow him to hold him – in my presence.
Holden’s connection to his sisters and brother is profound. He sees himself as their protective and guiding big brother. He is their rock and they adore him.